District monitors students’ social media posts

In hopes of preventing violence, drug abuse, bullying and suicide, a suburban Los Angeles school district is monitoring middle and high school students’ social media posts, reports CNN.

Glendale is paying $40,500 to Geo Listening to track middle and high school students’ posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

When the idea was piloted last spring, monitoring identified a suicidal student. “We were able to save a life,” said Superintendent Richard Sheehan.

Recently, a student posted a photo of what appeared to be a gun, but turned out to be fake, Sheehan said.

“We had to educate the student on the dangers” of posting such photos, Sheehan said. “He was a good kid. … It had a good ending.”

Geo Listening sends a daily report to principals on which students’ comments could be causes for concern.

A 12-year-old Florida girl committed suicide after months of bullying on social media, her mother says.

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Comments

  1. Thinly Veiled Anonymity says:

    Posting the picture was “OK” because the gun was *fake*??????

    Someone needs to “educate” Superintendent Sheehan and his gang of do-gooders.

    There is NOTHING wrong with posting a picture of a gun.

    There may be something wrong with posting pictures of guns in the context of threats.

    There may be something wrong with posting pictures of guns so as to establish some sort of twisted “street cred” and promote a criminalized image of one’s self.

    There may be something wrong with posting a picture of a gun being used unsafely.

    There may be something wrong with posting a picture of a gun being used illegally or being used in an illegal location.

    There may even be something wrong with posting a picture of a gun in violation of court orders, although the Constitutionality of such orders would be suspect.

    But there is NOTHING wrong with posting a picture of a gun per se, and it sure as hell isn’t the school’s job to “educate” a student to the contrary.

    Am I being to harsh here, jumping to conclusions? I don’t think so. I think we all know EXACTLY the sort of mindset that is being expressed by the Superintendent in the article. He wants his students’ minds to be “gun free zones” just as his schools are.

    Some of us even approve of this mindset.

    But this should come as no surprise: it has long been said that inside every liberal there is a totalitarian screaming to get out.

  2. Do families and friends not keep up with each other this way? Some of our friends who are parents of teens have the rule that if somebody is a friend of their kid, they’re a friend of theirs, too. One of my cousins follows the tweets of her nieces and nephews. I’m facebook friends with several younger cousins (and also older aunts and uncles). If we saw something that worried us, we’d talk to the kid’s parents. Do people not notice these things with kids that they actually know? The potential for the schools to act as ‘thought police’ in a way that the community of parents and relatives wouldn’t is scary.

  3. Great. So now they’re not only in prison during the day, but also on ‘supervised release’ in the evening and on weekends.

    I’m sure that this will help them learn how to handle freedom and responsibility!

    If my kid was in that school system, I’d be FURIOUS that tax dollars were going to spy on him. (I mean, aside from the taxes we already spend on the NSA)

  4. Schools should focus on school stuff and leave the out-of-school stuff to families. Maybe, just maybe, the schools can help *after* they’re a roaring success at what they’re *supposed* to be doing.

    And I say this as a high school teacher.

  5. So, how do they find out the twitter handles of the kids? Self-reporting? If I had a kid in that district, I’d just tell them to keep their IDs on the down-low.

    How is posting ANY picture dangerous to anyone (outside of maybe child porn, where the danger is to the one doing the posting)?

  6. Ann in L.A. says:

    Headline: School to engage in real, preemptive bullying to prevent later possible bullying.