Los Angeles school district tracks students' social media to keep check on behaviour

Washington, Sept. 16 (ANI): A Los Angeles school district is reportedly paying a firm to monitor the online behaviour of middle and high school students for possible anti-social elements like violence, drug use, bullying, truancy and suicidal threats.

The district in Glendale, California, is paying 40,500 dollars to the firm, Geo Listening, to monitor 14,000 middle and high school students' posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media for one year.

Superintendent Richard Sheehan said that a successful intervention helped save a life of a student who was speaking of ending his life on his social media.

Chris Frydrych, CEO of the firm said that they monitor the social media postings of Glendale students aged 13 and older and send a daily report to principals on which students' comments could be causes for concern, CNN reports.

The CEO further said that the firm also monitors whether students are talking about drug use, cutting class or violence and ascertains whether pupils are using their smartphone during class time.

While some are against the programme and have likened it to the governmental snooping, others believe that such an intervention is significant.

Senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Lee Tien said that such an effort essentially indicates that the government is hiring a contractor to stalk social media of the kids.

Sandy Russell, president of the school district's PTA, said that parents have many questions about the monitoring and want to know the purpose of the monitoring.

The report said that the firm doesn't hack into private postings by students, nor their e-mail or text messages and only monitors public postings.

Frydrych maintains that the firm isn't spying on kids, the report added. (ANI)


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