Alabama school system monitors students’ Facebook pages for ‘security’

Alabama school system monitors students’ Facebook pages for ‘security’

[Ed. – Don’t post a photo of yourself with a gun, apparently.  Even if you’re, say, a competition target shooter or you like to hunt.]

A secret program to monitor students’ online activities began quietly in Huntsville schools, following a phone call from the NSA, school officials say.

Huntsville schools Superintendent Casey Wardynski says the system began monitoring social media sites 18 months ago, after the National Security Agency tipped the school district to a student making violent threats on Facebook.

The NSA, a U.S. agency responsible for foreign intelligence, this week said it has no record of a call to Huntsville and does not make calls to school systems.

Regardless of how the program started, Huntsville City Schools began scanning Facebook and other sites for signs of gang activity, watching for photos of guns, photos of gang signs and threats of violence.

The Huntsville monitoring program is called SAFe, or Students Against Fear. School board members said they did not know about the program when contacted last week.

Internal documents explaining the program, obtained by AL.com, show examples of four different students posing on Facebook with handguns. None are on school grounds. Three are listed as expelled. One was referred for counseling.  

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