The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of School Planning & Management magazine.

Survey Reveals Student Online Safety a Growing Concern for School Administrators

Bloomington, Ill. – Gaggle and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) today announced the results of a survey that reveal school officials are paying more attention to the safety of their students when using educational technology.

The survey results are detailed in a new infographic, “Prioritizing Student Online Safety,” which was released exclusively through AFSA today. Among the survey highlights:

  • While 95% of schools have an Internet safety policy, and school officials believe it’s important to assure students are safe from cyberbullying and other incidents, only about half of those surveyed (56%) said they have Internet safety strategies built into their curricula.
  • Just 59% of schools devote teacher professional development resources to Internet safety, while 82% of those surveyed would be interested in such a program.
  • 66% of survey respondents either use or plan to use Google Apps for Education™ or Office 365™ with their students.

“Student safety is one of the biggest concerns of school administrators, and as school leaders, it's our responsibility to assure their safety,” said AFSA President Diann Woodard. ”The survey results shine a particular light on the topic of student online safety, which often is at the root of why students feel depressed or angry, and the new infographic helps put the subject of student online safety front and center for school administrators.”

Survey respondents included building principals (35%), technology directors (28%), superintendents (7%), school resource/safety officers (4%) and other AFSA members.

“By working with AFSA on this survey, we have been able to assess what administrators across the country are doing about student online safety,” said Gaggle’s CEO, Jeff Patterson. “For more than 15 years, we’ve been keeping students safe by working with schools around the country to create safe digital learning environments.

Gaggle Safety Management combines technology, including an Anti-Pornography Scanner and customizable Blocked Words List, with expert Student Safety Representatives who review content in Google Apps for Education™ or Office 365™ to assure students are safe.

The infographic also includes data from Gaggle Safety Management, including alarming percentages on the amount of violence and other threats to students during one school semester, as well as ideas on how to promote digital citizenship from educational consultant Mike Ribble and Gaggle.

"There's an old saying, 'If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything',” said P. Edward Cancienne, Jr., Superintendent, Iberville Parish School System in Louisiana. “Our students need to stand strong and possess strong values, and technology plays a big part in that. If we want them to be exposed to 21st-century technology and become immersed in it, then we need to make sure they are safe."

To help administrators address the issues around student online safety, Gaggle is holding a series of Student Online Safety Symposiums. Symposium attendees engage in strategic and tactical discussions, learn more about keeping students safe, and enjoy networking opportunities with their peers. Events already have been held in Baton Rouge, Denver and Phoenix, with future events tentatively planned for Charlotte, the New York metropolitan area and Birmingham, Alabama.

“The number one priority of an educator should always be school safety,” said Scott Campbell, Superintendent, Widefield School District 3 in Colorado. “If you're not willing to be aware of the environment that kids are living in, and teachers are teaching in, you're not doing everything you can to protect students."

About AFSA
As the only national education union for school administrators, the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) provides labor relations and professional and occupational services to public school principals, vice principals, administrators and supervisors in diverse school districts across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Affiliated with the AFL-CIO, AFSA has been fighting for quality public school education for students of all backgrounds since 1976. AFSA’s mission is to promote the professional, occupational and economic interests of its 20,000 members and to fight for the highest quality public school education for all pupils.

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