Schools Monitoring Social Media Accounts of Students

teen girls on phones

We all know that social media is the “in” thing right now. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all very public forums where tweens and teens are choosing to share their likes, dislikes, images and comments. Most of the time, social media is a place to have some fun and there’s no harm to anyone. However, it can also act as a lifeline, kids reaching out for help or a place to vent or even brag about what’s to come. 

CNN reported that a school district in Los Angeles has hired an external firm to monitor its 14,000 middle and high school students posts on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media platforms for one year. They are looking for talk of cyberbullying, suicidal thoughts, drug abuse, violent behaviour, obscenities and the like. The school district is hoping to circumvent any potential issues that arises from the monitoring of student’s social media accounts. Since social media is a very public forum, the school district sees no issue with the monitoring of public posts, however, private pages will be off limits.

A decision was made to hire Geo Listening after a successful pilot project monitoring students at 3 Los Angeles area high schools. The school district claims that the pilot project intervened on a student suicide.

As a parent, would you support a monitoring program like this in your school board or would you feel it’s a violation of your child’s privacy?

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

About Wendy Morelli

Wendy loves her 2 kids and her iPhone, not necessarily always in that order. She is an app obsessed mom who loves everything tech and is (unfortunately) old enough to remember the brick Motorola cell phone and the Commodore computer. Her love for technology stems back to the 10+ years of working for technology based companies. Wendy's alter ego, "AppHipMom" writes about her favourite apps and her articles have been featured in iVillage, Women in Biz, EverythingMom and Savvy Mom.

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