SCOTTS VALLEY, CA – October 13, 2015 – SchoolMessenger, the trusted platform for school community engagement and a part of West Corporation, is recognizing national Safe Schools Week by raising awareness about an often-overlooked topic: student email safety.
More and more, schools are providing students with email accounts, but many of them are not aware of the risks of doing so. Students can be exposed to inappropriate content very easily, as well as share inappropriate content with each other.
To raise awareness of the risks posed by commonly-used school communications tools, SchoolMessenger is releasing new professional development materials for K12 educators during America’s Safe Schools Week, October 18-24.
“Educators are often are surprised to learn how often students exchange inappropriate messages or content using school-provided communications tools,” said Robert Iskander, general manager. “Our student email safety system, SchoolMessenger SafeMail, identifies an average of six student conversations per school per month on topics such as bullying and suicide. By learning more about how to identify key factors that will increase school safety, educators can work with students to ensure that their schools are safe environments for learning.”
A new white paper released in advance of Safe Schools Week, “Becoming CIPA Compliant withGoogle Apps and Office 365,” explores how popular applications like Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365 Education may put students at risk of exposure to inappropriate content and schools at risk of legal threats. The white paper describes how most school filtering solutions have not kept pace with current school communications technologies, leaving many students at risk of exposure to pornography, harassing messages, and other inappropriate content. Beyond the threat to student well-being, the white paper details the ways that schools could put their E-Rate funding at risk or become a target for lawsuits if they fail to address these vulnerabilities.
SchoolMessenger is also partnering with Scott Poland, Ed.D., an internationally-recognized school psychologist and crisis expert to produce a webinar on the safety threats that are often discussed by students in their school-provided email accounts – bullying, suicide, school violence, and other issues. In the free webinar, “Critical Issues in School Safety: Lessons from the Front Lines,” on Oct. 20, Poland will share his wealth of practical experience in school crises and provide effective strategies for helping prevent crises from occurring and increasing school safety.
These professional development materials build on SchoolMessenger’s ongoing commitment to provide K12 schools with the most trusted communications tools and information. Iskander said that during the 2014-2015 school year, the SchoolMessenger Communicate notification service delivered over 70 million messages related to school safety issues.
SchoolMessenger, part of West Corporation, is the trusted provider of K-12 communications solutions. Thousands of school districts, charter schools, private schools, and other educational institutions in all 50 U.S. states and Canada depend on SchoolMessenger products and services. From notifications and websites to custom mobile apps and social media, school leaders have relied on the SchoolMessenger platform since 1999 to engage with their communities in multiple languages and on any device. To learn more about SchoolMessenger, visit www.schoolmessenger.com or call 888.527.5225.