Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Issue Highlight: Social Media Policy for Cyberbullying

Posted by Rachael Ballard Filed under: Bullying, Internet Safety

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat… the list goes on and on. With the ever-growing prevalence of social media in today’s society, it is more important than ever for both students and adults to become social media literate and post or tweet responsibly.

Some school districts are instituting social media policies to fight one of the major dangers of social media: cyberbullying. StopBullying.gov defines cyberbullying as, “bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.”

To try to prevent cyberbullying, schools in Southeastern Minnesota are implementing policies that punish students for using social media outlets to abuse classmates or rival sports teams. The policy also applies to any posts about alcohol, tobacco and drugs, or racially or sexually explicit language. The punishment for such violations can range from verbal warnings to suspensions.

One Minnesota school district went as far as seizing a student’s passwords to her email and Facebook account and searching her accounts after it was reported she had a sexually explicit conversation with another student via Facebook. After legal backlash, the district decided to change its social media policies.

Edutopia offers a good guide to creating a social media policy. How does this compare to your district’s social media policy? We want to hear about the different policies our customers are using! Post to our Facebook page or tweet us at @PSWORKS.

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