Glendale Unified School District plans to monitor students on social media, online

District to pay company for monitoring

GLENDALE, Calif. - A school district near Los Angeles plans to monitor students' online activities and public social media posts.

The program aims to protect students from harming themselves and to give officials a heads up on issues such as cyber-bullying, according to the Glendale Unified School District.

The district plans to hire an outside company to do searches for evidence of cyber-bullying and drug use on students' social media pages.

The decision comes a year after sophomore Drew Ferraro jumped to his death at his school and in front of classmates. His parents have said that Ferraro was being bullied.

District officials said bullying, school shootings and other threats were all motivations to hire the company.  

"Last year we ran a trial at three of the schools and found it to be very useful, and we were able to intervene in a positive manner and actually work with kids who were having some issues," Superintendent Richard Sheehan told ABC News.

The company can search postings for "bullying, despair, hate, crime and substance." It denies any claims that the monitoring is a form of invasion of privacy because the focus is on public postings.

MORE: http://www.glendalenewspress.com/news/tn-gnp-me-monitoring-20130824,0,4640365.story

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