As the new Chromebooks are settling in with the new school year there has been an explosion of Twitter usage from the student body. This presents many problems during school: for example, students not paying attention, using it in class, etc. But the biggest problem lies in the tweets themselves. Harmful and problematic tweets from students to other students, about teachers, or about the school in general are becoming a trending topic. Students are left wondering what the disciplinary actions actually are when it comes to these tweets.
Senior Ryan Sarno was very passionate about the idea that it is his personal Twitter account and no one should review his posts.
“I think Leyden should monitor to an extent. As a school they want us to express ourselves as individuals, yet they are looking at what we say on Twitter and having different opinions about us,” he added.
He mentioned that he used Twitter “ to interact with my friends, teachers, and celebrities, not to look down on other people.”
In all honesty students don’t really like to see or think about looking at this issue from the point of view from an administrator or teacher.
We like to believe that the things that we post on the internet are just jokes and really mean nothing. But whether we like to admit it or not, they do mean something and some people take offense to the things we post as kids.
Principal Markey has made it clear that he is a very big fan of social networking and our new digital school. But like everything there are problems that come along with having a digital community and he knows that. One of the more serious problems is Twitter and whether students’ Twitter feeds are being monitored.
“As a school we are not monitoring any social networking outlet per say, but if it is brought to our attention, which is most of the time by another student, that’s when we look at a situation,” Principal Markey stated.
Another concern students have is with things being “said” out of school, via Twitter and other social media, and whether it can or can’t result in disciplinary actions by the school.
“The state has actually passed some pretty big legislation recently that requires us to see things, even posted out of school, as potentially troublesome or can result in trouble at school,” he added. “But it’s kind of a grey area right now and it’s really up to the discretion of the school.”
But there is a positive side to social networking and how much of a powerful tool it can be if used accordingly.
“It is such a big tool to for us to use, and it would be great if we could use it in a postive way. That’s where this “#leydenpride” hashtag came from. Let’s focus on the positive things of our school rather than the negative,” he added.
As a student who is currently witnessing this firsthand, I can say that it is stressful thinking that someone is watching what you post. But in many ways, I see the legitimacy in monitoring students’ tweets, somewhat.
I think that if Twitter continues to present problems and leads to students’ tweets being monitored, that they should only be monitored to a certain extent: I agree that it makes sense to monitor/discipline students who talk negatively towards each other, but I don’t think students should be getting in trouble for general things they say on Twitter, such as tweets about sex/humor that are not specifically attacking or about anyone in particular, especially if it is not a threat to the school or someone.
Despite the fact that we don’t like to look at things from the adults’ perspective we need to realize that things could come back to haunt us in the future and we really need to recognize that these things are seen by everyone and can not be taken back. I also agree with the fact that as students we leave a digital footprint and should not be putting other students or our school down. But what I don’t agree with is if the administration is checking our social networks and disciplining us on our own opinions.
I think that Twitter will be a positive tool for students to use in the future, but we are still in the building process of using the Chromebooks. In years to come I see Twitter as a positive school tool during school hours.