The AP reports:
LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — High school students are going to be held accountable for what they post on blogs and on social-networking Web sites such as MySpace.com.
The board of Community High School District 128 voted unanimously on Monday to require that all students participating in extracurricular activities sign a pledge agreeing that evidence of "illegal or inappropriate" behavior posted on the Internet could be grounds for disciplinary action.
The rule will take effect at the start of the next school year, officials said.
District officials won’t regularly search students’ sites, but will monitor them if they get a worrisome tip from another student, a parent or a community member.
Parents, schools, law enforcement and other officials should treat publicly accessible online communities and blogs as virtual, PUBLIC venues, and excercise oversight in a manner consistent with physical venues considered public. I believe oversight is foremost a parent’s responsibility, but the larger community (err, the public) has an interest and obligation as well.
One important issue I suspect will be tested as we move into this era of social media is discernation of public venues (discoverable by Google) versus private venues (behind virtual walls, password-protected, etc.). There are times when private venues must be accessed, but there must be rights and due process surrounding that access.