Police experts: Swatting hoax targeting schools ‘absolutely’ coordinated, but may still be kids
After the police in more than a dozen South Carolina communities fielded calls last week alerting them to active school shootings, officers rushed to campuses where students and educators hid in fear for their lives. Ever since the mass school shooting in May at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school, families nationwide have been on high...
By Mark Keierleber | October 14, 2022
LAUSD downplays student harm after cyber gang posts sensitive data online
Updated, Oct. 4 The Vice Society ransomware gang reportedly published over the weekend a trove of sensitive student records from the Los Angeles school district. The data was posted to the gang’s dark-web “leak site,” after education leaders refused to pay — and at first even acknowledge — a ransom. Yet in a press conference...
By Mark Keierleber | October 3, 2022
Trevor Project to Refund Donation From Student Surveillance Company Accused of LGBTQ Bias Following 74 Investigation
The Trevor Project, a leading group combatting LGBTQ youth suicide, took money from Gaggle, whose online monitoring tool zeroes in on queer students.
By Mark Keierleber | September 30, 2022
LA schools and the mystery of the missing ransom note
As the shady ransomware gang Vice Society took credit for a hack that sent Los Angeles school officials scrambling last week, cybersecurity experts noticed something peculiar. Vice Society, an “intrusion, exfiltration and extortion” group that experts believe is based in Russia, has become notorious for waging cyber warfare against K-12 schools, leveraging the theft of...
By Mark Keierleber | September 14, 2022
In the ‘Crosshairs’: Beleaguered School Superintendents Face COVID Wave of Firings
Facing Regional Shortages, U.S. Schools Now Employing 160,000 ‘Underqualified’ Teachers
L.A. vs. the Wonks: District’s 8th-Grade Reading Miracle on NAEP Draws Scrutiny
State of Play: Girls’ Athletics Rising — With or Without Trans Kids on the Team
16 Under 16: Meet The 74’s 2022 Class of STEM Achievers
Survey reveals extent that cops surveil students online — in school and at home
When Baltimore students sign into their school-issued laptops, the police log on, too. Since the pandemic began, Baltimore City Public Schools officials have tracked students’ online lives with GoGuardian, a digital surveillance tool that promises to identify youth at risk of harming themselves or others. When GoGuardian flags students, their online activities are shared automatically with school...
By Mark Keierleber | August 29, 2022
Illuminate Education pulled from ‘Student Privacy Pledge’ after massive data breach
Embattled education technology vendor Illuminate Education has become the first-ever company to get booted from the Student Privacy Pledge, an unprecedented move that follows a massive data breach affecting millions of students and allegations the company misrepresented its security safeguards. The Future of Privacy Forum, which created the self-regulatory effort nearly a decade ago to...
By Mark Keierleber | August 15, 2022
New Ken Burns PBS documentary offers raw look at the youth mental health crisis
When brothers Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers set out to film a documentary about the mental health struggles of American youth, they knew they were tackling a pervasive problem unspoken about for far too long. What they didn’t realize were the lessons they’d come to uncover about themselves. Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental...
By Mark Keierleber | June 27, 2022
Meet the gatekeepers of students’ private lives
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. Megan Waskiewicz used to sit at the top of the bleachers, rest her back against the wall and hide her face behind the glow of a laptop monitor. While...
By Mark Keierleber | May 12, 2022
This teen shared her troubles with a robot. Could AI ‘chatbots’ solve the youth mental health crisis?
This story is part of a series produced in partnership with The Guardian exploring the increasing role of artificial intelligence and surveillance in our everyday lives during the pandemic, including in schools. Fifteen-year-old Jordyne Lewis was stressed out. The high school sophomore from Harrisburg, North Carolina, was overwhelmed with schoolwork, never mind the uncertainty of living in a pandemic...
By Mark Keierleber | April 21, 2022
San Francisco ethnic studies courses produced major educational benefits, researchers find as country debates anti-racist teaching in schools
Amid a heated political feud over the way educators should teach students about the legacy of issues like white supremacy and slavery, a major new study points to a positive, lasting link between antiracist instruction and improved academic outcomes for teens who struggle in school. The study, published Sept. 14 in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the...
By Mark Keierleber | October 5, 2021