Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, News & Advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Lisa Railton
on March 09, 2020

School districts across Texas rely on Education Service Centers (ESCs) for a variety of services. For example, the regional centers enable school districts to operate more efficiently by quickly providing information about students. But what happens when centers are unavailable and school leaders are unable to utilize this resource?

This situation became a scary reality for one principal in December 2019. Principal Chris Taylor of Keene High School was contacted at home one Friday evening by his regional ESC and informed that the center would be down for the night. “I was concerned,” said Taylor, “since this meant there would be no way to get any information about students or the district during that time period.”

Located in Keene, Texas, the district uses Gaggle Safety Management for G Suite in conjunction with a web filter to keep students safe in their online environment. The same evening the ESC went down, Taylor received an alert from Gaggle about a student who was believed to be at risk of suicide. “When I read it, I could tell it was a legitimate suicide note written to the parents,” said Taylor. Unable to quickly access the information he needed from the ESC, Taylor knew he would have to take action to retrieve the parents’ phone numbers.

Along with the assistant principal and chief of police, Taylor raced to the school to locate the physical copy of the parents’ information. He called the two numbers listed in the binder, but was unable to reach the student’s parents. Thankfully, the mother immediately returned his call and rushed to find her daughter in their home. She walked in just in time to see her daughter about to ingest a bottle of pills, stopping the suicide attempt right in the moment.

The student was taken to the hospital to receive the support she needed and is doing much better today, but the story could have had a different ending if not for Gaggle and Taylor’s swift response. “I absolutely believe that without Gaggle, this student would have gone through with the act and taken her own life,” said Taylor. Read our case study to learn more about how this school district was able to prevent a tragedy using Gaggle’s student safety solution.

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