Kids need to think twice before posting on Facebook

By Kyle Kernan
Manchester - posted Wed., Feb. 22, 2012
The incident at Manchester High School showcases a growing problem on how kids are abusing social media applications like Facebook. - Contributed Photo

Students of Manchester High School notified Manchester police last Friday morning (Feb. 17) that another student might be bringing a bomb to school that day. According to police, they got the information from reading the student's Facebook profile status, which contained the threatening message.

The name of the student was reported to the security officer, who alerted the administration, who in turn was in contact with the police, said Interim Superintendent of Manchester Public Schools Dr. Richard Kisiel.

At the onset of the threat, MHS went into a lock-down. The police missed the student at home, but were able to make the arrest as he was being dropped off at school by his mother.

According to MPD public information officer Chris Davis, the incident was meant to be a joke; however neither the police nor the school district take things like that lightly. The student was arrested and charged with breach of peace and threatening. At this time, it is not certain what disciplinary action will be or has been taken by the school.

"This incident provides another reason for concern that every administration has in the country for kids abusing Facebook, social media and texting," said Gregory Ziogas, interim principal at Manchester High School. “They don't understand complications or consequences,” he said.

Ziogas said he deals with issues every day concerning things that are said on Facebook, social media or through texting and that following up on these issues wastes a lot of time.

As administrators who are trying to educate kids on drug abuse and alcohol, perhaps more education is needed to outline the appropriate ways to use Facebook and texting, said Ziogas, because somewhere along the line, the message is not getting through. Ziogas also said that, of course, there are good things about social media and texting

Occasionally the Manchester Police Department gets tipped off about something on Facebook and they implement a Text a Tip Anonymously program, said Davis.He said the students who came forward with this information deserve to be applauded, as they used Facebook in an important way. The fact that they were aware of the threat and notified the right people, regardless of motive, is the right thing to do, he said.



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