Most clubs and organizations use social media platforms to inform members of special dates and meetings. While school-run accounts cannot curse on social media, there are no rules preventing groups or clubs representing Marshall from posting inappropriate content. The school board has created a few regulations in order to keep accounts from doing this, but they are not effective at all.
In the beginning of each school year, students must sit in class and discuss the rules regarding the internet and social media. Among the lesson teachers present, there is a rule stating students are not allowed to post vulgar content on any social media platform while tagging Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).
At first, this rule might seem successful in preventing student-run accounts representing clubs, sports, or organizations from cursing. But, this regulation is ineffective and contains many loopholes. For example, students may post inappropriate content and not face repercussions from the school by simply not tagging any FCPS organizations or accounts and avoiding the use of “#fcps.”
While all clubs and organizations at Marshall have a teacher sponsor, they are usually not in charge of running the social media accounts.
For example, the Marshall Mob, a student run account representing the student population, has posted innapropriate content in the past, yet faced absolutely no repurcussions due to the lack of oversight.
There are some exceptions, including school athletic accounts that administrators and staff run, as well as the Student Government Association (SGA).
Though there are certain groups not allowed to post vulgar or inappropriate content on social media, they do not make up a majority of the school’s organizations or clubs. This means that only a minority of the accounts representing Marshall have restrictions.
With no oversight from teachers or administrators, students have the ability to post any content they desire without fearing disciplinary action.
The argument that posting any desired content is protected by the freedom of speech is simply irrelevant since there are certain rights given up when students walk into school.
If social media posts tagging or representing a school are derogatory and jeopardize the image of a school, students should face the same disciplinary action that they would face in school.
The Marshall Mob, considered to represent the student population, consistently posts content that is innapropriate, which contributes to the deterioration of the school’s image.
When students and organizations decide to post either images or comments that have a negative effect on the outlook of a school they should have to face repercussions, as hiding behind a computer screen should not serve as a shield from facing consequences. In order for a school to maintain its image and keep students from posting derogatory content onto the social media accounts of clubs, there must be certain restrictions on social media posts by either the county or administrators.
These regulations would ensure better supervision of club accounts, and stricter rules regarding posting inappropriate content.