Dangers of social media present problems for high schools


Jayden Ludwig

FLC social media pages can present as distracting to students school environment.

CORRECTION ; The previous print of this article appeared without a byline.

Nowadays, social media has become a significant part of today’s society and often has an influential presence. The use of social media is particularly prevalent in schools, such as Franklin Learning Center. In addition to FLC’s official Instagram account, multiple student-run Instagram accounts are associated with the school’s name. 


Various types of content can be found on the pages, ranging from photos of students sleeping to videos of students fighting. Despite a few positive student-run pages, most negatively affect the school community and should be removed. In many cases, the pages give the school a bad name, negatively affect students, teachers, and staff, and they violate school rules and laws.


The social media pages that claim Franklin Learning Center’s name have been giving a bad reputation to the school. Potential students disregard going to FLC due to the actions of current and past students that are posted for all to see. Although the school itself isn’t responsible for the social media pages, it is still the one getting backlash for them. 


Due to a student’s ability to post uncensored content anonymously online, students can degrade teachers without the threat of any repercussions. With this in mind, it is very unsurprising that many of these pages take this advantage to mention teachers in a negative light. Nevertheless, it is important to remember the root of these posts. Posts could be due to the teacher’s incompetency or due to the mismatch between a student’s and teacher’s teaching style. Making the majority of many of these posts a reflection of the situations students are facing with teachers. 


Any teacher can get defamed at any time regardless of the reason. Students have also expressed inappropriate attraction towards some teachers on these pages. Whether good or bad, mentioning a teacher on these pages could result in a teacher’s career being badly affected or them being fired. 


These pages and the posts that are on them have negatively affected many people, which brings us to the question of who is responsible for taking the more offensive posts and accounts down. These Instagram accounts are directly involved with and run by FLC students, meaning the school should get involved. The Franklin Learning Center Student Handbook says that “Every student must follow all of the rules of the Code of Student Conduct before, during, and after school.” The Code of Student Conduct explicitly states that Harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying are level 2 infractions. 


In other words, a student will receive a level 2 infraction if they are caught cyberbullying or harassing another student, even if it’s outside of school. The handbook also says that “School principals have the responsibility to establish a system to ensure adequate supervision of students using the system and to maintain executed user agreements for students. They are also responsible for interpreting and enforcing this policy at the school level.”

An FLC staff member advises that students who have been targeted by the student-made FLC pages should contact the outlet at which it was posted and report the pages. Enough people who report the pages can get the page taken down. In certain situations, students and parents can threaten legal action since consent was never expressed for photos to be taken. If students want to talk to someone in the building, they can contact an administrator.


 The School District of Philadelphia’s policy prohibits the disclosure of confidential information and prohibitions the use of harassing, obscene, discriminatory, defamatory, or threatening language.


However, these social media pages are run by children, requiring parents to step into action. It can also be noted that it is Instagram’s job to monitor any posts that are uploaded onto their platform. According to Instagram’s community guidelines, “We remove content that contains credible threats or hates speech, content that targets private individuals to degrade or shame them, personal information meant to blackmail or harass someone, and repeated unwanted messages.” Instagram has active policies against cyberbullying. Should this push us to rely on Instagram alone to take these accounts down? 


Considering that these pages are run by high schoolers, parents may also be responsible for taking these pages down. Parents should be monitoring their children’s online presence and behavior, as well as guiding and teaching them not to bully others online. According to Part 4: The Role of Parents in Digital Safekeeping and Advice-Giving”, “…parents are the most often cited source of advice and the biggest influence on teens’ understanding of appropriate and inappropriate digital behavior. Parents are also responsible for keeping their teens safe online and offline and have several tools at their disposal to do so.” As shown in this quote, parents are accountable for monitoring their children and preventing poor behavior.


Social media itself can be very toxic when used negatively, but when there is an effort to be positive, it can be a good thing. Many social media outlets are associated with FLC, the negative ones are more known, but there are a few that have tried to show FLC in a more positive light. It is true, the more known social media pages associated with FLC are not a good representation of the school, but not all social media pages that claim FLC’s name should be disregarded. There is one that shares students’ favorite music artists and songs. One page shares outfits worn by students at the school, which allows their creativity to be recognized. FLC also has many social media pages that relate to extracurricular activities and sports. These pages share students’ accomplishments and achievements. Some social media pages have negatively affected the school’s reputation as well as students’ daily school life, but the positive ones should be recognized. 


In today’s society, social media has become a big part of daily life. Students have increased their usage of social media and have carelessly associated their schools with pages. Students have shown no regard for the implications their school might face due to these social media pages. Most of the social media pages that claim FLC’s name have had negative impacts on students, staff, teachers, and the school itself. Most of the social media pages run by students that are associated with FLC are seen as negative and should be taken down. Students should recognize the wrong that is done when posting on these social media pages and should do the right thing by reporting them to a higher authority in order to have them taken down.