Since he first attempted to rebuild the district's existing content filters six years ago, Short has been able to invest in technology purpose-built to monitor online student self-harm behavior, and it has paid off. , has saved the lives of multiple students.

Capture and flag student behavior online

While some surveillance technologies only capture what students are searching in their web browsers, Lightspeed Systems' Lightspeed Alert, a tool currently used by the Encinitas Union School District, works like a keylogger and allows students to captures everything you type. This allows the district to identify potentially harmful content contained in applications such as Google Docs, which Short said students use as his tools for communication.

He explains that students can share documents with their classmates and type messages to each other in the documents. “They're good at deleting what they write, but technology captures everything.”

Discover: Technology enables collaboration on K-12 student projects.

Teams that receive alerts about potentially harmful content can review the document, and even if a student deletes the message, version history and Lightspeed Systems technology retains a record of what was typed. .

Identify false positives and escalate concerns

The Student Risk module, part of the iboss Zero Trust Secure Access Services Edge platform, uses advanced and customizable data analytics to identify student threats of self-harm, threats of harm to others, and and proactively identify risks related to threats to academic integrity” keyword alerts,” said Richard Quinones, iboss Senior Vice President of Public Sector. The company's platform works with his Gaggle Safety Management to identify false positives and flag alerts that require immediate attention.

“If the team classifies a content search as questionable, a warning will be emailed to the school or district,” Quinones said. With the power of 24/7 monitoring and human scrutiny, today's technology eliminates false positives with great accuracy.

In the Encinitas Union School District, teams have worked on everything from the release of the movie “Suicide Squad” to student reporting on Vincent van Gogh's death.

However, “if someone has any questions, we will escalate it,” Short says.

The district's first step is to contact the principal and possibly the teacher to see if the student has studied anything that should raise the alarm. “Teachers know their students very well,” Short said. “Just a little bit of information can help you know if your child needs help.”

A 2021 report from the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center examined 67 averted school attack plans. 47% of plotters investigated previous attacks, security measures, other related topics, or a combination thereof.

If it is determined that a student needs support or intervention, the district will deploy a team of psychologists to the school site. “They're ready and trained for something like that,” Short said. “I'm not. I'm just in charge of the technical side.”

The team then contacts the student's parents for assistance.

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