Schools Monitoring Students’ Social Media

This article from the New York Times, “Warily, Schools Watch Students on the Internet,” speaks about school officials’ rights to monitor what students are posting online. The general argument is over the rights of the student officials to read and act on students’ social media or if that action by school officials violates the First Amendment rights of the students.

I personally believe that students need to realize that what they are posting on social media is public and therefore that gives anyone, including school officials, the ability to see what they are posting.  Students, especially teenagers, need to be cautious about what they post online.  But there is also the slippery slope of where the line is drawn in terms of punishment.  So my question is:

Should school officials be allowed to punish students based on their social media? What are your thoughts?

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2 Responses to Schools Monitoring Students’ Social Media

  1. First Amendment rights are usually limited when it comes to certain situations in public schools. I think in the long run this could potentially be beneficial for students, if they know they are being monitored and therefore don’t upload outrageous content; however, I don’t think students should be punished especially when they are uploading content outside of school. If anything, maybe teachers can bring it to their attention that what they’re uploading is inappropriate but taking any further action is a little excessive.

  2. ddoukas says:

    I agree with the above. I think that it is the school’s responsibility to INFORM students of what proper behavior on social media is and the consequences of having a negative online presence/track record. However, involving themselves in the content the students produce is definitely going too far and, in doing so, children will never be conscious of the importance of their online presence. It is imperative for the student to learn these behaviors on their own and learn to filter their content adequately to keep their online record clear and representative, especially once students begin applying into the job market.

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