In an effort to protect students, some schools have taken the proactive approach of hiring companies to track their student’s social media activity. The reasoning is that knowledge gained from constant monitoring can allow school officials to intervene if students are discussing suicide, violence, substance abuse, or bullying.
The question is: are school legally allowed to monitor student’s social media activity?
The Fourth Amendment guarantees U.S. citizens a reasonable expectation of privacy in regards to searches and seizures. Due to the public nature of social media, students are not protected by the Fourth Amendment in this regard, allowing school faculty to track their students’ social media activity.
While schools say they are monitoring for student safety, you may not want your child’s account public. Inform your child of his or her rights and advise them to set their accounts to “private” and limit the amount of information shared.
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