Social Media Tracking Unnecessary

Jamie Brown, Staff Writer

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites continue to create problems for students, a common issue being cyber bullying. As a result, some schools, such as the Glendale Unified School District, have hired a firm within the past year to track students’ online behavior, searching for cyber bullying and illegal activity which students often reveal on social media sites.

While I believe the administration needs to be notified and take action if online bullying or other inappropriate activity is published on these sites, paying for a company to watch a student’s every move online is expensive and fiscally irresponsible. In addition, I believe the school is already doing all it should to prevent bullying.

Assistant principal Sharon Bartlett said, “I don’t see it happening at Campolindo or in the district in the near future.” However, she stressed the fact that the administration does care about what students are posting. “If there is cyber bullying going on, we try to encourage students to come and tell us,” she said.

According to CNN, the Glendale Unified School District paid the firm Geo Listening $40,500 to monitor what students post online. Bartlett said the Acalanes district cannot afford this. “In terms of finances, we really don’t have the resources,” she explained.

If the school does not currently have the money to pay for this service, the money might have to come out of other services that the school currently has.

According to Bartlett, the district’s “Bullying Complaint Form” can be filled out anonymously to explain any issues involving students.”We really are hoping to educate our students and empower our parents,” she said. A speaker will be coming in February to talk about, among other things, cyber bullying. This will empower students to speak up against bullying and adequately address the issue.  Paying for a service to track student behavior online is too much.

With the complaint form and the speaker, Campolindo doesn’t need a private company to be on top of bullying. In an area in which the school is not obligated to help, they are already making enough of an effort to get rid of bullying.

The tracking of students through social media is both costly and unnecessary.