This morning on the drive to take my daughter to school I was listening to 104.7 FM, The Fish. The topic was whether or not schools should be allowed to monitor social media for children when they are outside of school.
The purpose? To determine if students are using it for purposes of cyber-bullying, or if an issue occurs between students after school, which could possibly spill over into the school environment. They believe it will help get a handle on the situation.
One sixteen-year-old called in and said she understood if they monitored students' social media, if the students were using the school's Wi-Fi. However, she went on to say that students can still use direct messaging (DM) to have arguments, or cyber bully someone if they chose. I asked my 15-year-old daughter for her opinion on it.
B said she saw both sides of the coin. On one hand she understood the need for privacy, and teens wanting to keep their social media world separate from the school world. Yet, she stated they should also be aware of what they are posting, realizing it is a possibility that their posts are being monitored. And she felt it was silly and immature to use social media to bully someone. This is something they should not be engaging in any way, and if it wasn't occurring the need to monitor would be limited.
She believed that many students are not as safe as they think they are on. She went on to cite, how often students call out their user name in public to others, asking for followers, likes, and so forth. She stated anyone can overhear a student's user name, and how often they don't make their accounts private, because they want multiple likes and friends. B said this increases the likelihood of hacked accounts, bullying, and predators watching and engaging with them.
Alternatively, she understood the school's desire to monitor students' social media activity. She stated they have a responsibility to protect the students and to provide a safe environment for students to learn in. She believed that this was prohibited when cyber-bullying exists, or social media is used for creating "beef" among students and it spills over into the school. Yet, she agreed with the caller on the radio that it is impossible to completely monitor the activities online and eradicate the problem. She stated that just as the caller said, you always have inbox and DM options available, which no one can monitor.
Using me and her father as an example, B stated that parents have the right to feel their students are safe when we send them to school, and we expect they will be protected. Allowing teachers and administration the right to monitor students' social media use, enables them to provide that safe and protective environment we as parents expect.
Further discussion allowed her to express that she was thankful that throughout the years, we have monitored and set regulations regarding social media use in our home. This includes, which social media they have access to, and the fact there is constant disclosure between the my husband and myself, and our kids. My oldest (21) did not always abide and went and got a FB account against our wishes at the age of 16. It eventually created some issues for him, which he did work his way through. However, it was a great lesson for the two younger ones, and since then they "get" their parents.
We allow social media accounts in our home to a certain extent. My children do not have access to all social media out there, and it's very limited what they do have access to. On multiple occasions after something occurred in school, as a result of social media use outside the school, B has come to thank us for not allowing her to have certain accounts.
In one particular instance in middle school, she was blamed for starting a bullying post against one child, and she really had nothing to do with it. The ironic part about it, at that time she did not have a tablet, phone, laptop, or anything. The counselors investigated in an effort to get to the bottom of it and found she had been lied on. The child who actually started the trouble was uncovered and disciplined accordingly. In that instance, B was once again thankful for our stand on social media.
What are your views on schools monitoring students' social media activities? Leave a comment below.
Living Life Beautifully Inspired!
Inspirational women's fiction author, writing the script to my beautifully inspired life!
Be Inspired, Follow Me!