A school board has decided to require that all students participating in extracurricular activities sign a pledge agreeing that evidence of “illegal or inappropriate” behavior posted on the Internet could be grounds for disciplinary action. The warning is aimed at student bloggers and users of sites like MySpace.com.
Officials in Community High School District 128 of Libertyville, IL won’t regularly search students’ sites, but will monitor them if they get a worrisome tip from another student, a parent or a community member.
Mary Greenberg of Lake Bluff, who has a son at Libertyville High School, argued the district is overstepping its bounds.
“I don’t think they need to police what students are doing online,” she said. “That’s my job.”
ABSOLUTELY it is, and the school board should be spending its resources to talk with parents about preventing stuff like this. I can understand if content promoting illegal activity (like selling drugs, prostitution, etc.) is found. In that case, the parents and the local authorities need to be contacted. Yet the school district also plans to watch for “inappropriate” behavior, and therein lies a problem. Who defines what’s inappropriate? The boards oversight opens a huge can of worms.
Parents are responsible for the actions of their children 24/7. School officials are responsible to keep kids safe while on school grounds. In this case, the district is out of bounds.