The Internet has unleashed a torrent of opportunities for young people to make contacts with others of their age as well as to encounter those who would not ordinarily have crossed their path of life. Schools in Australia are taking advantage of new technology which allows them to monitor Facebook activities of their students. James Griffin of SR7 says his company goes “where the conversations are, where young people or communities of interest are coalescing online. His company then informs schools as to what is going on.
Lila Mularczyk of New South Wales Secondary Principals’ Council says it is their policy to remove statements made by students on Facebook. “Our policy now extends the concept of the school playground to any environment in the social media platform where a student of the school or a teacher is identified by name, image or inference.”
There are bullies who wander the halls of schools. There are bullies who torment youth on Facebook. However, schools control what occurs in schools, not what transpires on the Internet. That realm belongs to local police officials. The real question is: Who determines what is appropriate as a comment and are there checks to their power to make such decisions?