Prioritizing Student Online Safety in Your School


Guest Blog Post By Rob Yoegel

Your school or district likely isn’t much different than Redding School District in Northern California. Sure, you might have a larger student population, and be separated by hundreds, if not thousands of miles, but you both are looking for new ways to create digital learning environments that facilitate critical thinking, creativity and collaboration.

When it comes to student online safety, your school or district isn’t unlike those around the country that have made this important initiative a priority. Thanks to many of you who participated in a recent AFSA survey, almost all respondents (9.3 out of 10, in fact) said it’s vital to assure that your students are safe and protected from cyber bullying, pornography and inappropriate content.

By adding digital citizenship to your curriculum, conducting inspiring school assemblies and adding Gaggle Safety Management, building principals and district superintendents can go home every day knowing that their students are safer using school-issued technology, such as a learning management system, Google Apps for Education or Office 365.

Just like you, Redding School District also strives to keep pace with the latest advances in technology. The district recently provided Chromebooks to about 1,200 students in fourth through eighth grade as part of a 1:1 initiative. It turns out that was the easy part. Despite mastering Google’s management console and implementing a leading web filtering product, the district needed a way to assure the safety of its students when sharing files and sending email back and forth.

In our latest case study, learn how Redding School District:

  • Fills in gaps in the security and protection of its Chromebooks;
  • Proactively responds and stays ahead of misuse, cyber bullying and other threats; and,
  • Relies on the 24/7 real-time monitoring by Gaggle Student Safety Representatives who detect potential issues and alert school officials if a threat is imminent.

Technology in the classroom, and at home, isn’t going away. Unfortunately, neither are incidents of violence, self-harm and other threats to students. In our new infographic, which is being made available to AFSA members before anyone else, you can learn how to lay a foundation for digital citizenship while taking a closer look at the threats to students in just one school semester.

For instance, we identified nearly seven million items in email messages, documents and images involving sex, violence, drugs, suicide and other issues facing students every day. And while 95 percent of you indicated that you have an Internet Safety Policy, teacher-driven or district-based strategies and training around Internet safety is lacking in many of your schools.

At Gaggle, we’re extremely honored to be able to elevate the importance of student online safety to AFSA members. What’s next? Since the start of this year, we’ve held Student Online Safety Symposiums in Louisiana, Colorado and Arizona with a hope of bringing similar events to as many educators as possible, including AFSA members.

The symposiums are free for school and district administrators, cabinet members and other educators responsible for student online safety. Attendees engage in strategic and tactical discussions, learn more about keeping students safe and enjoy plenty of networking opportunities. If you’re interested in bringing a symposium to your school, I would love to hear from you.


Rob Yoegel is Vice President of Marketing at Gaggle, a provider of safe online learning products, solutions and services to the K-12 market since 1999. Gaggle’s focus is, and always has been, on student safety so educators can have the confidence to allow learners to take advantage of current technology for communication, collaboration and productivity. To reach Rob, email him at or call (800) 288-7750 x 167.