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Author
Karen Knapstein
Date
September 3, 2013

Social Media Monitors?

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After a student who had been bullied both online and off took her own life last year, a California school decided to take action. They employed a company called Geo Listening to monitor the data that students at the school posted to social media. The idea was for the school to be able to intervene when a student posted something about suicide, bullying, violence or even substance abuse.

This year, the entire district has signed up for the service. The administrators say the decision is solely about safety and the company has made it clear they can only see what’s posted publicly — so if a student is concerned about privacy, they should avoid public posts.

But that might not be enough assurance for some. We want to know what you think. Is the district going too far? Or is the monitoring just a high-tech form of the old-fashioned hall monitor? Vote in the poll to weigh in, then leave a comment telling us why. Your responses might be used on tomorrow’s show!

93 comments on “Social Media Monitors?

    1. Isaiah Fisher

      Schools should not be allowed to monitor the social media accounts of students. That is an invasion of privacy and an infringement of the first amendment. Students should be allowed to express their feelings no matter what. Students also need to know when to block and or ignore the harsh opinions of vile students.

      Reply
      1. 2013-9-3-Anna-Luking

        I do agree with that, in a sort, because if you haven’t noticed- ANYBODY can see what you tweet or facebook. It’s not really an invasion of privacy. Have you ever thought about if someone you don’t know follows or friends you that they could be stalking your page? just saying, but honestly anyone can see it. Also, do you realize how tough it is to block out someone who’s shouting insults at you constantly? how tough it is to see hate on your notifications each day? It’s hard enough figuring out who you are without someone attacking you. If anybody can look at your facebook page or your tweets- why can’t the schools?

        Reply
        1. 2013-9-3-Anna-Luking

          okay, look. it’s not like they’re reading every single word of your tweets or stuff like that- it’s just a program that searches for key words. I don’t see why you’re fretting over this. Plus self harm and bullying are two REEALLYY serious problems that sometimes need to be monitored! in fact- they SHOULD be monitored. Do you know how hard it is for someone encountering problems like that to tell someone?

          Reply
        2. 2013-9-5-calli-Pennington

          It is privacy would you want somebody to look at your stuff (Teachers) I wouldn’t, so you can say that but I am disagreeing on you for saying that.

          Reply
      2. Dominic

        I do not think schools should be able to monitor your social media accounts. It is an invasion of privacy. If kids were doing something they shouldn’t be then their parents should handle it.

        Reply
    2. Jessica Crawford

      Schools shouldn’t be allow to monitor the social media accounts of students because it has nothing to do with school.

      Reply
    3. 2013-9-4-Josh-Henry

      I think schools should not monitor social media networks because if a kid is having a problem online he should get a parents help or a teachers help. Also schools should not enter a kids personal life out of school.

      Reply
    4. 2013-9-4-Kate-Roberts

      Teachers shouldn’t monitor us students. We should have privacy. It’s our parents job to watch over us. NOT theirs. It’s our own personal lives. Our social media is none of our schools business. I feel like if the schools started watching our Facebook’s and Twitters, kids would feel uncomfortable posting what they felt and that is kind of the purpose of those accounts.

      Reply
    5. Sierra

      They shouldn’t be able to see every thing they should at
      Least try to only monitor a few things like it should only
      Show certain words or phrases.

      Reply
    1. A&L

      Students have the right to privacy! Our parents job is to monitor us but, having your own school monitor you is taking away from your privacy.

      Reply
  1. Madison

    No because its invading privacy and its wrong. It’s going to make a lot of people feel unsafe because their school is reading their messages that are none of their business.

    Reply
  2. Jordan

    WE as in everybody in the world have a right to some privacy. Who has the right to monitor what you post on social media sights? NOBODY! The people who are going through these depressing times need to go to somebody for help, and not sit back and post how they are going to do bad things on these social media sights.

    Reply
  3. Clinton Hess

    Schools should not be able to monitor students social networkings pages because thats an invasion of teens privacy and should never be allowed

    Reply
  4. Victoria

    This country has a right to privacy! Not to be watched every second, by our own teachers. If you and your friend got in a fight you wouldn’t want the counselor pulling you out of call just to talk about it, would you? That’s putting your nose where it doesn’t belong stay out of my business and ill stay out of yours!

    Reply
  5. Cody Van allen

    I think that only your parients should monitor you, not the schools, clubs, or government. The spying cannot continue if they continue that would be take our first ammendment, the freedom of speech.

    Reply
  6. Wyatt Sartin

    I believe monitering the social media of teens is prohibiting the freedom of speech and the teens have their rights and their privacy. Schools should not moniter social media.

    Reply
  7. Nicole Lynn

    Honestly, i think it’s a good thing. we post things on social media for everyone to see anyways, if you wouldn’t want someone to see it, then you shouldn’t post it. Yes, it is personal life, but if it’s so ‘Personal’ then it shouldn’t be online.

    Reply
  8. Caleb Barker

    No, I do not think schools should be able to do that. It is invading teenagers privacy. Even though it is a good idea to observe teens thinking about suicide, it is still stretching the privacy thing.

    Reply
  9. ally

    I don’t think our school should be able to track our personal accounts because it is invading our privacy. It doesn’t give us any freedom either.

    Reply
  10. Jacob

    I think that it is wrong that schools are doing that. These are our personal lives and they have no right to invade our privacy. That is our parents jobs

    Reply
  11. Natalie

    I think that it is an invasion of privacy to look at their private accounts. Yes, it would be a good idea to stop bullying and suicides but isn’t their a better way? Not all teens focus on trying to harm other people on social media sites. I think that in a way by trying to monitor accounts it is almost like doing the same thing that they are trying to protect students from- invasion in privacy.

    Reply
  12. Ellie

    Schools should be allowed to view the kids posts. They shouldn’t post stuff if they ONLY wan there friends to see it. A lot of kids have teachers following them on Twitter or Instagram anyway, so what difference does it make if they see it through school.

    Reply
  13. Josie

    I think it’s completely uncalled for to look at students social media. I understand that suicide, bullying, and drugs are huge takers of lives these days, but that does not mean the school can violate privacy to look at our social media. It is a parent or a guardians job to monitor a child’s social media not the schools.

    Reply
  14. Robobert

    I think that schools should not be aloud to invade students’ privacy on their social media’s. If they want to find out if someone is being bullied or is bullying someone, then the school needs to get someone to talk to the kid, not look at their social media posts, and invade their privacy.

    Reply
  15. 2013-9-4-Kendall-Bennett

    My students were talking today after the braodcast and had mixed emotions. Some were saying that they would want to prevent situations like suicide from happening again in their school. However, privacy was there biggest concern. As a classroom teacher I am very much so a supporter of monitoring activity on social networking sites when it is warranted.

    Reply
  16. This school sucks

    This is possibly the worst idea since milking chickens. Nobody at the school likes it and it is barely ( if it is at all ) legal to track the students without permission of a signed legal contract unless it is the parents decision because they own the kid legally until they are 18 years of age.

    Reply
  17. patrick

    The schools shouldn’t be monitoring what we are doing on our blogs, facebook, etc. I know they are trying to help, but it is an invasion of our PRIVACY. You think the our nation would have learned because of the big “monitoring scandel ” that was exposed a few months back. I mean we all have rights to! So that is my opinion on this subject.

    Reply
  18. Brandy

    Honestly, It’s none of my schools business what I do outside of school, including my social media status. As long as they aren’t affecting my grades and attendance at school it shouldn’t even matter.

    Reply
  19. Aaliyah Martinez

    Our social media is none of our schools business. I feel like if the schools started watching our Facebooks and Twitters, kids would feel uncomfortable posting what they felt and that is kind of the purpose of those accounts.

    Reply
  20. :)

    this idea is interesting… I mean no one should be aloud to track someones social lives, would you want some one tracking what you post? Is this even legal??? fistayyyyyyyy

    Reply
  21. Dominick

    Schools shouldnt be allowed to monitor student because then students would have no privacy what so ever. students may aswell monitor the schools and nobody have any privacy at all.

    Reply
  22. Kaleb Hoilman

    No,they should not be involved in our personal lives.Thats what our parents are supposed to do not our school.Thats why we have things like Facebook and Instagram so we share it with our friends not our schools.

    Reply
  23. Lakeisha Hughes

    I don’t think the school should be able to track our personal accounts, if they were to do that it’s a little thing called ‘Invading Privacy’. It is not there job to find out what we do it’s our parents job. We all have our secrets but us teenagers are not the only people that have secrets. Our teachers have secrets, even our parents have secrets and they don’t see us wanting to invade there personal devices, so why should they invade ours? My vote. NO.

    Reply
  24. selina

    Yes, because so many student’s in school gets bulled. They can’t do nothing about it and what they are thinking about doing is good. Because coming to school seeing that its ganna be the same all the time they can also be thinking about killing them selfs! after all the pan they go in school they don’t wont that.

    Reply
  25. Cecil

    Schools should not have the right to moniter student’s social media accounts, To do so would be a breach of their fourth amendment rights. A student’s private life is to be kept with as much discretion as wanted by the student. No disrespect to the current administration ,but a nation where a private citizen’s property, whether intellectual or physical’ is compromised so that the government can gain information on the individual for whatever reason ,is completely totalitarian.

    Reply
  26. Gene

    I have 3 reasons I said no, first because its a big breach of privacy. Second if the school wants to keep taps on bullying they should talk to who ever they think is getting bullied. Third i think the schools would over react over every little thing they take out of context.

    Reply
  27. zacharybraxton

    i think tht the schools have no rite to monitoire peoples online statues i mean wht we say is nun of the schools concern i mean i understand the worrie but i dont wont to hafe to woorrie abt wht i say on a online statues and be scared to get in trouble for it

    Reply
  28. Mikaella

    Once we get out of school what we do with our time does not concern the school at all. They shouldnt be able to get it our buisness.

    Reply
  29. chay

    I feel like bullying is unacceptable and at some point adults should take control. but no matter how many people feel like their unsafe online their not going to want the schools looking at their personal buiness online it just privacy I think their should just be another plan made up because people are not going to like this looking in people buiness teens like share personal stuff with others some might be innapropriate and some appropriate. it’s just all about privacy

    Reply
  30. taylor sanders

    Although there is cyber bullying online, we should still have rights to protect our personal information, such as conversations with family or friends. Monitering is a big violation of privacy.

    Reply
  31. chickie bloader eli

    I don’t think that would be good if they monitored kids facebook’s, instagram’s, and twitter’s because kids post, write, and post pictures of burnout stuff. So it wouldn’t be a good idea if they monitored kids stuff I don’t think that its cool to do that. Personally if the staff monitored my stuff I would tell them to fuck off and mind there fucking business. If I want to post burnt shit then ill post burnt shit if I want to I have my freedom so they shouldnt be able to be doing this I totally dis agree with what there doing

    Reply
  32. chickie bloader eli

    I don’t think that would be good if they monitored kids facebook’s, instagram’s, and twitter’s because kids post, write, and post pictures of burnout stuff. So it wouldn’t be a good idea if they monitored kids stuff I don’t think that its cool to do that. Personally if the staff monitored my stuff I would tell them to screw off and mind there freaking business. If I want to post burnt stuff then ill post burnt stuff if I want to I have my freedom so they shouldnt be able to be doing this I totally disagree with what there doing.

    Reply
  33. Kevin Earl

    Yes, unfortunately, some people can’t handle bullying well and commit suicide because of it; that doesn’t mean the entire underage world should have to be monitored because of it. Evidently there will always be jerks in the world.

    Reply
  34. Windrunner

    NO! I believe that it shouldn’t be used for multiple reasons, but the main thing would be that the “key words” system will mislead teachers. It’s interesting, but it’s kinda silly when you have to be talked to just because you want to talk about Casey Anthony or a girl’s suicide down in California or something on those lines.

    Reply
  35. henller

    I don’t think that schools should monitor what students are doing because it isn’t there job to interfere with a students life. Also, people will be always be mean and that’s part of life so you got to get used to it

    Reply
  36. Isaiah Fisher

    Schools should not be allowed to monitor the social media accounts of students. That is an invasion of privacy and an infringement of the first amendment. Students should be allowed to express their feelings no matter what. Students also need to know when to block and or ignore the harsh opinions of vile students. It is not necessary to “hall monitor” what students post on social media.

    Reply
  37. Hannah R.

    I don’t think social media should be monitored. If teens know someone who is being bullied online, they need to step up. We have responsibilities when signing up for social networking and I believe that is one.

    Reply
  38. Mike Savard

    Schools should not monitor students on social media because i think its going to start fights and riots also Where is the term “PRIVACY” this is ignoring students privacy also its considered STALKING STUDENTS people have been talking about and it and they prefer that people should have privacy and not let anyone else know what goes on out of school my answer is its just pointless its removing PRIVACY

    Reply
  39. juan

    I think that schools shouldn’t monitor what students do because its not there job to interfere with what they are doing.

    Reply
  40. Elvira Rios

    I don’t think our school should be able to track our personal accounts because it is invading our privacy. It doesn’t give us any freedom either.

    Reply
  41. linda aragon

    no I think that they shouldn’t monitor anyone because its noun of their business. but at the same time they should because many people like to bully others and it causes some people to commit suicide. but just because of that it doesn’t mean that they should monitor us in school yeah maybe they can save someone’s life but still they shouldn’t be monitoring us.

    Reply
  42. 2013-9-4-Miquela-Daniel_Bergman

    I don’t think schools should monitor what students do because teens need privacy I understand what they are trying to do by keeping the school safer but its not right!

    Reply
  43. STATHIS JONES

    i dont think they should monitor us because we need our privaty when we are post/talking to our friends and family.

    Reply
  44. Jackie L

    I say that schools should monitor what kids post on Facebook Instagram twitter etc, because there is a lot of cyber bulling that goes on in my school and something should be done about it, nobody deserves to be bullied, and someone (especially someone with a lot of power like the school) should do something to change that.

    Reply
  45. Hannah Wells

    I think that this could go both ways. While i love that schools are stepping up to help protect the lives of there students i also think that it should be left to be up to the parents of the students wether or not they want there children’s phone. If the school sent a permission slip home and left it up to the parents then the parents have a say in all of it

    Reply
  46. Aria B.

    Yes, schools should monitor social media. Cyber bullying is a big problem. Students have free reign to say whatever they want to on the internet with basically no punishment. Also, social media accounts are already very public. If you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see it, it shouldn’t be online.

    Reply
  47. taylor

    Monitoring our conversations on social media sites is a violation of privacy. Knowing the conversations are being monitored, students won’t be able to share feelings or have personal conversations with friends. I vote for my privacy.

    Reply
  48. Madison

    No, I don’t think the school should be allowed to monitor the students’ social media. Even if they are doing it with good intentions, it is the parent’s responsibility, not the schools, to monitor them outside of school. Not to mention it is infringing on the students’ privacy.

    Reply
  49. Kristin Day

    Everyone deserves privacy on social media. No one likes their teachers or principals watching their account because they might be posting something private on their pages and only want a few people to read. I think kids and teenagers have the right to say want they want to say and have control over what they do. I understand that the teachers are trying to help but they are going to far.

    Reply
  50. Kyle King

    I think schools shouldn’t monitor the students’ social media accounts because they should let the students do their own thing and if they flaw in some fashion, they’ll suffer the future consequences of cyberbullying, suicide, and bullying in real life.

    Reply
  51. Nicole Bender

    I don’t agree with a school being able to monitor students social media accounts. I believe it is an invasion of privacy. It is okay for parents because it is there job to maintain the acts and posts of their children. I am totally against bullying, but I believe if students have a bullying issue, they should confront somebody like a parent or teacher, but the act of one or two people should not effect everyone.

    Reply
  52. Amie Johnson

    No, schools should not be able to see what we text or post it online because we should be able to post what we want when we want .Leave it to the parents.

    Reply
  53. Tara

    I think the school shouldn’t have the monitor because other people might see some of informational stuff, and invading our privacy. Also I don’t think they should also monitor stuff like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram etc.

    Reply
  54. 2013-9-4-Nikki-Sheets

    Schools should NOT be able to monitor student social medias. They should have privacy, which isn’t met by the requirements of this new rule. School is school, our parents should monitor us, not our schools.

    Reply
  55. Jacqueline DiGiorgio

    I do not think schools should be allowed to enter students privacy. The schools are wasting their time doing this. The students have their privacy invaded and cannot do anything about it. Further more, the kids have no freedom to do what they want and will probably rebel against this just to make a point ” leave our social life alone; it is none of your business”.

    Reply
  56. Zoe Towne

    No, I don’t think it’s right because it’s a total invasion of privacy.And those “key words” can be miss leading for everyone who finds the comment. So in other words I think this is a bad invention and we should just stick with the hall monitors the old fashioned way. And I think that bullying really sucks, knowing from experience, that being a victim of bullies is a nerve over load and students don’t like going to school because they worry that they will be bullied once again today. So it probably could go both ways.

    Reply
  57. Kacy Havens

    Hello, I think you shouldn’t. To us “Teens” privacy is everything , taking that away is like taking the door to your bedroom off. You should be able to trust someone that they’ll step up and tell someone if they’re being bullied. But i think this i way too far…..That’s my opinion!

    Reply
  58. Maxxie Oliver

    As a depressed teenager myself, when the school got involved, it made my situation worse. My teachers gave me special treatment, I was thought of as a more fragile student. Nothing the school system could do would change how a person feels about taking their own life, take for example Olivia PenPraze, or Thomas Gaskarth. Both of these young teenagers had a great life ahead of them, however neither of them saw it, which is what mattered the most. Bottom line is, if there’s a will, there’s a way. A kid may talk about suicide, but never mean it. Another kid may never talk about suicide, but end up committing regardless. The mind is too complex for outsiders to understand what really goes on inside of it, and it would be pointless to try.

    Reply
  59. aaron

    i dont think the schools should spy on us on our social media accounts if they dont want it to happen, they should tell parents and let them take care of it

    Reply
  60. 2013-9-7-Mckenzi-Edwards

    I think schools should be able to monitor what you post but not your text messeges or phone calls and they should only monitor it during school hours. People post things and it can really hurt someone and if your scared to get help and stand up for your self I think the school should!

    Reply
  61. Kat

    Schools should have boundaries and this is one of thr boundaries that you do not go across or break and we should deal with bullying in another way.

    Reply
  62. judy

    My 7th grade tech students do not think this is a good idea. Don’t interfer in our private business.
    Parents should be more involved about bullying.

    Reply
  63. Hayley-Aycock

    okay im not really sure. i mean on one hand yes, we need someone to stick up for some students,but on the other it would be weird cause no one would be able to post what they want ,and did they think about the things they cant help. most bullying is done through private messaging or can they see that too? no bully is gonna post on a public facebook post i mean unless they have a group of friends backing them. this is stupid NO!!!!

    Reply
  64. Kinzi

    I think that is a good idea. But I think it should be just the people they think are more likely to bully anyone.

    Reply

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