Can electronic spying catch public school bullies? In an effort to cut down on bullying, one school district has begun monitoring social media posts made by its 14,000 middle and high school students.
According to a story on PluggedIn.com, The Glendale Unified School District in California is paying a social networking monitoring service to comb through students’ posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media networks.
What are they looking for? Posts that indicate bullying, express suicidal thoughts, or confess crimes. They’ll also be checking for profanity. It will notify the district if it runs across anything alarming or suspicious.
Speaking of alarming and suspicious, USA Today reports that many gangs are recruiting new members via the Internet—and even using popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
About 20% of gang members say their organizations either run their own websites or have a presence on a social networking outlet; half say they’ve posted videos of their gangs in action. Some say they use Facebook and Twitter to pick fights.
Of course, this social networking activity can make it easier to crack down on a gang’s illegal activity too. Last year, police in New York City arrested forty-three gang members in relation to crimes they talked about on Twitter.
And finally some good news—a faith-based dormitory is thriving at a public university. Troy University in Alabama has opened a dorm that requires residents to live by rules that include a ban on alcohol, mandatory community service, a minimum grade point average, and respect for other faiths.
The dorms are open to all faiths, but would-be residents must submit recommendations from a minister, school counselor, or community leader. And it’s nearly full this semester.
By the way, 75 percent of Troy’s students say they consider faith and religion important to their college experience.
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