Should Schools Punish Kids for Social Media Use?

You see it in the news ALL the time.
Kids are being punished for social media posts. Every day, it seems, more and more kids in the States and beyond are being arrested for things they post on Social Media.

How should we be reacting to this? Is this correct?
A recent article about this also got me thinking about this: technically, who is responsible?
In the article, we learn that when a school decided to punish their students for irresponsible posts on social media, parents sued!
So, whose fault is it anyway?
It’s actually a very fine line. With technology and digitization of everything comes a very serious issue: accountability. Suddenly, you can’t blame your younger brother anymore: he has a different IP address from you!
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All the things that we got away with in the 90’s and before, kids don’t get away with anymore. Enter responsibility of the school and parenting. Who is in charge of what? Does social media posted during school hours count as school responsibility? Or if anything even happens outside of school, should only the parents be responsible?

I’m a big believer in active parenting. But then again, I’m not a parent, so I’m not exactly one to judge what is ‘active parenting’ and what isn’t! However, I do believe that all actions and thus, the consequences, should be dealt with from home first and foremost.
Having said that, I am also a big believer in active schooling. Schools need to be more well-rounded in their curriculum, and teach more practical things. Home Economics I read somewhere the other day, has been in steady decline. It should be the opposite.
Kids need to know what manners are, howto write a cheque, how to deal with money… and, importantly, how to behave themselves online.
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I do find, in this case, that parents aren’t necessarily the best teachers for this. They didn’t grow up in a digital age, where everything was quick and easy and accessible. They’re still stuck in the past in many respects, and having them as role models won’t help.
This is where schools really need to step up their game. Aren’t schools supposed to prepare us for the real world? By ignoring social media, they are doing the exact opposite. They are in fact making it more dangerous for students.

It’s time to stop ignoring what is in front of us. It’s no longer the elephant in the room, it’s the mobile phone in the room. Yes, the future is here and it’s not going anywhere. And stupid things that kids do are only going to be amplified because everything is now recorded.
Good Lord, if I had been recorded doing all the stupid things I’ve done as a child, I don’t think I would have survived the embarrassment and shame.

So let’s make sure that our kids are getting the right education in digital media. Let’s make sure that they know what the consequences are, and also the benefits that can be reaped from being on social media (because, yes, there are benefits!).

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