Six Considerations Missing from the School Safety and Data Conversation

Across the country, education leaders and policymakers are searching for answers to a complicated and deeply-felt question: how to keep students safe, especially in the wake of school shootings. Many are turning to technology and data for the answers. Some schools and districts are experimenting with large-scale social media monitoring, security cameras with anomaly detection software, and increased data sharing across departments and with law enforcement. A 2018 Florida law requires education, mental health, juvenile justice, and social media data to be integrated in a central database and shared across agencies, including with law enforcement. Reports from the Federal Commission on School Safety and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission have made recommendations for increased data collection and digital surveillance of students, including social media monitoring, suspicious activity reporting, and data sharing with law enforcement. States,…

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