Issues register

EdTech Assessment Toolkit

Aggression Detection (Various locations, US)

Prediction model

Aggression detection systems typically employ artificial intelligence, machine learning, and audio/video analysis to identify and alert authorities to potentially aggressive behaviour in real-time. These systems might use various sensors, such as cameras, microphones, or other monitoring devices, to capture audio and video data in specific areas of the school environment. The gathered data is then analysed using algorithms designed to recognise patterns of aggressive behaviour, such as shouting, physical altercations, or other threatening actions like active shootings (Gillum & Kao, 2019).

Concerns raised by this type of model are multifaceted and depend on the technology used to monitor students, be it emotional facial recognition, auditory sensors, or social media monitoring. However, a common thread among these concerns is that the technologies are not entirely reliable and encroach upon students’ privacy.

Snapshot (July 2023)

System task/function: Detect and pre-empt aggressive behaviour in schools
Model: Prediction Model
Deployment: Aggression detection via pattern detection in auditory or visual data
Location of application: various locations, mostly undisclosed usage for safety reasons
Rationale for introduction: Pre-empt acts of aggression
Vendor: Various, e.g., Loure Electronics, Konica Minolta
Pricing: Not available
Data and computation: Depending on surveillance mode; often a combination of visual and auditive data.
Inequalities/harms: systems are biased (Madhukar, 2019) and have been linked to mental health issues (Rogers, 2018)
Status: Active, the use of such technologies in schools may not always be widely publicised or readily available in public sources due to privacy concerns and security reasons.
Authority/regulation: School and district level
Unintended consequences: Teachers may rely on the software rather than conventional and proven methods to support reading comprehension.
Sanction/redress: The use of the system was suspended in August 2020 and students have been awarded grades predicted by their teachers.

References/further reading

Gillum, J., & Kao, J. (2019). Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students. Retrieved from

Hoffman-Andrews, J. (2020). Student Privacy and the Fight to Keep Spying Out of Schools: Year in Review 2020. Retrieved from

Madhukar, P. (2019). The Hidden Costs of High-Tech Surveillance in Schools Retrieved from

Rogers, K. (2018). What Constant Surveillance Does to Your Brain. Retrieved from