It’s National Safe Schools Week and Bullying Prevention Month and schools in central Indiana are implementing new programs to help protect students.
Administrators at North Putnam Middle School launched Social Net Watcher at the beginning of the month. The computer program, developed in Indiana, works in “the cloud” to detect dangerous words posted on Facebook. If threatening words or indications of violence or suicide are found through the Social Net Watcher algorithm, the system will send a push alert to school administrators.
“This is designed to report that activity, gives the superintendent and principals a heads up and an alert before that happens and allows them to intercede,” said President of Social Net Watcher Bruce Canal.
North Putnam Middle School Principal Terry Tippin said he’s already gotten three alerts through the program. Two of them turned out to be false, but one was a legitimate concern about a student contemplating suicide. He said the post would have likely gone unnoticed by staff without the Social Net Watcher alert.