Our world is getting smaller and smaller; not literally of course, but through the use of the Internet and social media websites. As teens get more comfortable with what they post on the Internet, more problems are beginning to arise. As some of these posts may be inappropriate, and they are available for everyone to see, we ask ourselves: when should the high school get involved with matters over the Internet? Since anyone can see what we post—from partying to Twitter fights—are we asking to get reprimanded by school systems for things that go viral?
Most instances have to be taken on a case-to-case basis; if something happens on school property, such as on campus, on our laptops or if a social media post references NHS or any activity that deals with NHS, it is definitely the responsibility of the school to step in. Also, if a potentially dangerous situation is present, school involvement is a necessity because it is their job to keep students safe. But how far should schools get involved with off campus activities? The state policy is that if a situation causes a disruption in learning, then it is a school problem. We believe that if that is the case, schools do have the right to intervene and find a solution.
Although, it is the right of the school to get involved in certain situations, that is not always the case. We do not believe schools have the right to monitor our social media accounts or “hunt students down” to find out our activities. Petty Twitter fights should not be a concern of the school; students will never be able to deal with their own problems if an outside force constantly comes in to solve it for them. Now, if it turns into persistent cyber bullying and eventually to in-person bullying, the school should get involved because that could cause either physical or mental ramifications.
Social media incidents are complicated when it comes to school involvement. Everything you say on social media has the potential to offend someone, and all opinions stem from experience. Everyone is going to interpret things on social media differently, so is it okay to punish someone based on an opinion that offends someone or a picture that they think isn’t harmful? No.
It is our opinion that if something is done outside of school, it is not a school issue. If the guidance counselors want to try and help the students, that is okay, but if the student rejects the help the school shouldn’t go any further. It is the job of a parent to monitor what is going on with their children’s social media accounts, and if they don’t do that, that is their choice. At that point, it is up to teens to become smarter about what they post online and learn the aftermath of what destructive posts can do to your future.