Is it our responsibility to monitor social media sites to help protect students from the dangers of bullying, drug use, violence, and suicide?
As principal of Decatur Middle School, it is my goal to make sure that all of our students’ academic needs are met throughout the school year. However, as instances of bullying continue to plague students throughout the country, questions of whether we as principals and administrators should do more to monitor students’ online interactions come to the forefront. Is it our responsibility to monitor social media sites to help protect students from the dangers of bullying, drug use, violence, and suicide?
My colleagues and I continue to strive to strike the proper balance between ensuring students’ safety while maintaining their desired privacy. But with mobile phones more prevalent and social media use on Twitter and Facebook at an all-time high, it’s become increasingly more difficult to monitor effectively.
more Our new reality: Social media monitoring in school | eSchool News | eSchool News.
Just as parents are grappling with how to keep their kids safe on social media, schools are increasingly confronting a controversial question: Should they do more to monitor students online interactions off-campus to protect them from dangers such as bullying, drug use, violence and suicide?
Should schools be monitoring students’ use of social media? Or is this the domain of parents? Does a school’s responsibility end with just teaching about online safety or should it go further? Given the rise of cyber bullying, and many parents inadequate internet skills do schools need to step up and actively get involved? These are touch questions. Here is what one article had to say this week:
This summer, the Glendale school district in suburban Los Angeles captured headlines with its decision to pay a tech firm $40,500 to monitor what middle and high school students post publicly on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
The school district went with the firm Geo Listening after a pilot program with the company last spring helped a student who was talking on social media about “ending his life,” company CEO Chris Frydrych told CNNs Michael Martinez in September.
“We were able to save a life,” said Richard Sheehan, the Glendale superintendent, adding that two students in the school district had committed suicide the past two years.
“Its just another avenue to open up a dialogue with parents about safety,” he said.
more Schools step up social media monitoring of students – CNN.com.
FACEBOOK and the Victorian government have forged an Australia-first relationship that will today see 2000 secondary students take part in a cyberbullying exercise.
It comes after the Education Minister, Martin Dixon, met with Facebook’s Australian policy manager, Mia Garlick, in April to discuss a joint approach to cyber bullying.
But a Victorian expert has warned that cyber safety education needs to be more than a one-off presentation because some schools still ”don’t have a handle” on the issue.
Full Text: Facebook joins cyber bully fight.
As it is Internet Safety Month, I want to share a sample lesson for teaching Internet Safety to students as young as kindergarten. Yes, you read correctly . . . kindergarten.
With children spending time online at younger and younger ages, it is vital that we explicitly teach young children how to protect themselves online. Most young children get the “Stranger Danger” talk at school, so they know about how to handle strangers in their neighborhood and in face-to-face situations.
There are three considerations when addressing Internet safety with these students. First, the transfer of handling strangers in “real life” to those in virtual environments is not automatic. It needs to be taught. Second, while most “Stranger Danger” programs teach that strangers are scary, mean and want to hurt or abduct children, this contradicts the way collaboration occurs between strangers online. Not all strangers are dangerous. Lastly, in “real life,” students can walk or run away from a potential threat. In an online environment, the danger is inside a student’s home and hard to escape without the necessary skills for handling tough situations.
This is a lesson that I have done with my kindergarten and first grade students to introduce the idea that strangers exist on the Internet and to discuss how we should interact with them.
Full Text: How to Teach Internet Safety to Younger Elementary Students | Edutopia.
A Queensland primary school principal is threatening to expel students aged under 13 who refuse to delete their Facebook accounts, in a bold bid to stamp out cyber bullying at her school.
The policy has been applauded by cyber safety experts who say schools are grappling to deal with a surge in problems caused when children use social media sites designed for adults.
Full Text: Students face expulsion for using Facebook.