Florida schools use police profiling program to monitor students on social media

Florida schools use police profiling program to monitor students on social media
Preparing for life lessons. (Image via Santa Maria Times)

[Ed. – Nothing intrusive or statist to see here.  Move along.]

The school system in Orange County, where Orlando is located, recently told the Orlando Sentinel that the program, which partners the school system with local police departments, has been successful in protecting students’ safety, saying that it led to 12 police investigations in the past year. The school district says it will pay about $18,000 annually for SnapTrends, the monitoring software used to check students’ activity. It’s the same software used by police in Racine, Wis., to track criminal activity and joins a slew of similar social media monitoring software used by law enforcement to keep an eye on the community.

SnapTrends collects data from public posts on students’ social media accounts by scanning for keywords that signify cases of cyberbullying, suicide threats, or criminal activity. School security staff then comb through flagged posts and alert police when they see fit. …

Orange County isn’t alone in choosing to monitor students. Schools in Alabama and California have adopted similar social-media-mining software. In Huntsville, Ala., 14 kids were expelled because of social media posts in 2014.

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