Teens may be best option for flagging concerning social media posts from classmates

The Parkland school shooting caused schools across the state of Florida to tighten security measures.

Now, almost one year after the tragedy, many are wondering — are schools safer?

We take a look at how social media is playing a role in monitoring threats.

North Fort Myers High School junior Bridgette Marrero remembers when she heard of Parkland, “When I found out where it happened, it was, became less of a statistic and more of a close to home, that could of been me.”

That feeling radiated, turning into action at schools all across the state.

The School District of Lee County hired more mental health personnel and stepped up security.

Debbie Diggs, Principal of North Fort Myers High School says, “Are we safer today than we were a year ago? I think the answer is yes. However, is it ever safe enough?”

Social media is another tool to help keep an eye on students’ wellbeing. And Diggs says it really has become a red flag indicator.

But, that red flag is getting harder to catch.

Diggs says if kids are going to have social media, it’s safest for them to have it private.

While privacy settings protect kids’ online identities, educators don’t always have access.

“What kid is going to say ‘oh yeah, my principal can come look at my site.'” Diggs said.

That’s where classmates come into play.

“Sometimes it will be a kid who has expressed potential self harm, and so we’ll get approached by a kid worried about one of their schoolmates.”

Marrero told us aside from keeping tabs on social media, her classmates have gotten better at recognizing when something is different and making sure to tell an adult.

Reporter:Sara Girard
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