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Schools Warn Students about Facebook Monitoring

24
May
2011

spyingThere have been several stories of students getting sanctioned by their schools because of something they posted on Facebook. But has anyone ever asked how exactly these schools find out about the posts? One would think that information about the controversial posts are just passed along the grapevine until it reaches the ears of school authorities, but the truth is that some schools have set up a monitoring team made up of teachers whose prime purpose is to trawl their students’ pages and look for questionable activity.

It sounds like a shady, stalkerish idea at first, but schools say that they are merely doing it with their students’ best interests at heart. They have already caught several students posting pictures of themselves doing dangerous activities in Facebook. One common example is the dangerous new fad called ‘planking’. It mainly involves students taking photos of themselves as they lie face down, with their arms at their sides, and try to balance horizontally on some unusual places. These kids ‘plank’ just about anywhere can imagine. In fact, just this May, a 20 year old man plummeted to his death because he tried ‘planking’ on a seventh floor balcony in Brisbane. Schools try to catch this behavior early on through Facebook so that they can warn their students against it and prevent injury.

Also, they’re trying to keep students from posting photos of themselves wearing their school uniforms as they do some very questionable activities, such as underage drinking or smoking. Schools say that they are merely trying to prevent any damage to their ‘good name’. The monitoring also prevents acts of bullying, or else picks up on them before they get worse.

They also reasoned out that if you post something on the internet, then you should be prepared to say it directly to somebody’s face. If not, then you should really think twice about posting it on Facebook. The logic is great, of course, but then real life is not always logical. Schools are certainly stepping on some toes here, particularly that of the students. The kids are understandably uncomfortable with the idea of getting monitored on Facebook. But the schools have been very open in admitting to the monitoring, even going so far as to warn their students of it, and parents have been very supportive of the idea, so these kids have little choice but to comply.

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