Until 2010, the year I graduated, I attended Cary High School as a student. Cary High is very strict on social media. All social media websites, along with many others – such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter – have been blocked by the firewall setup by administration.
School administration blocks websites in order for students to focus on the schoolwork being done on computers. Yet students find ways around the firewall all the time. Every month a new link is sent out to students over Facebook called, “How To Access Facebook At School”. Some students find ways to access social media on their own. Each time administration blocks the access link to blocked information, another link comes out. It is a never-ending battle between students and administration. There is nothing the administration can do. Students will keep finding ways to access blocked content.
I do not understand why Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter have all been blocked, while instant-messaging programs can still be downloaded and used. People chat with each other over email instant messaging and downloaded forms of instant-messaging all the time when using computers. I myself have done this. I have gone on to AOL and talked to people on the AIM in my personal mailbox.
Students and staff cannot become Facebook friends until after the student graduates. This is to protect the student-teacher relationship and keep it professional. Cary High does not want to become involved in a lawsuit because of inappropriate relations between staff and students, or even misconstrued activity.
I believe Facebook should come out with a way to allow students and staff to become friends but restricted friends, meaning they may only communicate about school. An idea could be to create a Facebook Application that is similar to Blackboard. Seeing as how most teenagers visit Facebook at least once, more than likely many times, a day and more than likely rarely does a student visit Blackboard whether it is required or not, schools should use this to their advantage.