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School district pays company to monitor students' social media


Last spring, a school district outside Los Angeles paid a firm $5,000 to conduct a pilot social media monitoring program of 9,000 of its students. The firm discovered that one student posted frequently about ending his life, and the school district, which had experienced two student suicides in the last two years, was able to get the boy the mental health help he needed.

 

Now, the district is giving the company over $40,000 to monitor the social media accounts of all of its middle and high school students. Why? According to CNN, they'll be looking for references to "violence, drug use, bullying, truancy and suicidal threats." The firm insists that they look only at public posts and do not report anything having to do with negative comments about school, teachers or classes.

 

Still, critics of the decision to hire the company say that it's an invasion of privacy, and equate it to stalking kids online. But in a state that has cut mental health spending in schools, is it worth it?

 

Tell us what you think in the comments. Would you be OK with your school doing this?

 

 

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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 9/17/2013 11:03:00 AM

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