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Los Angeles school district hires company to monitor social media of 13,000 students

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Whose job is it to monitor a child's online behavior when they aren't in school? According to the Glendale Unified School District in Los Angeles, the answer is elementary: the school district.

Ars Technica reports that 13,000 students from the L.A. school district will now have their public social media posts monitored:

"Geo Listening looks for social media posts that deal with depression, despair, online bullying, hate speech, or other words and phrases that may indicate a possible violation of school codes of conduct — whether it's by a student or someone in and around a school's location.

"Last month, Geo Listening even signed a deal with the Glendale Unified School District located north of downtown Los Angeles. Their agreement became the first publicly confirmed partnership between the company and a school district. Glendale will pay $40,500 for Geo Listening to monitor posts by 13,000 students across its eight middle and high schools for an academic year."

Advocates of the program note that the behavior being monitored is all gleaned from public, not private, accounts. Regardless, another question remains: Are parental responsibilities being abdicated to school districts and government contractors?

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