Inappropriate Social Media Use

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Children nowadays use a variety of social media platforms to connect with their peers. Whether it’s a private message or an open statement made for the world to see, even liking something inappropriate that someone else posted—nothing is private.

In July 2017, Education Week posted 10 Social Media Controversies That Landed Students In Trouble This School Year (2016-2017). It’s an interesting article showing how inappropriate social media posting—thought to be fun—can negatively impact a child’s life. I’m going to spotlight a few scenarios that stood out to me.

BLOG POST #162: This week, I’m sharing research on specific cases, some criminal, involving high school students and their inappropriate social media use.

#1 – The student is a high school student by day, aspiring musician by night and on weekends. He posted a music video he’d recorded at his school without permission from the school. The video had profane language and gestures of shooting guns. When the school found out, he was suspended for 10 days.

#2 – Many students from different school districts in one particular state posted rape memes and racists messages on Nazi chat forums. At least five were expelled. (A meme is an activity, concept, catchphrase, or piece of media that spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via the Internet. -Wikipedia)

#3 – Two 14-year-old high school girls were suspended for posting a photo of them with fake guns and a threat to shoot up the school at homecoming. Their case was handled in juvenile court.

#4 – About 20 students liked an Instagram post that threatened one day the school would have a shooting. All were suspended.

#5 – One student and a few friends thought it would be funny to digitally alter a photo of a teacher to look pornographic and then share it on social media. In the state where this occurred, posting an injurious message on the Internet is a crime punishable by up to 5-years in prison. Luckily for these boys, the case was handled in juvenile court.

#6 – A school director was secretly photographed by a student while changing clothes at a local fitness center. The student posted the photo on social media. The student was arrested and expelled.

Sadly, with the rise in social media popularity and youthful recklessness, I’m sure this school year will provide more such examples of students using poor judgment.

Even sadder, students are missing out on college placement due to their inappropriate use of social media and those posts, tweets, photos, messages, etc. often follow them into the workforce.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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