September 12 2013
Vicki E. Alger
California student test scores fell this year for the first time in a decade. So what’s one Los Angeles area school district doing? Beefing up the quality of its teachers? Using available funds for tutoring? Nope.
Glendale Unified school officials are spending more than $40,000 to hire an outside company to monitor students’ social media posts, according to the Glendale News-Press:
After collecting information from students' posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, Geo Listening will provide Glendale school officials with a daily report that categorizes posts by their frequency and how they relate to cyber-bullying, harm, hate, despair, substance abuse, vandalism and truancy.
Some 13,000 students will be affected. Keeping students safe is a top priority, along with top academics.
But why should schools start behaving as Big Brother? Monitoring children’s social media use is a job for parents, not school officials—which begs the question: why do students have time to update their Facebook status, text, or Tweet while at school?
School representatives regularly complain they don’t have enough money or enough time to get the job done. Then perhaps they should stop taking on responsibilities—and associated costs—that aren’t theirs in the first place.