(PCM) In an effort to put an end to cyber-bullying, campus suicide and crime, the Orange County school district in Florida has revealed plans to begin monitoring student’s postings on various social media networks.
The school district has purchased new software for the price of about $14,000 per year, that will analyze social media postings made from their campuses. The program will allow the school district to search postings made to both Facebook and Twitter for keywords that might indicate problems.
Of course there has been some backlash and debate over the school districts ethics using the new software as many cite privacy concerns, but the school district stands behind their decision and claims that protecting their students is the first and only priority.
All messages being searched are said to be “open-source information” and publicly available to anyone who may have the right tools to complete a proper search. In fact, the program, called Snaptrends, has already led school officials being able to help one student who was talking about self harm on social media. The school district was able to contact the authorities and help the student and his family receive the medical help he required.
The school district hopes that the new software will help parents discuss with their children the proper way to use social media over the summer, as the program is set to fully roll out in time for the 2015-2016 school year.