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Report: GoGuardian Software Helps Stop Suicide

Suicide prevention is a sensitive, yet ongoing topic of discussion in schools. It often goes hand-in-hand with the subject of bullying, but a school may have stumbled upon a way to catch the early signs of suicide in grades K-12. Security software by the name of GoGuardian may have prevented a potential suicide thanks to its interface.

“Ken Yeh is the director of technology at Ontario Christian Schools, a private K-12 school near Los Angeles with about 100 children per grade,” according to NPR.

“Three years ago, the school began buying Google Chromebook laptops for every student in middle and high school.”

The GoGuardian software installed in these devices was added security for parents and students. The software helps schools narrow down inappropriate websites to prevent students from accessing them. It also helped Yeh realize that a student may be having suicidal tendencies.

“‘When I came to work,’” he told NPR, “he received an indicator that a student had searched for suicide and several related terms.”

"I then went in to view the student's browsing history around this time period."

Yeh noticed a pattern in more of the search terms that the student was browsing for. All of the terms were related to self-harm, which was a clear red flag for Yeh. He alerted the principal and the guidance counselor of the school to see if they could possibly intervene before it was too late.

“Yet in the three years that GoGuardian has been in use at this school, this type of incident has happened three separate times, he says,” according to the report.

“And GoGuardian says that across the 2,000 districts where its software is in use, they've heard similar anecdotes dozens of times.”

The report states that suicide is the third leading cause of death among those ages 10 to 24. It’s a matter of life and death, and in this case the technology combined with Yeh’s quick thinking was able to prevent a potentially fatal event.

Read the full story here.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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