Sunday, April 27, 2008

In DC area, school systems ponder off-campus social networking policies to deal with cyber-bullying


The Washington Post on Sunday April 27 carried, on p B1 Metro in the print edition, a story about cyber bullying in District and area schools. The article is “Schoolyward Face-Offs Blamed on Facebook Taunts,” by Daniel De Vise, link here.
The problem is that “normal” teenage "teasing" accelerates into bullying when it can be seen all over the planet (or at least in very large and unknown audience) from social networking site profiles. Whitelisting of site profiles for minors does help. But now school systems are considering whether they need more policies dealing with what kids write at home on their own profiles, when the material is likely to affect the school campus. Lawyers and First Amendment specialists now have to debate this further.

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