School Board Issues
Most students are interacting online. Do you think schools should monitor students on social media?
While in school, yes. While out of school, no. I do believe in a separation, and civil rights of people in the public space. There has to be a division between the public and the private space and children, you get into some tricky law and I’m not going to get into that, but the rights of the child typically comes through the parents. And regardless of that, we have to respect both the parents, the teachers, everybody – what happens on the school property, the school regulates. What happens outside the school tends to be unregulated.
Now there are some exceptions to that – if somebody is obviously a danger to themselves or others, that’s an extreme circumstance. But in general, if somebody is doing something off campus, the school board has an interest, but a very limited interest in that.
During school, I don’t think the social media thing should be happening whether it’s by blocking certain websites on iPhones or iPads or smart tablets and stuff like that. But after school, I don’t think the school district has a lot of say in what happens after school with the students and what they decide to do.
That’s definitely a tricky, modern question. I think that, well, that you could probably look back at the locker argument. When I was in high school, it was an argument whether that was your private space or not. Walking around the high school now, there’s big signs posted that say these are subject to search. So, that argument sounds like it’s pretty much run its course. And on school property, on campus, everything is subject to search. I think that’s probably a pretty decent policy.
That being said, somebody’s personal social media probably should not be monitored per se. Maybe the use of it on campus … (it) should be well known that it’s not private and there should be some monitoring. I think the next step on that, though, would be rather than being afraid of these things, the school can start its own social network and then there would be two. There would be the child’s personal one that does not get monitored and does not get used at school, and then there’s a school-based on that can embrace academics as well as the social media. Even if they used, say, Facebook, they could have their school account on Facebook and it could be a more properly used tool.
I’m not sure what you mean by that question. I know we have some safeguards for certain sites, we have protections that kids can’t go to sites that are inappropriate for them.
That’s an interesting question in that, where does school end? I’m a firm believer that education doesn’t end when you leave the school, but I also believe that private lives that occur outside of school should be that – private. It should be between the parents to monitor those social media presences and everything else. I know that’s a challenge when you’re trying to monitor online bullying and everything. However, the school district should track those types of things, but not invade our personal lives.
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