Not only can a school theoretically see what its students publicly post on social media, nowadays some actually do see everything that their students post.
It makes sense to me that schools have the right to monitor what students do on school computers; however, when it comes to the kids’ personal computers, I think it’s a bit too much.
When I was in high school, some kids made a fake profile of a girl and pretended to be a new student–friend requesting people, asking them weird questions, etc. After this fake profile started getting a lot of attention, someone realized that the email address on the profile was a guy’s name. Everyone started freaking out and the school got involved. Even though it was intended to be a joke, the kids who made the fake profile got in trouble. The school was smart by quickly and efficiently tracking down who was behind the fake profile, especially since it could have been a predator. That was a good example of when a school appropriately stepped in. There are many other good examples of when schools have gotten involved after some sort of concerning event and prevented something bad from happening.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Alan Cleaver
According to a CNN article, Schools step up social media monitoring of students, some schools are now paying tech firms to monitor everything that its students post on social media sites. This is meant to be a proactive way to prevent violence, drug use, and bullying between its students. That said, is it really a school’s responsibility to stop what happens between its students online and off school property? And assuming that it is, should they be allowed to invade their students privacy like this?
This invasion of privacy would be especially irritating because presumably the school gets notified if someone jokes around with their friends on Facebook and gives them a hard time. These tech firms don’t know whether people are friends or not, and would report every negative post to the school. Even though posts are public for people to see, I wouldn’t really want my school seeing my friends and I ridicule each other.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Matt Callow
I feel as though schools should get involved and begin monitoring social media accounts of some students when they are suspicious of bullying or other unacceptable behavior. To be constantly monitoring everything that students post on various social networks is not only an invasion of privacy, but also very expensive.
Featured Image courtesy of Flickr user Marco Paköeningrat