Do you watch what your children post online? Would you like the school district to keep an eye on them? That’s what could be happening as a handful of New Jersey School Districts are actively pursuing the services of a private company to monitor students online for signs of bullying.

 

Sean Gallup, Getty Images

One district in California is already doing it saying  they’re responding to a sudden spate of student suicides, with an effort to stop dangerous acts before they happen. But critics are convinced that a government surveillance mindset is seeping into our classrooms.  The American Civil Liberties Union in California argues that this monitoring is a violation of student privacy.  However the only posts under surveillance are public posts which can be seen by anyone anyway and not any private twitter or facebook accounts.

Here’s the way it works, The hired company, called Geo Listening, gives a daily report to school officials on internet posts involving substance abuse, crime, vandalism, bullying, or vulgar or suicidal language. It’s up to administrators to decide whether or not a particular post warrants action. What type of action that could be varies from state to state.

What it does do is alert the student that anything that they post could come back to haunt them. We live in a country that gives us the freedom of speech but also reminds us that anything we say can and will be used against us. That could also apply to posting.

Should schools be paying for this kind of service? Would this come out of the anti bullying fund?  Would it be worth it? Should we be doing it? How do you feel? Should schools be monitoring students on line posts for bullying? Take the poll below and let us know what you think.