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‘Don’t Get Gaggled’: Minneapolis School District Spends Big on Student Surveillance Tool, Raising Ire After Terminating Its Police Contract

Minneapolis education leaders have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars this year to surveil children online, even after the district ended its police department contract and launched school safety reforms that officials said would build trust between adults and students.

The district terminated its longstanding relationship with the city’s police department after George Floyd died at the hands of a Minneapolis officer in May. But since the pandemic closed campuses in March and required students to attend online classes from home, the district has shelled out more than $355,000 for a digital surveillance tool called Gaggle, according to contracts obtained by The 74 through a public records request.

Gaggle is currently used in hundreds of districts across the U.S., relying on artificial intelligence and a team of moderators paid as little as $10 an hour to scan billions of student emails, chat messages and files each year in search of references to sex, drugs and violence.

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