GoGuardian Beacon Template Parents/Guardian Letter and FAQs to Parents from School
**IMPORTANT INFORMATION – PLEASE REMOVE BEFORE SENDING TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS**
GOGUARDIAN CREATED THIS SAMPLE/TEMPLATE PARENT/GUARDIAN LETTER THAT YOUR SCHOOL MAY WISH TO USE AS THE BASIS FOR CREATING ITS OWN SCHOOL-APPROVED LETTER.
*DIRECTIONS FOR USE*
We know your school wants to be transparent with its families about the use of online services, such as GoGuardian, in the classroom. We hope that this template serves as a useful starting point for your school or district. On that note, please tailor the various areas of this letter to show how your school will be using GoGuardian Beacon, including filling out / adjusting / removing all of the [yellow highlighted text] and entering your school/district name when you see [insert school/district name]. In addition, please ensure that you tailor your letter to meet the legal and policy requirements of your particular district or school (such as requiring parents/guardians to sign giving their consent to use GoGuardian in the classroom with their child).
GOGUARDIAN PROVIDES THIS TEMPLATE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT WARRANT THAT IT SATISFIES ANY APPLICABLE FEDERAL, STATE, OR DISTRICT REQUIREMENT. GOGUARDIAN CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR FOR ANY LEGAL OR OTHER RISKS BASED ON SENDING THIS TEMPLATE OR ANY VARIATION THEREOF. YOU REMAIN SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING ALL COMMUNICATIONS WITH PARENTS COMPLY WITH APPLICABLE LAWS, STANDARDS, AND POLICIES.
If you have any questions about how to use this sample letter, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Parent or Guardian:
This school year, [insert name of school/district] has adopted GoGuardian Beacon services as part of our school’s broader suicide prevention program.
GoGuardian Beacon is important to [insert name of school/district] because suicide is now one of the most pressing issues facing youth; in fact, 8.6 percent of high school students in 2015 reported having made a suicide attempt over the past 12 months according to the Center of Disease Control. CDC, 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) (2015). Additionally, GoGuardian Beacon may help [insert name of school/district] intervene even when children have difficulty asking adults for help. Nine out of ten teens (90%) who report symptoms of depression say they have gone online for information on mental health issues. Victoria Rideout, M.A. and Susannah Fox, Digital Health Practices, Social Media Use, and Mental Well-Being Among Teens and Young Adults in the U.S. (2018).
GoGuardian partnered with school suicide prevention efforts in developing, designing, and supporting its GoGuardian Beacon product, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (a nationally-recognized not-for-profit organization dedicated to suicide prevention), and the American Association of Suicidology.
GoGuardian offers a variety of online services such as GoGuardian Admin and GoGuardian Teacher that over 10,000 schools use to help protect 5.5 million students from harmful or distracting online content while using school technology.
What is GoGuardian Beacon?
GoGuardian Beacon helps notify [insert name of school/district]’s counselors and/or other school support staff if the system detects that a child searches, creates, views, or interacts with online content that could be related to suicide or self-harm. Because of this, GoGuardian Beacon helps [insert name of school/district] detect and intervene when a child may be at risk of suicide or self-harm.
It is important to know that neither [insert name of school/district] nor GoGuardian Beacon can possibly detect every situation when a child is suicidal.
What is my role as a parent/guardian with GoGuardian Beacon?
Parents/guardians continue to play a vital role in each child’s support network. You can read the GoGuardian Parent FAQs for more information about GoGuardian’s technology. [Your school/district to describe/ list relevant resources for parents such as a school hotline, how to contact your school counselors/mental health staff, online resources for parents. You can incorporate these resources. Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)' or Text TALK to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line. Additionally, you can call 911 for an emergency.]
[If [insert name of school/district] enables parental notifications after school hours, [insert name of school/district] can use GoGuardian Beacon to automatically notify a parent or guardian after school hours via email and/or text message to help provide support for an at-risk child.[insert name of school/district] will notify parents or guardians at the number associated with the child on the [insert name of school/district] system. Please make sure for GoGuardian Beacon and otherwise that our system has your correct email address and phone number on file at all times.] Please note that standard carrier rates may apply to any text messages.
[Insert instructions for guardian/parent to contact if parent/guardian receives Beacon notification] Please do not contact GoGuardian directly as GoGuardian does not offer mental health or emergency services.
What are my choices as a parent/guardian?
[Your school/district may add language about choices that parents have regarding the use of GoGuardian Beacon in connection with their child, including any opt-out or FERPA rights. Please consult your school’s/district's legal/policy team for this decision.]
How does GoGuardian protect my child’s privacy?
On that note, please read this letter and the GoGuardian Beacon Parent FAQs carefully, let us know of any questions, [and fill out the required information at the end of this document to communicate your preferences for your child with GoGuardian Beacon. Your school/district to determine which preferences you want to offer parents/guardians.]
[Insert name of school administrator (e.g., principal)]
[Insert name of school/district]
- [Insert any attachments that your school/district wants to send to parents/guardians about GoGuardian Beacon]