Neosho School District working to stay connected with at risk youth during COVID-19

They have been alerted to multiple searches on how to commit suicide and chats revealing how some students are scared to be at home.
Neosho School

NEOSHO, Mo. – Just before the shutdown the Neosho School District started a beta software with Go Guardian called Beacon 24/7. It monitors students chrome books while at home to alert counseling services of any concerning searches.

“Within the last week we’ve seen a decrease in false alerts and an increase in the number of issues that need to be addressed and concerns we have for student safety” said Director of Counseling Services with Neosho School District.

They have been alerted to multiple searches on how to commit suicide and chats revealing how some students are scared to be at home.

“If you look at our current situation, we’re all experiencing a low level extended trauma and the impact trauma has on your brain makes it that everybody is just a little more on edge than normal and kids have a hard time seeing beyond the end of this” added Clements.

When alerts are made, students get directed to several resources that can help them.

“If they do generate an alert, it pops up a textbox on their screen if they are having thoughts of suicide or harming themselves it gives them the national suicide prevention hotline and the number for Ozark Center Crisis” said Clements.

And Neosho school parent Whitney Anders says she is grateful for the efforts the district is putting forth.

“A lot of times kids and I know from my own personal experience, they’re afraid to speak up because they see the adults in their lives continuing to function and do and they think they have to maintain that same level. That’s why I’m glad our school district has worked so hard to ensure kids aren’t left alone.”

The counselors are also on call 24/7, doing zoom calls, and are working with the juvenile office, children’s division, and school resource officers to make home checks on students they are worried about.

“Although it’s not traditional, the support system the school district has created is amazing” said Anders.

There are also plenty of resources that can be found on the Neosho School websites.

“One of the biggest reasons were trying to maintain connections with them, if they know that we’re still there and still care and they can reach out to us, hopefully that can provide a bit of a safety net for them” added Clements.

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