There is a growing debate over whether school districts should take steps to monitor student use of social media.  The Cyberbullying Research Center recently reported that some school districts will pay $40,000 or more for services that monitor and report on student activity on social media.  School districts are taking these measures in an effort to uncover any safety threats to the school, cyberbullying, and threats of self-harm.  One company, GEO Listening, claims that it will help “Stop bullying before it’s too late,” allowing districts to respond quicker and more effectively.

On the other side of the debate are questions of student privacy rights and the cost-benefit analysis for districts.  According to the Cyber Research Center, the better approach might be to create a culture where students are encouraged and empowered to come forward with concerns and schools are able to act on those concerns.  For more on this debate and what other schools are doing about it, visit the Cyberbullying Research Center’s website http://cyberbullying.us/.

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