The Glendale School District in California is facing some backlash from the recent news that it has retained the services of Geo Listening to track its students’ social media activity. The rationale behind the program is (of course) the students’ safety.
“After collecting information from students’ posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, Geo Listening will provide Glendale school officials with a daily report that categorizes posts by their frequency and how they relate to cyber-bullying, harm, hate, despair, substance abuse, vandalism and truancy.
Glendale Unified, which piloted the service at Hoover, Glendale and Crescenta Valley high schools last year, will pay the company $40,500 to monitor posts made by about 13,000 middle school and high school students at eight Glendale schools.”
It would appear that the school district knew there would be some backlash, hence its decision to delay this announcement until the beginning of this school year, rather than “last year,” when the program was actually put into place. (The date stated in this article may be incorrect. The founder of Geo Listening’s LinkedIn page says the company formed in January — unless “last year” means “last school year.”) Administration officials are already on the defensive.