School Admins Struggle to Monitor Students’ Social Media

There is a great article on TribLive today that outlines the challenges school officials face in trying to reasonably and diligently supervise and discipline students’ inappropriate use of social media.

Perhaps the most significant quote comes from Brownsville school board President R.W. “Rocky” Brashear, who was forced to suspend 13 students last week over an extremely inappropriate Harlem Shake video:

 90 percent of the fights that happen in school start on Facebook

The article cites the need to update policies every year or even every few months, as circumstances warrant. With the web becoming the new school bulletin board, schools will continue to struggle to keep up, let alone get ahead of the curve.

How Can Schools Deal With Social Media Threats

Two separate, troubling social media incidents in North Carolina schools this week have parents and officials calling for a more deliberate response to dealing with incidents that spread quickly on social media.

social-media-wordcloudIn one incident, a 16-year-old student threatened on social media to bring a gun to school to kill other people and herself. In the other incident, a group of students stayed home from school when a rumor of an impending violent attack spread quickly on social media. The rumor turned out to be unfounded.

According to Ken Trump, a school-safety expert:

“The reality is that rumors that used to spread in hours and days now spread in minutes and seconds, Schools are never going to be 100 percent ahead of social media, but the challenge for them is how to narrow the gap.”

It is doubtful that anyone has all the answers yet. The keys to narrow the gap will probably be learned over the next few years. Parents working with their children to teach and reinforce good behavior is at least as important in the short term as the response from school administrators.

Stay Tuned

teen-laptopComing soon – a look at what is happening on the internet, but not everything that is happening on the internet.

In this space, we take a look at what is going on at the intersection of parents, teens and technology.

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