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Digital monitoring of students finds cries for help, threats

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ School officials in Omaha, Kearney and Schuyler and other communities have been using digital monitoring and surveillance as they try to stop the next school shooter or the next student suicide.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that education technology companies such as Securly, Gaggle and Social Sentinel offer products that scan students’ online communications and flag threats, drug references or signs of potential self-harm.

The scans are mostly limited to school emails or activity on school computers or internet networks, not private accounts.

The steps to scan the students’ communications have drawn cheers from parents and principals who fear they can’t keep up with tech-savvy kids. But the scans also raise concerns about overreach from advocates for student privacy.

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