Should students be held accountable for their outside social media posts?


Miel Pearce and Annabel Everett

PRO: by Miel Pearce

Students should be held accountable for what they post on social media

The John Carroll administration has the power to enforce disciplinary action on any student who breaks the digital use expectations.

This means, if the administration finds out about cyberbullying, vulgar language, or illegal activities, students can receive detentions, demerits, and in extreme cases suspensions and expulsions. The purpose of this is to ensure that John Carroll students are presenting a professional online image and representing The John Carroll school well.
Social media can be a great source for teens to keep in touch with their friends, share life updates, and stay connected to their communities. However, it can also give people a platform to bully, say things that they would never say to someone’s face, and share their own bad decisions with lots of people.
Students should be careful about what they put online in order to avoid their social media presence being used against them.
When students post illegal or inappropriate messages or pictures to social media, they run the risk of colleges and employers seeing these posts and rejecting their acceptance or employment. Even if posts were made a long time ago, were posted privately, or eventually deleted, things never fully leave the internet, and students may have to face the repercussions of something they said in their youth for the rest of their lives.
Social media is usually a reflection of a person’s views, social life, and lifestyle and is used by many to judge one’s character. Whether or not social media is an accurate look into the lives of others, it is still used as one. People often forget that the things they share online can be just as, if not more, hurtful than saying something to someone’s face.
If students are more careful about posting online, they can be safer and be more likely to succeed in the future, as well as have one less bad decision to be constantly reminded of.
It’s important to remember that things on social media are never completely deleted. So before posting online, students should take a minute to think about how others may interpret it, as well as who may view it.
When posting photos, students should double check to make sure the photos are free of illegal substances, offensive gestures/poses, or any other inappropriate content.
Students should also consider making their social media accounts private for safety concerns and to reduce the spread of possibly controversial messages.


CON: by Annabel Everett

Students should be able to post on social media without repercussions

High schools should not regulate what students post on social media.

Social media has become increasingly more popular over the years. Seemingly everyone has a cell phone, and social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook are great ways to connect people.
The rise in popularity of these apps is great because it means that more people have an outlet and a voice. However, it also means that peoples’ posts on social media reach more people and can have a greater effect, sometimes a negative one, on their life.
Inappropriate and hurtful posts on social media have gotten people fired from jobs, rejected from colleges, kicked off sports teams, and expelled from school. This is exactly the reason some high schools regulate and check what their students post, and punish students who do not post appropriately.
However, many students agree that this is a disruption of privacy, and that they should not be punished for their own posts on social media. While certain posts that fall under harassment, such as bullying or saying hurtful things about one another, should have consequences on students, otherwise distasteful posts shouldn’t be penalized.
It is the right of a student to keep their personal lives separate from their school lives, and as long as their posts do not cause harm to another person or establish their connection to their high school, what students post on social media platforms should stay separate from school.
Many people argue that the regulation of social media posts benefits the students greatly because it can be the deciding factor of college acceptance or rejection. However, students should understand the importance and reach of social media and make that decision for themselves.
This understanding and independence of students will also help them in the future because it teaches them to post sensibly and kindly, and this is a lesson that most people will carry with them to adulthood in their jobs. Oftentimes, students become restless and have a hard time with this when they have a long list of rules and guidelines about what they should or shouldn’t post.
People also claim that posts on social media can damage a school’s reputation if the student establishes a connection to the school. However, if a student did not mention their tie to the school, social media posts stay separate from school. As long as students are not using social media as a way to hurt other students, having freewill and being allowed to post what they choose to is beneficial for them in the long run.