Digital Footprint's Role in Risk Assessment for Violence Prevention

Want to protect your school with Raptor?

More schools trust the Raptor system than every other system in the U.S. combined
Video Transcript
*This webinar was transcribed by Artificial intelligence software and may not accurately transcribe the full content of this webinar. Please view the webinar video to get the most accurate account.

Welcome everyone and thank you for joining today’s Webinar hosted by raptor technologies. I’m Eileen Shahada, senior vice president at raptor and I will be facilitating today’s presentation and discussion. So in this Webinar of the raptor school safety series, our guest speaker Theresa Campbell will talk about how do you social media to gather information, identify and document potential school safety risks. Following Ms Campbell’s presentation, we will hear briefly from Jim Vesterman, CEO of raptor who will provide us with a quick overview of the raptor solutions available to support your school safety initiatives and then we’ll move into the live Q and. A. So as you have questions, feel free to enter them into the chat box at any time. Also, you will receive a copy of the recording of this webinar in your email following the Webinar just in case you’d like to refer back to it. I’m thrilled to now introduce our guest speaker.

Theresa Campbell is the president of safer schools together, which she established in 2008 to provide opportunities for extensive professional development in the areas of safe and caring schools and violence prevention. Previously as manager of safe schools for the Surrey School district, she has been responsible for the conceptualization, development and implementation of many highly successful evidence based prevention and intervention programs aimed at enhancing school and staff safety. Many of these projects have also been recognized and implemented worldwide and then prior to Surrey School district, Theresa spent 10 years with the Vancouver School district where she worked extensively with at risk and gang associated use. Ms. Campbell developed the first web based anonymous reporting tool and was awarded the prestigious Frederick Milton Thrasher Award for Superior Service and gang prevention and she is also the executive producer of five award winning gang prevention documentary. Ms. Campbell will be joined today by Sam Jink forests by the president at safer schools together. Ms. Campbell, thank you so much for joining us. Hi, thank you for having us here today. We’d also like to thank the audience. Before we get started, we’d like to take Sam for taking the time to be here today and thank you to everybody for the role that they play in ensuring safe and caring school communities. It is with great pleasure. Uh, with me today that I introduced damaging for us rather than the safer schools together.

Oh, good morning. Yeah, I’ll go ahead and get started. Thanks Teresa. Um, so I thought I’d just, uh, introduce folks to, uh, or start off really with a way that I’ve never started off any other presentation over the last five years. I’ve kept it pretty consistent and that’s just a, a very clear acknowledgement that I think we can all see that we’re dealing with a very different generation of kids than we ever have in the, and then we deliver it through our organization presentations to students and parents and, and staff members and the community partners all across North American. I always start with this slide, um, where, you know, you’ll get adults that we’ll all laugh and they’ll look at the realization of this, but you’ll get a lot of kids that will look at this and say, yeah, I get it. It’s a meme. And, um, you know, it’s something that they know to be a reality here today.

But I think one of the things when we look back at Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs from a psychological perspective, we can start to see what does it actually take to reach self actualization at the very top. You know, of course we have to cover the basic physiological safety needs of our kids, but there’s been some new variables that have been added to the very bottom of that table that I don’t think any of us can argue with. It’s almost be God given constitutional, Constitutional Charter of rights and freedoms, right to have access to a constant 100% battery life and Wifi. So I think the game has changed. The rule book has changed and as such, the conversation that we’re talking about here today has evolved

[inaudible] the conversation as well right now in relationship to the amazing PSA is being provided by standing up promise. Pretty important. I think the understanding of the discussion around all the time is very important, but I also think it’s time that our school district threat assessments recognize where they have to go to look for the sign. Importantly, what they’re going to do with the sign. Identify those. Even the nature of the day. I hear about the violence or risk assessment model developed in Canada by my partner and colleague that’s referred to as the violence definite model. One of the things that I found early out or a school shooting that we had here in Canada was eight days after Columbia and we had like the u s experienced school shootings previous to that, but because it was eight days after Columbia and there was a lot of concern throughout federal government, uh, in the provincial government that this was a copycat, uh, active violence.

I think it’s really important as we move forward today, uh, there are very few cases, uh, that are known to me and other professionals in this field. We’re a high profile incidents. I’ve heard in one of our communities and somebody goes from where everything’s Okay and then copycat the actual act itself. So it’s important to point that out, especially when we often hear through the media media that it was a copy. Yet. It’s important to recognize that the cases we’ve been involved with and the work to the Violence Risk Assessment Lens, we know very clearly that everybody goes through what’s referred to as that pathway of justification prior to a rat being not that act of violence. So that’s an important piece to recognize. The other important piece that was identified as well through the work that led the way at that particular time was was very, very concerning to us that we found that actually the real challenge we had in school that often schools for under-reacting to blatant indicators that a young person was on the pathway, either homicide and or suicide and a of that stem from the school districts are not engaging in data-driven threat assessments, but it was more about what do we know about this kid here and now, and if it was a young person that was not on their radar previously for other behavioral related events, therefore they assume that the risk was lower because he or she was considered a good kid.

No history of violence in that particular part of our work. We refer to that as a good kid, had no history of violence. We refer to that as the quilt that sometimes kills, sadly enough. So it is important at this point in time that we ensure that our current threat assessment teams are making sure that they’re engaging in a data driven process. We’re not making emotionally based assessments. Whether or not that young person poses a risk. I can also acknowledge for me as well, it was often assume that often we pay closer attention to those individuals that are already on our radar. They already have an established behavioral baseline, and yet these other individuals were in fact, they haven’t been on our radar. We have to recognize it if in fact they’ve never been on our radar before. But now there’s making threats to kill.

Uh, we’re told that they have a hit list. We have to understand that as a significant peak in that young person’s behavioral baseline. So we will do want to be reliant on the fact that we want to be focused on engaging in data-driven assessments. Who else are we interviewing in relationship to recent changes in that young person’s life? Who else should we be connecting with? So for me, in the world of Behavioral Threat Assessment, they, the digital data lens today is an amazing gift to us. Amazing gift for us. Now, while we recognize that for one young person making a threat versus an individual who’s actually engaged in behaviors consistent with that threat, that data and evidence for us is now fact found when we were nowhere to go to obtain publicly available open source social media information. And therein lies the evolution, if you will. Now the digital threat assessment training that we provide.

And I’d love to speak to a little bit more to that. I think one of the things that has evolved certainly over the last number of years is recognized as Theresa mentioned, where we can go to find that information. But certainly I can speak to, um, the increase in threats that we’ve seen really over the last number of years. But certainly we can all acknowledge a spike in those, in those incidents. There are at least reported incidents, uh, since the events that have transpired in Florida or in Florida very tragically. But what we’re looking at here on the screen is something that unfortunately, our team here at Sabre schools together as well as our colleagues across the country are dealing with quite literally on a daily and a weekly basis. And that is a, a threat posted typically and often on snapchat that says, don’t come to school tomorrow.

There’s going to be a school shooting. This now lands on many of the colleagues desks across North America and many of which are on this call. They’re now task whether they like it or not, with having to deal with this on next steps in terms of what to look for and whether this is a credible or not. So I think one of the things that is very pertinent as it is for us to get a better understanding of where the state actually comes from, how we can assess it in a very, um, quick and, uh, in a way that allows us to have a little bit more confidence in what we’re seeing. So I want you to take a look at the threat that we have here on the screen and that came initially from Twitter, uh, that says going to shoot up my school.

And this is something that if you haven’t faced yet at your district, um, consider yourself lucky, but expect that this threat will land on your desk in the, in the near future. One of the things that I want us to recognize as, especially when we’re dealing with images, whether it be a of a self harm or a suicide related events or a firearm image as we have in front of us here where it says, gonna shoot up my school, think I’m playing with a pin tweet meeting and it shows up automatically at the very top of that Twitter page. In other words, if the statement, I want us to recognize that we have the ability to be able to do a screenshot just of that Teknion or Uzi related gun that’s in front of us and do what’s called a reverse image search. And that’s where we can basically take that image and throw it back to Google.

Instead of searching for gun-related images, we can now take that image, throw it to Google and ask Google, have you ever seen this image before? And if so, where? Show me exactly where you’ve seen that. Any it’s either going to produce a result that’s statistically significant or insignificant if you want to get technical. But quite literally it’ll say, no, I’ve never seen that image before. In which case it would be our suspicion or at least a hypothesis that that could be an actual photo that was just taken by this young person or by someone that Google is not able to find and source anywhere else. But in the case of this ladder photo and the results that you see here on the screen, if you look at the top left hand corner in less than one second, 0.88 seconds, Google gives us a result that it seen this image almost 289 other different websites where it’s gonna make a guest for the image that, I guess this is the gun of course, but the Golden Willy Wonka ticket that we teach through within digital threat assessment is looking for when Google gives us that title pages that include matching images to the US, that that gives us a high degree of confidence that we’re dealing with a stock image.

Or in other words, an image that was downloaded from the Internet and re-uploaded by this student to say, this is what I’m, you know, I’m proporting to actually threaten. And I think one of the things certainly that we do is try to get a better sense of credibility of information. But in the social media world that there are courses, a number of different lenses and we want to speak as much as we can, which I think is our purpose in this webinar here on the preventative side of how we get out ahead of the next threat or the next possible incident that’s developing. But another piece of the work of course is the trauma response. So we put together, um, our team, um, you know, after getting the initial call within the first 20 or 30 minutes of the events that transpired at Soman Douglas High School in Florida, uh, our team was on it immediately and we were able to put together a, what we would call a, uh, publicly available open source digital student digital baseline or community digital baseline report where basically we’re gonna go and crowd source information from students and individuals in the area, uh, that are producing localized and relevant content in the minutes as the events are actually transpiring.

And as you can see here on the screen, you know, this was a, an image that got shared on Twitter and we were able to find it before it actually got pumped out to the tens of thousands of other websites. But being able to actually see students in a lockdown type scenario tweeting and posting off to snapchat in real time. Uh, it’s something that we see in almost every single one of these cases. So knowing not only where to go to get and information about how we can actually harvest, save it before that information actually disappears. So one of the things we’ll be talking about in this Webinar is giving you a solution to be able to download videos as soon as you come across them to screenshot images as soon as you come across them. Because we know in the social media world it’s there one second and it’s gone the next.

Here’s the, the very tragic and graphic example of one of the snapchat stories that was actually posted on the public snapchat story for Stoneman Douglas of law enforcement actually entering the classroom, leading students out, carrying them out as bodies are displayed on the floor of their, of their peers and their classmates with blood all around them. So they’re being led out of the classroom. Meanwhile, sharing that content in real time and in some cases live either on an app like Facebook live or on periscope or actually added in real time to the public snapchat story. So there’s the trauma response piece, but unfortunately, as we all know, um, and we can say this quite confidently through our work in, in consulting on, um, and reviewing the tragic aftermath of high profile cases over the last five years of school violence and school shootings, etc. Unfortunately, very tragically, and each one of those cases there was pre-incident leakage hosted onto social media at of time.

Pre-Incident indicators. It’s very easy for us as a society, I think to look at posts like this and say, wow, all the signs were there. But hindsight’s 2020, uh, to be able to look back. And I think that’s one of the things that when we start to flip the script and try and get out ahead of some of these incidents, knowing what the warning signs are to look for both behaviorally within school. So getting our students being better at human detectors, but online having the real conversation with them about we want you to report worrisome behavior when you come across it. If you see your friend posting a picture of a gun that says, don’t come to school tomorrow, you need to let somebody know about that. So there’s a number of pieces that you know is beyond the scope of a 40 minute or an hour webinar here today, but we’re hoping to get some insight into some actionable places that we can go and find information like this. So I’d like to turn it back over to Teresa to talk a little bit more about the, the threat assessment lens.

As Sam mentioned, he is talking about the leakage and pre-incident indicators, which is what we see most often in many, many of the tragic cases that we’ve dealt with. But I, I want us to kind of reframe our thoughts. And again, going back to that vitro model, there’s three hypotheses that we want people to recognize. Those posts, those threats, we want people. But by these, these three, she had offices to every single case that we face in first and foremost. Uh, let’s consider at the very least at those posts and those threats are a cry for help. So even if we anticipate or we believe this to be a good kid, this individual’s never been in trouble before. What else is going on for this young person or this individual to now be engaged in threat related behavior? So we always want our teens to remember that.

The number one hypothesis is that it’s a cry for help. And that plays out for us currently in a number of are anonymous threats that we’re seeing. And we’ve definitely seen a significant spike in the non US threats in school washrooms, a online, we’re in fact, individuals that are in emotional pain are actually self authoring threat against themselves. So for example, in this particular case we’re assisting law enforcement, uh, as they were investigating this particular file for a while as this young person had been sharing for a while that she was being targeted. And the reality was, is that because they couldn’t find any evidence to support, uh, her claims, I’ve just kind of asked if they remember the number one hypotheses and threat assessment and they said, Oh darn, uh, in the end. And I told them that that wasn’t it. But, uh, that was a good attempt.

But the reality is we have to look at the fact that the individual target themselves may actually be the author. So again, as we see in this particular case, she was the author of her own threat coming back to the cry for help by giving, even just the last few months we’ve dealt with a number of anonymous hit lists that have been found on, posted on other related websites. And one of the things I want teams to do is look at the possibility and having the hypotheses that the targets themselves and even at a target on the hatless may very well be the author. So it’s very important to apply the cry for help to all of the threats that we’re currently dealing with. The second one that is so important is conspiracy of two or more. Who else behind the scenes may know about this individual who’s making threats, who may be behind the scenes providing further justification for this individual to carry out the threats.

And so we always say to all of our school administrators, we want them to apply these two questions. Every single case they deal with, even if it’s not even a threat assessment case, even if it’s a fight club that’s occurring, but we want to understand who else knows about it, who else may be involved and what role could they currently play in the overall level of risk of the actual threat itself. So that is imperative. So that’s the pairing aspect. And again, welcome to the digital world. We’re also now recognizing and have been involved in a number of high profile threat assessment cases where in fact that the individual providing justification for a young person to continue to evolve on the pathway towards engaging in serious violence has been somebody in another state, in another country who behind the scenes encouraging them to carry out their attack.

So again, so important in our threat assessments that we’re able to do our digital digging if you will, to find out if there is a co-conspirator that is also contributing to low level of risk in relationship to leakage. This also comes back to the point of those pre-incident indicators. As we know going as far back as co, uh, Columbia. And even previous to that, we know that individuals knew that the attack was going to happen and now again we see the digital leakage, but we do know individuals do share the information with their friends, which is why many, many years ago at the time we, we did start to develop one of the first anonymous online based reporting tool and I here in Canada, and I think it’s important as well with the anonymous reporting tools, regardless of what tool people use, that they recognize the importance that we have that today because kids do want to share what they’re coming across in relationship to those snapchat posts, those individuals talking about wanting to shoot up the school, et Cetera.

So I think it’s imperative is schools do not have already. They really do require having an anonymous at based tool and I think it goes beyond see something, say something. I think we’re in a society right now with everything that’s occurring. I worry that students and young people, people are losing faith in the response of the adults and I think more important than ever. We have to make sure that it’s see something, say something, but we need to reinforce that we will do something. Given the nature of the current context of today’s climate, that there’s hypotheses in, in, in our field of violence. Risk assessment is what I refer to as the f word in threat assessment. Meaning what else do we know about this threat maker and is there any evidence of fluidity? Meaning is this somebody we’re responding to because they’re engaging in behaviors within the homicidal domains, which is where threats would lie, but do we know if we talked to the right people, if this is also a young person who’s engaged in any behaviors that reside within the suicidal, that domain.

Because when we see the evidence of both those cases increase in level of risk significantly. So it is imperative that we are talking to the right people when we’re looking for that information. We’re also coming across and documenting that information as well through the digital information that we find where we find actually this individual as well two months ago was actually posting, uh, making posts while wanting to kill themselves. And then we’ve seen individuals provide further justification with their post by saying go ahead and kill yourself. Nobody wants you here as like on the homicidal side, we see many posts where someone talks about wanting to shoot up their school and then other individuals that follow actually to say, well no, you don’t have the balls to do it, you’re too much of a worse. Well that is a very concerning to us in the field of threat assessment because that could in fact increase that young person’s justification even more. I moved them further along the pathway to carry out. There are threats I would have to say as well a, this, this work specifically as well has played a significant role in identifying young people on the pathway to radicalization as well. And within this continuum, I would also throw the reference to religiosity in here as well. In some cases where we actually see suicidality, we see homicidality and evidence of religiosity

as well. So it played a significant role in both suicide risk prevention, uh, homicide risk prevention as well as radicalization.

Okay.

Let’s see. It’s come back to the digital world. I think it’s imperative right now that we, I mentioned earlier that we have a lot of people out there that can make a threat and it is one thing to engage in making a threat. It is another thing to engage in behaviors consistent with the threat, again, where the digital work comes in, but also where we have to take a look at making sure that we’re obtaining exactly what that individual’s digital and behavioral baseline looks like. And we typically will do that through the lens of an acronym for meaning. We want teams to look at the frequency of the individuals behave behavior in addition to intensity of behavior. Has there been a shift in the intensity of the behavior and also what is the recency of the behavior and it’s more common with online threats. By the time we start our threat assessment itself, the threat assessment, we determine in fact this young person has been making similar threats for a period of two years, three years. Well, when we confirmed that that in fact is the behavioral baseline of this young person, it does reduce the level of risk immediately because we’re determining that that has been that individual’s behavioral baseline.

Okay.

Okay. So I just wanted to jump in here and share a real life case where I think it’s important to look as recent as mentioning that at what that’d be behavioral baseline actually is. So in this particular case, this a young man came to the attention of a these security and safety manager at a, at a college and he came to the attention of that manager through a number of very peculiar behaviors that he was exhibiting in-person, particularly in, in a cafeteria for example, where he was overseen by staff members as doing the finger point a as well as sort of the finger point. Boom, your dad, boom, you’re dead. Boom, you’re dead. So luckily, um, a number of staff members reported that to the security. And safety manager in that specific community. They had good relationships with law enforcement. They were able to have a multidisciplinary threat assessment data collection process where basically they can share information as it pertains to this young man.

What do we know about him? Has the, what is his behavioral baseline look like in other areas? And one of the things that, uh, they were able to look at it, of course it was traditional sources of data. So we looked at police data, school data, they looked at mental health data as well. Based on those sources of data, they made an overall determination of level of risk of this young man being low to medium risk for him to cause harm to others. And Kerry actually carry out a threat. Now, one thing that wasn’t considered in making that determination was what the social media or digital baseline footprint look like for this young man. So that’s where we were able to provide some support as we do to school districts and law enforcement across the u s on a, on a daily basis. And we’re able to show them a post from this young man Instagram account, his youtube account, and this was opposed from his Instagram account that I now that you’ve had a couple of minutes to look at, I just want you to ask yourself if anything stands out to you as being a little bit unusual.

And one of the things that I’d like you to recognize the Z as two words tattooed on his chest. Um, one of them, uh, it says vodka and the other one says rebel. Uh, I can, we can corroborate that from other pictures that were shared on there. And that stood out to me, uh, in my brain as I’m looking through hundreds of videos and photos that sort of turned on a little light bulb in the back of my brain because I had recognized those two words from somewhere else. So one of the things that we know in, in today’s Day and age, when in doubt, Google it when in doubt, don’t be afraid to pump in a couple of words or a sentence to see if that comes up at song lyrics or where that actually comes from. So as soon as I did that and I put vodka and rebel both into Google, I very quickly realized where I had read those two words before.

And of course it was not just on the Wikipedia page for these two individuals, but it was also on some of the debrief, um, a column by an underground basement tapes where these two words wore the nicknames that were provided to these two individuals. So as you can imagine, now this data comes to the table. That threat assessment or the direction of it now takes a pretty significant turn in the intensity level where now that low to medium risk threat now elevates quite quickly to, uh, to high level of just based on some of the, what we would call inordinate knowledge that’s being displayed by this young man. Not only to identify with two school shooters from the past, but actually tattoo their two nicknames on his chest displays quite a high level of commitment. So one of the things moving on from there. So I guess my point with that is it’s important to pay attention to the small details as you’re working your way through the overwhelming amount of social media information, not losing sight of some of the smaller pieces in, you know, a have a reference of inordinate knowledge within a caption or a post or in some of the comments that are displayed.

That’ll show you a couple of examples of later. So speaking of those comments, just want to do to address something else within this field around social media monitoring. Um, and this is something that since we’ve been in this field for the last, uh, eight years, at least specifically for me working within the technology side of school safety, social media monitoring is a field that has emerged or did emerge. I will say, um, that, you know, would approach school districts, uh, all across the u s and provide them solutions on being able to monitor social media and give keyword alerts for issues that would come up. Uh, and this, you know, obviously to be very attractive to school districts as they wanted to get ahead of a lot of the concerning behavior that was being exhibited online. But one of the things that we saw this entire market vertical crash is when, uh, the American Civil Liberties Union put out a report that was critical of, you know, technology companies in general and how much information they’re collecting about us, but more specifically how law enforcement were using those.

So they put out a white paper, uh, on the HCLU side that was questioning at the very least, if not critical of this field. And as soon as they did that, what we had predicted for a very long time, which was that the advice that we were providing to school districts to pump the brakes on social media monitoring companies and learn the manual way to find this information. Because what happens if the relationship between data providers such as Facebook, Instagram, snapchat, and these companies that now sprung up to fill that void, actually, what does that relationship change? Which is exactly what happened when they put out their report. Twitter and all the big social media companies pulled back and all of that data. So basically all of those companies went to zero. One of the inherent challenges of course with with monitoring keywords in an online space at least manually is, or even using, uh, artificial intelligence and using computers to start to mind words is there can certainly be two different meanings to a word in many words.

In fact. So one of the challenges that keyword alerts would now produce it. They’d send you a result for anytime a student tweets or posts a photo with the word kill or bomb also meant that you’re getting posts like, like this one for example, where now this Instagram poll shows up in front of you, you have to now determine what, what threat assessment threshold or criteria has been breached here with what, of course, semantically within the word ladies there is Diet d. I. E. So if you have a keyword set up for dye, it also means you’re getting every single Instagram post or tweet that says pink ladies or ladies night, et Cetera. So as you can see with one of the challenges with keyword monitoring, we have to be able to ascertain the context around that post as well, which we’ll speak to some of the ways that we’re able to do that.

But again, I think it speaks to the importance of our team still being trained to be able to look for the information that they require to ensure that they’re engaged in a data driven threat assessment given every single threat that we’re currently dealing with tragically, uh, in Washington, uh, this past fall in the school killing, uh, in that state. Uh, one of the, again, the myth, a message I’m put across earlier was it’s one thing to make a threat, but are they engaging with behaviors consistent with the threat? Um, do they have access to the means? In this particular case, he posted numerous, uh, numerous images that that could be found where you’d actually see firearms that he had very easy access to in his bedroom. We also came across numerous live videos, uh, were in fact he was firing weapons. This and the threat world we refer to as rehearsal behavior, which could comes in another risk enhancer for us. So it’s not, we don’t look at it solely as this is just boys being boys, but this is also an individuals engage in rehearsal behavior. So this particular case, even from the initial digital data gathered would be deemed to be higher risk for that threat assessment team moving forward.

And just to sort of add to that as well, we had talked about the importance of wanting to stay videos and post as soon as you come across them. Um, this is all that more important when we’re dealing with videos, not only screenshots and traditionally we used to do print screens of pages and actually print them out. But, um, one of the things that we teach through our courses, which is readily available for all folks that are on this call is the ability to be able to snip and screenshot a portion of an image and save that as an image file. But if we are dealing with a video, I want all folks on the call to know that there are tools that are very freely and readily available that allow you to save, um, videos from youtube. But also, uh, I guess I can say from my side of the world, youtube videos are some of the easiest to save.

There’s hundreds of different tools that are available in the market that allow you to save youtube videos. If you just type youtube download into Google, you’ll see hundreds of different options. But I want to give one that went beyond just youtube and, and, and looked at how can you download a Facebook video, how can you download an Instagram video? And it says, buying up there and buying of course was owned by Twitter. It’s no longer a platform for a number of different reasons that I could get into, but the ability to be able to copy and paste a link from instagram.com forward slash the user forward slash the video, the actual URL address link for that video copy and paste it into a website like dre down has nothing to do with Dr Dre or Dr Pepper. But www dot dre down dot-coms provides us a very specific purpose and that allows us to save, uh, videos that we come across online.

So I would definitely encourage folks to take a look and utilize a video like that, a video downloading website like that. One of the other pieces that of course we need to address a on a conversation about online and social media related content is that fallacy of anonymity that so many of our kids fall for when I’m doing a student presentation to an assembly full of students. I talk to them about the fact that don’t be fooled by any platform, especially anonymous ones that allow you to be anonymous online and as such have um, you know, can do things that can be readily track back to you. I reinforced the fact that I’m on a daily basis, we find out who is actually behind, uh, an anonymous Instagram account that’s being created to target and harass other students at school or a, a huge increase in the number of both threats as well as harassment that we see in so many of these, uh, anonymous platforms that will come to light.

Really it’s the flavor of the week. It depends on what’s popular at the time. Previously in the social media world for our students, this was ask FM, this was whisper. This was apps like Yik Yak, the most prominent one that we’ve seen certainly over the last number of months, I would say six months to a year has been [inaudible] or Sarah. Huh. And that was a platform that is based out of Saudi Arabia and of course as such, provided a number of challenges for law enforcement trying to submit legal court orders and subpoenas to find out who’s actually behind one of these anonymous posts. The good news for that I’m happy to share with folks on the call today is that Saraha was pulled from the app store and the Google play store about three weeks ago as a result of cyber bullying related incidents and some of the public pressures. So I was very happy to see, um, those type of, uh, you know, these platforms actually starting to take accountability for the fact that they are providing these types of tools that are being used nefariously by our kids.

I think one of the things that we speak to within this field around why we’re seeing our kids act differently online than they do in person. I think when psychologists start to look at, they look at what’s called or they are determining the online disinhibition effect, where in other words being disinhibited because they’re not actually seeing the whites of the eyes or the people that they’re talking to in the reaction on their faces. The fact that they’re not communicating in real time and this perceived lack of authority contributes to the phenomenon. And I think all of us are seeing that pains us, I think as adults and human beings to see kids tell other kids go k y s which you could Google or use urban dictionary to translate, to go kill yourself. So when we’re trying to understand why our students are commenting on posts like this one, where a student as a cry for help is reading, we should note on Facebook or on Instagram or on snapchat saying, would you miss me if I’m gone?

If I took my own life today, would anybody care? Now this pains us as adults and human beings. We look at this and we want to be able to provide resources and support to the student. But unfortunately what they’re digesting is the comments that are being attached to a post like this where students are, or in some cases people that don’t even know this girl or this boy that are commenting and the trolls of the Internet are coming out of the woodwork and they’re saying, go ahead and kill yourself. Nobody would miss you. And then a lot of these cases that is the, the final string or source of justification that uh, tragically these students that are on a pathway towards self harm or taking their own life or in some cases homicide, they’ve actually received that justification from the comment section on their photos.

Here’s another example of a post where we could use reverse image search to actually crop that photo and throw it as a reverse image search back to Google, ask Google, is this a stock image or is this, um, something that they’ve never seen before? And in this case, even though this is a stock image of four collage images, I want folks to recognize that I’ve quite literally seen, we have seen this exact image duplicate, duplicated by a student saying, I want to create something like this on my own. And Google actually gives us a result that says, I’ve never seen that image, but the one here on the screen I’ve seen in a thousand different other places. One of the other things that of course professionals from from all walks of life to law enforcement, to school administrators, to teachers to counselors is getting a sense and an understanding of what that secret language actually looks like for our kids.

To be clear, this is no different than any youth lingo in the past of wanting to use different terminology that isn’t readily apparent, um, to adults. And this could be for example, likening or identifying with my secret family or secret society one, two, three for that matter. If you see that as a Hashtag on a photo, I want you to recognize that’s part of this trend of a small niche in a subgroup and Instagram and Tumblr. And Pinterest where students are actually in some cases wanting to change their name to that or to rex as a boy. Um, because of the fact that they are actually identifying with Anorexia. Meanwhile, it’s puzzling a lot of the adults in their life as they’re not able to ascertain what that actually means for them. So here’s another example of something that a, you know, social media posts that we’re able to do a reverse image search.

And this was sent to us by a superintendent at about five 30 in the morning saying, do I need to shut down my school today? And I asked him, have you done a reverse image search yet? And he said, no, you know, we’re dealing with police and a number of other things. I said, okay, let’s, let’s do that as one of the parallel processes. As soon as we were able to do that, of course we were able to see that that was in fact a stock image. So even though we’re um, somewhat short on time today and we don’t have time to walk through all the various, uh, searching capabilities that we do in our full day digital threat assessment course, I just want to make sure folks are comfortable. Um, knowing the process, which is to snip or save an actual image. If you’re on a Mac, you’re doing command shift and four all at once.

It’ll bring up a cross here that allows you to snip and save an image. Now going to Google images and locating the camera and the right hand corner next to the blue search bar, which says search by image. As soon as you click on that, it’ll bring up a window that allows you to paste in a direct URL or upload an image that you’ve just saved. You can then hit search and it will now cross-reference that image and give you a result that will be helpful for your digital data collection and threat assessment process. Another thing that I want us all to recognize given the proliferation of smartphones and the fact that we have gps capabilities built into all of them. It basically means that every single photo that we take on a smartphone that we’ve just unwrapped out of a box that we’ve used for the past two years without going into the settings to change it means that every single photo that’s been taken embeds a certain amount of metadata or data about the data of that photo.

In other words, if we think back to that beach photo in the previous slide, many folks will look at that and say, wow, I wonder where in the world that actually is. I look at that photo and I say, I wonder if there’s metadata below the surface, which would allow us to be able to see exactly where on the map that photo was taken from down to the exact gps location as well as the speed, the altitude, which of course in relation to sea level wouldn’t be very much, but just back to this slide here for a second. A couple of rules of thumb basically about metadata is the fact that social media platforms strip metadata off of photos. But if we text or email a photo to ourselves, um, that’s when we can access the raw metadata behind it. So a very quick one to be able to jog down.

And there’s a number of ways to look at metadata. One of them is to type X if viewer or Jeffries x if you are into Google, that would allow you to be able to look at the metadata photos that you’ve taken. So I’ve emailed two photos to myself here and I’ll just show you one of them an example. Uh, Theresa and I were delivering digital threat assessment training across the state of Colorado last fall and we are driving from Denver to Grand Junction, um, or Theresa was driving. In fact, I just want to be, uh, be very clear about that. So the speed limits were variable and we found ourselves pulled over at the time by this little blue lego man here. And I took a photo out of the back window of that vehicle cause I knew I would use it as an example the next day to make fun of Theresa.

But at the time, uh, this allows us to see how much metadata is behind that photo, which allows us to see the exact date and time down to the second of where that photo was taken. And when the exact gps coordinates down to the altitude. Of course we were in the state of Colorado, very high camera pointing north, which means it will actually post it down to a map down to, you know, a square block or in some cases a square kilometer or mile on the actual screen to see how fast we were going at the time. And of course because a, we were pulled over at the time, we’d expect the speed stamp on that photo to be zero kilometers and hour. I know most of our folks are from the United States and of course you use miles per hour. The speed, I’m not great at math, I’ll do the conversion for you.

It’s still zero. So think about the implications of how much data we can actually go and see from photos like this. This is a, the ability that if that feature is actually turned off, it means that it’s not going to embed the exact exact gps location and speed on every single photo, but that feature is on by default out of the box. Now, it wouldn’t be, it wouldn’t be purposeful for us in the last seven or eight minutes that we have here to not dig into snapchat a little bit. And some of the recent advancements in the fact that we still see snapchat as one of the main ways that our youth are communicating threats online. Of course given the fact that, um, these photos inherently disappear. So if beyond the scope of the couple minutes that we have here, but I do want to point out a couple of things to folks and that’s the fact that within snapchat itself, there is a cloud-based vault storage app that’s located within my memories.

But the the balls that you can actually pass for protect and store photos within snapchat. The app itself, which our students are aware of is called for my eyes only. We can look back of course, that recent chat history and see really the fact of how much, how a real quantitative representation of the fact that our kids are using snapchat as their primary communication platform. There’s a whole bunch of really exciting things that keeps our kid’s attention. Um, but just to name a few of them, if anyone has kids or has students that use snapchat, which I e is all of them, you need to be aware of this one feature in snapchat called what’s called a snapchat streak, which is the number of days consecutively that this user and Adarsh have sent at least one snapchat to each other per day. So as to maintain that streak, we can talk about all the various indications of what those emojis attached to individual users actually mean.

In this case, if we’re looking at the SMIRK Emoji, it means that you’re their best friend, but they aren’t your best friend. Anyways, I’ll let that a marinade with some folks here in the room and they can try and understand some of the secret lingo of our kids today. But back to cute things. Snapchat, I think one of the reasons why he was evaluated to be worth $36 billion last spring when their IPO hit the market was the ability that they continue to keep up with new and developing ways to be able to keep our kids attention, which of course allows you to swap faces with somebody next to you and produce this really weird Benjamin Button and reserve a reverse type, uh, uh, issue. I, I love technology myself. I really think that we should keep grandpa, grandpa and baby baby. One of the new, actually two new developments that I just want to speak to quite briefly within the world of snapchat that have completely changed the game from a social media investigator or a digital data collection standpoint, uh, over the past year have been snap map, which of course allows the ability to see where your friends are on a map in real time behind the scenes.

Snapchat bought this company called [inaudible] for $300 million, which rolls out as a feature for kids to be able to quite literally see where their friends are on a map in real time down to the exact square block on the right hand side, you see a young man who snapchat picks up on the fact that he’s listening to music because of the fact that the headphone jackets plugged into the bottom of that phone. So think about all of the various indicators on a personal safety as well as a public safety lens where snapchat could be utilized from the outside. We as professionals can access the snap map of a young person directly. But I want to just put this all in perspective. One of the best solutions to finding notes, uh, answers to questions or data, uh, with school administrators around the country is for them to ask students directly.

If the student comes down to the office and says, one of my friends just posted something really concerning online. Instead of asking the name of that student and going back to the intranet to try and find them, use the relationship that you have already asked them to show it to you. A map dot. snapchat.com is an example of where folks can actually go in the last couple of months. This came out as the ability to be able to go and search snapmap from a website, which was never previously available. Now the second snapchat feature that I want all folks to know about within snapchat the, and this came out last June, is a new feature, which is the magnifying glass in the top left hand corner of the image on the right, which is the search bar, which allows us to search for other users. But it also allows us to search for specific locations in schools. Um, so every school has a public snapchat story that is different from an individual snapchat story. And where we see this play out is the students are adding photos and videos in real time to the school’s public snapchat story, which in the case on the left, you are seeing, uh, you know, question. Uh, or a student really asking, do you want answers to this test? And on the right hand side, the school’s about to be shot up.

So I know we’re a little bit limited for time and I just want to make sure that we’re able to round this off on a sort of a comprehensive basis, making sure that we’re aware of that vault apps are in existence and they’re being actually labeled and disguised as other apps that we might see on the smartphone. So a calculator might not be a calculator in and of itself, but the three that are circled here are actually balt calculator wraps, which allow us to store and hide content within it. Now, Instagram, um, of course is number two in popularity behind snapchat for our kids, but making sure are we aware of of a student’s main Instagram account as well as potentially their second, third, fourth, fifth or, or six different account privacy as it relates to Instagram is either public or private. Um, and of course one of the things that we, uh, we make sure we want to pay attention to is if we’re not able to find a student online through this threat assessment process, making sure that we know who five or six of the peers are so that we can go into their followers list to find out.

Last but not least, making sure that we’re able to recognize where Instagram direct as a feature actually resides within Instagram, which is a private messaging mailbox and one-to-one communication for our kids.

Yeah.

Um, just as a very last tidbit, making sure that folks are not searching Instagram of their students from their own personal smartphones. This is one of the most common practices, but it’s not the best practice because one of the worst things that we see or have found is that as Admin, as school administrators or even school resource officers are scrolling through that Instagram feed on their own personal phone, their thumb or finger accidentally slipped, they’ve double tap the middle of that picture and now all of a sudden a notification has been sent to that student that that administrator or school resource officer just like that individual’s photo. So the reason you’re looking at Taylor swift’s Instagram page here, I want folks to recognize that we can search Instagram without having an account. If we actually look through instagram.com forward slash user Taylor swift, very top of the search or very top of the page, you’ll see a search bar, which is your entry point into the social media world. So I know we were kind of rushed for time. I want to make sure that we keep on the strict timelines that we have, but just wanting to throw a menu or other sort of scope of services that our organization offers that any of the folks on the call here are welcome to follow up with us and, and um, look at some further information. But I wanted to turn it back over to, um, our folks over at Raptor and specifically Jim Vesterman, the CEO of raptor technologies. Just to wrap us up here.

Well, thank you very much. This is Jim Vesterman. Thank you very much too. Both, uh, presenters,

I think, uh, everyone, uh, called. What a great, not only is this a useful, but a very important information these days. What we’re going to do in a couple of minutes here is do a live Q and a. So if you haven’t yet, uh, submitted questions, please go into the chat bar and simply submit your questions. We will then come back and, and, uh, have a live Q and A. Eileen will be co-leading those questions over the next couple of minutes. In the meantime, I’m going to do a very brief overview of raptor. For those of you who aren’t familiar with raptor. Um, we are the nation’s leading provider of integrated school safety technologies. You can see a little bit of a heat map here. We serve over 20,000 K-12 schools across the United States. Everything from the top 10 largest districts in America down to single school districts and absolutely everything in between. So, uh, if you, no matter what your district looks like in terms of size and area of the country, country, we probably have a a dozen if not hundreds of similar districts that are already clients of raptor.

We provide three main solutions. Uh, the first is of visitor management solution. So knowing exactly who is coming in and out of your schools at all times, given your, your, uh, school and electronic log of those visitors, contractors, volunteers, et cetera. Because it’s an electronic log. It actually allows you to run a couple of instant checks so it can run an instant sex offender of background check. Uh, and it can also run an incident custom alert check against any custom a database you’d like, including banned visitors as well as custody issues. Um, so that is the basics of our visitor management solution. We also have an end to end volunteer management solutions. So this volunteer management solution handles everything from the online volunteer application through to the full criminal background. Check on that, volunteer through to logging the hours of that volunteer through to reporting. So an end to end volunteer management system and finally an emergency management solution.

And that’s what I’m going to touch on here today. Given the topic. Our emergency management solution has two main components. The first is what’s called raptor drill manager. It basically allows you to schedule, track and run all of your drills all in one spot. So no more excel spreadsheets, no more Google docs, no more receiving faxes and emails, uh, have filled out pieces of paper you can schedule, push out to your schools track. Uh, and maintain all of your drills in one electronic spot. It takes away a tremendous amount of work. It makes reporting extremely easy as well as including automatic notifications reporting on your drills. And the second piece of the raptor emergency solution is what we call raptor reunification. This a element allows you to manage both drills and actual emergencies using 21st century tools. So I think the presenters talked a lot about the digital transformation and how that’s affecting schools.

All the digital transformation has given us a lot of tools. Um, and so for example, uh, the raptor unification application allows you to mobily access student rosters, not a roster others printed out six months ago, actual student rosters that were updated that day or the or the day before on a mobile device. So we have mobile access to these student rosters to give you real time status and location of your students and your faculty. It also allows you to access your emergency plans mobily. You can, you can give these credentials to first responders if you’d like, so that they can access your emergency plans mobily and it handles everything all the way through to a parent reunification, which many of you on the phone know is a, is a very complex, uh, operation, which many districts don’t even practice because it’s complex. But the raptor reunification application allows you to run both a practice reunification as well as handle a live reunification.

And our clients are showing times that are basically four times faster than paper and pencil a reunification. So I’m going to show just a little visual here so you can get a better sense for what the raptor reunification application can do in both drills and emergencies. I’m gonna take an example here of a lockdown situation where an SRO is your incident commander. But keep in mind this could be a fire, a fire drill, a gas leak, a shelter. It could be any type of emergency situation or drill. And the incident commander can be an SRO, a principal, a vice principal, a district level emergency staff. So this is just one example, but it applies to all types of drills and all types of emergencies. So if you were to undergo a lock lockdown, for example, you would follow your normal procedures that I’m sure you have in place today.

Perhaps that’s a, uh, plain English, uh, announcement over the PA system. But at the same time, what this application allows you to do is also send out alerts to staff both at the district level and at the school level. So it allows you to initiate an incident. It walks you through some basic questions. Is this a drill or an emergency? What type? So if you follow the standard response protocol, you can have this application exactly match the standard response protocol. If you have your own variation, it can exactly match your own set of, uh, emergency types. You can choose the school and essentially initiate an incident. When you do initiate an incident, it will double confirm for you because at that point, alerts are going out across the building. So again, you’ve, you’ve done your PA announcement, but you’re also getting alerts sent out across the building.

And where are the real change comes in is inside the classroom. So in a normal situation, you know there’s many responses to this. A lot of people are moving toward run, hide, fight. But I would say probably the most common response in a lockdown situation is to lock the door, turn out the lights and hide in the corner. But at that point in time, incident commanders, the district really has zero visibility inside the classrooms. But with the raptor application you actually have full visibility. So the staff members simply need to take out any mobile device they can account for themselves. So here you see the staff member Robert Collins has accounted for himself and he’s in room one oh three with one click of a button. They can view their roster, it will pull up. If they have a schedule, it’ll, it’ll use that schedule and pull up their actual roster.

They can start taking account of their students, are they accounted for absent, missing injured, et Cetera, and their location. Also in room one oh three with this teacher or whatever it might be. And within one minute or a minute and a half, you have full visibility into staff and students status and location visibility that you simply just don’t have available today. And it’s not just simply one teacher, it’s all staff members across this building. So the incident commander can sit back and have full visibility into this building, into this incident. Incident commanders have access to what we call dashboards. There are three dashboards here. You see status, location and users dashboard in any of these dashboards that you can drill in to learn more. So for example, if you see that there’s an injured student you could drill in or the incident commander or anyone within sin commander writes, can drill in and see that this injured student is Jen Anthony.

You can drill in further and see a picture of Jen. Anthony sees that she’s in grade four. See that? Uh, she has been, her injury has been recorded by Robert Collins at 8:25 AM and she’s in room one oh three. If you drill down even further, you can see that her mother’s name is Sharon Anthony. And with one click of a button, you can call the mother. So again, access to data and information in real time that either simply is not available today or would take too long to access, uh, in these types of incidents. Okay. I think that we have collated all the questions. I didn’t have time to show the reunification elements that are available with the raptor reunification application, but we’re happy to show that to anyone who’s interested. But it does perform a reunification

from start to finish all electronically. So at this point, I believe that Eileen has collated, uh, the questions and she is going to now facilitate this Q and a session.

Okay.

Yes. Thank you Tim. The first question is for safer schools together. So Salmon, Theresa, I’m going to combine a couple of questions. Um, the first is, you know, outside of having, you know, a pull staff that’s able to, um, conduct some of these searches and, and the monitoring that you, um, outlined. What are the most important things that a school or district should be doing to look for potential threats? And then part two, the question, um, from Karen is how to get, uh, some officers of his trained on this kind of information gathering.

Absolutely. Thanks Eileen. Um, so I think maybe just addressing the second point around where, where can they go to get further, uh, officers or staff members trained within this field? We, we will offer, um, various sort of, uh, regional, uh, pop-up digital threat assessment training and in cities all across the United States. But I think probably where districts and professionals get the most value from is when they’re able to combine with partners or a county is beside them or even school districts and pull it together and bring us in to do a full one day training. Um, we’ll also be presenting at various conferences, uh, moving forward into the summer. But I think maybe I can speak first to, and I’ll let Teresa jump in here. I think aside from having a whole team that’s able to monitor these, uh, uh, these, these threats in the social media information on a regular basis, it’s, it’s not sustainable as a model. You could have a thousand. We could have a staff of a thousand that are sifting through social media content and we wouldn’t catch everything. I think one of the big pieces is starting to look at some of the holistic levels within a school, the culture and climate. I’m getting students more comfortable and giving them a mechanism to be able to report worse and behavior when they see us. Um, but opening the lines of communication, uh, but then with your key, uh, threat assessment team as well as your administrators, getting them trained and raising their baseline levels of understanding around what to look for. Um, in terms of concerning information, Theresa?

Yeah, I would just concur. Right? The thing, it does come back to the culture and climate piece most significantly and it’s not a matter of having to have everybody trained, but really making sure that our current threat assessment process that we have in place are seamless and that we recognize that we have a strong focus on that culture and climate. Coming back to my point, we want kids to tell us things that we can talk about, see something, say something. But as adults, we have to let our kids know in our schools that we will, we will do something with that information when we receive it. Great. Thank you both. Uh, Jim, this question is for you a participant asking if you can give a sense of the pricing of the raptor system.

Sure. Uh, I’ll give a sense for the pricing on the emergency management piece, which is the piece that I, uh, just showed, uh, the accountability element to that pricing is approximately a thousand dollars per building per year. It’s a subsea software subscription. If you are not already, you’re wrapped a client or if you’re not also a raptor, either visitor management client or, or volunteer management client. If you are a raptor clients or are getting both systems, that price drops down to $760 per building per year. Uh, if you’re using, uh, for example the visitor management software from raptor as well. And by the way, the two systems are linked. That is to say that of course, knowing the status and location of students and staff is the most important. But because the two systems are linked to the visitor management, the volunteer management and the emergency management systems, all of the systems are linked. You’ll know everyone who was in the building at the time, including visitors, including volunteers, contractors, et Cetera, um, which is especially important in a situation where there are casualties. You really do want to know everyone who was in the building at that time.

Great. Thank you Jim. So we are out of time today, but for those whose questions we didn’t get to, we will certainly follow up with you individually afterwards. Uh, I want to thank again Ms. Campbell and Mr Jean fours for joining us today and contact information for both raptor and safer schools together is on the screen. We have several upcoming webinars in the raptor school safety webinars series, including Carly Posey on April 27th, who will be sharing her reflections on the parent student reunification lessons learned from Sandy Hook. So we will send out emails to register for that as well. And finally, you will receive an email survey shortly if you would, um, give us your feedback. That will help us as we plan additional webinars in in the series. So thank you to the audience for joining us. This concludes our broadcast today. We hope to see you on the next webinar.

Okay.

Scroll to Top