promoting student safety online in times of turmoil and trouble

Last week’s fatal shootings of two black men and several Dallas police officers are causing many Americans (and others) to ponder racism, extremism and violence in ways they have not before. Today, we have the technology and ability to watch the heartbreaking and terrifying footage of Alton Sterling being shot all over the internet. Thus, our young people, children and students have access to this media as well.

Although technology does a lot of good for us, having access to violent materials online is not a benefit for young, formative minds. Racist ideologies and extremist views are said to form at an early age. Social media and the internet make it easy for young people to witness violence online. Because of this, it’s of extreme importance for schools, parents and communities to educate and safeguard students from harmful messages and materials — not just physically, but also on school technology, which is becoming the most prevalent pathway for student communication.

Students face a multitude of risks on the internet today.

The following statistics paint the picture of the dangers students face today:

  • 90 percent of teens who report being cyberbullied have also been bullied offline.
  • 89 percent of students who identify as LGBT were bullied in the past year based on their sexual orientation.
  • According to U.S. Justice and Education departments data, racial bullying is very prominent in teens ages 12 to 18.
  • More than one third of adolescents who report being bullied report bias-based school bullying.
  • Students who engage in bullying behavior are at an increased risk for academic problems, substance use and violent behavior later in adolescence and adulthood.
  • Students victimized by their peers were 2.4 times more likely to report suicidal ideation and 3.3 times more likely to report a suicide attempt than youths who reported not being bullied
  • A recent study reported 50 percent of eating disorder patients have been bullied about weight or looks.
  • Twenty-three of 42 currently active extremist groups designated by the US. Department of State as Foreign Terrorist Organizations utilize school-aged youth in some capacity.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to intervene with these dangers and risks.

These startling statistics clearly show that American youths are subject to a multitude of dangerous issues and risks. They encounter them predominantly while on the internet and social media. To combat and address these factors, educators and parents must find ways to educate youth on them. Some parents might allow their children to roam the internet freely as long as they have a rule that the child must discuss and ask questions about anything troubling they’ve seen, for example. Schools must have measures in place in which to detect, address and intervene when students are at risk online.

Online monitoring software can help eliminate risks, educate students, and keep them safe

Impero Education Pro internet safety software can help parents and educators alike keep children safe and informed on the violent or disturbing materials on the internet. Impero Education Pro’s monitoring software monitors students’ online activity, which helps schools detect issues, spot patterns in online behavior and intervene appropriately. Not only can monitoring detect threats of racial bullying, but it can also flag issues such as extremism and radicalization, LGBT derogatory language, suicide, weapons, violence and self-harm. By identifying these issues safeguarding staff can intervene, mentor and — in cases where students are being exposed to racial and religious bias, and/or extremist content — offer vital counter narratives that can educate students on the dangers of these behaviors and ideals.

Impero Education Pro updated online monitoring keyword libraries are available now.

Impero recognizes the importance of student safety and has developed an updated online monitoring keyword library with the help of nonprofit organization experts and school focus groups. These libraries detect and flag an exhaustive list of phrases and definitions in the following categories:

Racial and Religious Hatred; Weapons and Violence; Eating Disorders; Suicide; Self-Harm; Adult Content; LGBT Derogatory Language; Radicalization and Extremism.

The updated keyword library function is free to existing Education Pro customers by contacting Impero Customer Support Portal for download instructions. New customers receive the full updated keyword library with purchase of Education Pro.

For the full updated keyword library launch press release, click here.

To find out more about how Impero education network management software can help your school with online monitoring, request a free demo and trial on our website. To talk to our team of education experts, call 877.883.4370, or email Impero now to arrange a call back.