Technology Position Powerpoint

Should Schools Monitor What
Students Post on Social Media
Outside of School?
Michael Gilmore
Emily Honeycutt
Sarah Lilly
Brief Overview
• Key Issues For:
-Many argue that out of school behavior direct effects on in school behavior.
Because the two are inseparable, the school has a responsibility to monitor out of
school activity.
-Unregulated negative interaction on social media can cause mental/emotional
damage. Such negative interaction may go unnoticed unless surveillance measures
are put into practice.
-Regulating out of school behavior is a proactive measure that can stop negative
student behaviors such as violence, bullying, drug use, etc. prior to this issue
becoming a problem within the schools.
-Other than regulating student behavior, observing out of school behavior can make
school officials aware of issues that affect students such as child abuse, intentions
to drop out of school, family drug problems, etc.
-Implementing such practices can cause the school to become a positive influence
in the community.
Brief Overview
• Key Issues Against
-School observation of out of school activity is considered an invasion of privacy by many
who do not wish that their teachers and school officials know the intricacies of their
personal life including personal values, religion, sexual orientation, social circle, etc.
-Some feel that placing such a responsibility on the school diminishes the role of
responsibility a parent plays in a child’s life. Some feel it is the duty of the parent to
regulate a student’s behavior out of school, not school officials.
-From the National School Boards Association: “Student expression occurring outside of
school should be subject to school action only, if at all, upon a clear showing of
disruption, or a violation of the rights of school administrators and officials, teachers and
other school employees, or students.” (Kaminer). Many fear it will go beyond this.
-A few students may be unfairly punished for activities that many students are engaging
Our Position
• If an issue is brought to the attention
of school officials, and they agree
that it pertains to school activities or
to the direct safety of a student, then
the school can then monitor that
student’s activity and intervene if
Acknowledging the Other Side:
Regulating social media can eliminate potential
harm to students, create a positive role of the
school within the community, and help to stop
cyber-bulling harassment.
Regulating Social Media can Eliminate of
Potential Harm to Students:
–Without regulation, social media can
cause mental/emotional damage
–Students could be assessing social media
within the school; thus, bullying is
essentially occurring in the hallways.
–Having the ability to stop this bullying
could save lives (Adams).
Create a Positive Role of the School within
a Community
• The way student behavior outside of school
affects back onto the school which may lead
to more disruptions and bad reputations in
the school.
• Schools should help students to become
better people as school is a place where a lot
of lessons on behavior are learned.
– Should schools punish students for behaviour outside of school supervision?
School officials could help stop cyber-bullying and
harassment in an effective and reasonable way’
• Then students may feel more comfortable going to these
individuals if problems arise in the future. Right now,
many students feel that involving them makes no
difference or even makes the situation worse because no
action is actually taken (Patchin).
• Students may also take a stand against future cyber
bullying if they know that it is wrong.
• It reforms and corrects the behavior to help keep others
from doing the same thing (Agaston).
• With schools serving as monitors, some cases of extreme
bullying and potential self-hurt may be prevented from
slipping through the cracks (Mason).
Why That Doesn’t Hold Up:
• Stan Davis and Charisse Nixon through the Youth Voice Project took a
survey of nearly 12,000 students from 12 different U.S. states. Only
one-third of the students who were significantly impacted by bullying
said that telling an adult made things better
– 29% of these students said that telling an adult made the situation
worse (Patchin)
• In 2006 on MySpace less than 40% of students had set their profiles
to private. By 2009 this number had risen to 85% of students having
their profiles on a restricted setting (Patchin)
• If there is significant bullying on these sites, it is happening more
where it cannot be seen.
• Geo Listening monitors and tracks student postings, shares, and
online activities – this costs a single district $40,500 for the school
year (Patchin)
Argument for Our Position
• Recall: If an issue is brought to the attention of
school officials, and they agree that it pertains to
school activities or to the direct safety of a
student, then school can then monitor that
student’s activity and intervene if necessary.
-Protect student privacy and rights
-Protect student well-being
-Drain on resources and time
Protect Student Privacy and Rights
Saxe v. State College Area School District (2001)
-Overturned Pennsylvania law prohibiting extensive regulation of offensive speech.
-Pa. law violated 1st Amendment
Griffith Middle School example
-Students can be suspended or expelled for using “innuendo” – even on Facebook
-Ban on “using or writing derogatory written materials
-3 girls expelled for joking on Facebook that they want to “kill” someone
Southern California example
-Southern California school district uses Geo Listening contract company
-Geo Listening reports inappropriate student activity including the use of profanity
-Students report that they feel the need to censor themselves even outside of school.
(NBC News)
• Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community
School District
– Students have a “First Amendment right to
express themselves in public schools — even
controversially — unless the school can show
among other things that the speech will cause
a “substantial disruption” of the school’s
environment or violate the legal rights of
others”(Agaston, 2012).
Protect Student Well-being
Reasonable amounts of student surveillance, under appropriate
circumstances can protect student safety and well-being.
- Rebecca Sedwick, a 12-year old Floridian girl killed herself after
being repeatedly cyberbullied for months. Two girls were arrested
for aggravated stalking but their crimes could have been prevented
with reasonable surveillance.
-Many examples of students in similar situations (Broderick)
- Monitoring can alert school officials to child abuse, drug use in the
family, other issues.
Drain on Resources and Time
Previously mentioned Southern California school district pays $40,500 each
year to monitor student activity on social media sites such as Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, etc. (Wallace).
-That is roughly a teacher’s salary
Punishing students for minor offense will consume a tremendous amount of
-Many students become suspended for minor offenses or offenses that
are not related to school such as underage drinking (Agaston).
More student punishments means that more students will be placed on
suspension, meaning that fewer will be in the classroom and learning.
-Strong connection between students with frequent suspensions and high
school drop outs (Roscorla).
Our Recommendations to Address the
• To Inform School Policy:
– Schools should make students aware of the effects of their actions on social media
– Students should be warned so that they know that FB and other social media devices
are not private – they are, after all, public sites.
– If a parent calls with a bullying concern then the administrators should talk to the
students and make it aware that they knew that this was occurring. The school can also
contact the parents and notify them.
• Schools shouldn’t be monitoring or searching for evidence or issues without cause.
If an issue is brought to their attention and it pertains to the school then there are
steps that they should take .
– If it is causing a "disruption" to the school/ school employees or students at school
then the school should take action.
– Otherwise (inappropriate comments and personal ideas), the school shouldn't punish.
• To Inform Our Own Practice:
– Talk with students and notify administrators if a problem comes to our attention.
– If we unsure what to do with concerns, we should go to administrators.
Instead of Monitoring,
Teach Internet Safety
• At Indiana University, the athletic department does not
use a third party company to monitor students on
social media.
• Instead each year they bring in a third-party company
to educate student athletes.
• Student athletes learn how to use social media
responsibly while still having their right to free speech.
• "It seemed much more productive to spend our time
being proactive and trying to help them learn how to
use social media responsibly and as advocates for their
own voice, as opposed to using those resources
monitoring and trying to, if you will, clean up on the
back end" (Roscorla, 2013)
Adams, C. (n.d.). Cyberbullying: What teachers and schools can do. Retrieved from
Agaston, A. (2012, August 17). Parenting today’s kids: Parenting at the intersection of technology and kids. Retrieved from
Broderick, R. (2013, December 05). “That dead girl”: A family and a town after a cyberbullied 12-year-old’s suicide. Retrieved from
iSafe, The Leader in e-Safety Education: Students' Online Behavior. (2012). Retrieved from
Kaminer, W. (2012, April 30). What right do schools have to discipline students for what they say off campus?. Retrieved from
Mason, A. (2013, November 28). Manchester student arrested following cyber-bullying incident. Retrieved from
NBC News: Privacy breach or public safety? teens' facebook posts monitored by school district. (2013, September 16). Retrieved from
Patchin, J. (n.d.). Should schools monitor students’ social media accounts?. Retrieved from
Roscorla, T. (2013, September 30). Center for digital education: Student social media monitoring stirs up debate. Retrieved from
Should schools punish students for behaviour outside of school supervision?. (2013). Retrieved from
Wallace, K. (2013, December 4). CNN Living: At some schools big brother is watching. Retrieved from

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