Mobile County Public Schools has a new tool in its commitment to keep students safe.
For several years now, the system has been utilizing the LearnSafe computer monitoring system to screen communications on system computers for threatening or inappropriate use. Now SlateXP, the vendor that offers the LearnSafe system, is adding a new tool – automatic alerts to MCPSS resource officers.
MCPSS Director of Security Andy Gatewood said he and his resource officers receive a text message and email when the LearnSafe software detects words or images that indicate a potential immediate threat to schools, students or faculty.
“The things we get emails or text messages about are the things that need immediate attention,” Gatewood said. “As a whole, the general nature of the program makes kids in schools safer by allowing us to be proactive in stopping an incident before it happens.”
The LearnSafe system captures screenshots of digital communication – whether it be keystrokes or the viewing of websites – that includes threatening or inappropriate language or images, cyberbullying, predatory behavior, discussion of suicide, and other potentially dangerous or inappropriate exchanges. It also captures the IP address, location and username involved in the questionable communication, as well as the date and time it occurred.
The monitoring is active for anyone who uses school system computers – students, teachers, administrators and staff. MCPSS resource officers monitor the system daily, but Gatewood said the alerts will give his officers a better chance to head off trouble before it starts.