Student Safety and Social Media

By now, we have a pretty good idea about how to use new tools to keep track of new media. And we’ve covered how to respond to comments made¬†about our schools and districts¬†in social media circles.

What needs to be covered, though, is our responsibility to pass along information which appears in social media channels that concerns the safety and welfare of students. Sometimes, the subject matter and gravity of postings require that social services or law enforcement be alerted. For many districts, the exact sequence of events is spelled out by policy, but the end result should always be notifying the authorities.

Three categories of postings should be immediately reported to the proper agency:

  • When a student is being hurt by someone else
  • When a student is threatening or hurting someone else
  • When a student talks about hurting himself or herself

In these instances, it is best to take down such posts (after documenting them) in order to contain the issue and minimize the likelihood that others might respond and exacerbate the situation.