The Clash Between Social Media and High School Sports

monty-footballHigh school sports and trash talking have been joined at the hip since long before I walked on this earth. With today’s heightened focus on enforcing prohibitions on bullying and general distasteful behavior, many communities have taken steps to limit the in-game trash talking.

In an interesting development, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Central Committee will hold meetings this week, in which they will attempt to scope out rules that not only govern trash talking on the field, but also on social media.

According to an article on Syracuse.com that covers the meetings today:

Section III executive John Rathbun wants the central committee to consider adding taunting or baiting opponents via social media to a list of no-nos during state playoffs.

“I’m aware of a couple of situations where there’s been taunting, or baiting” on social media, Rathbun said last week.

Rathbun said he’ll propose wording that could be added to a code of conduct agreement that all high school athletes must sign before taking part in state playoffs.

Rathbun points out that enforcement of such rules could prove problematic, especially in cases where the social media accounts being used are anonymous.

There is a serious anti-bullying effort going on in the U.S. right now, and it makes sense that protection afforded to victims extends to the online world. The right to anonymity afforded by social media leads me to believe that this is going to be an issue that is not easily solved, if at all. As with many issues, a more durable preventive solution will likely be initiated by parents and families, not school districts.

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.

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