BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Perhaps it was out of boredom. Over winter break, someone created a Facebook rating system, that targeted some of the students at Park Vista Community High School.
Students were pitted against each other as the survey asked questions such as: 'Who is cuter?' 'Who is the better couple?' or, 'who would win in a fight?'
To some students, it was harmless fun, but others found the comments cruel and hurtful. Since NewsChannel 5's report aired Monday , the pages appear to have been taken down. However, the discussion about how to deal with student life on Facebook is ongoing.
"There are tens of thousands of possible bad behaviors going on that we can't possibly know about or control," said Nat Harrington, spokesperson for Palm Beach County Schools.
Harrington says while they can control internet use at school, they cannot monitor what happens at home.
"We need the parents. This is a parental issue," Harrington said.
"It really needs to come from the home. Parents need to tell their children that it's not OK to call someone names in a public forum," said Fran Sherman a West Palm Beach therapist.
Sherman says parents need to talk with their kids every day.
"It's really important to set very clear boundaries. This is what's acceptable, this is what's not acceptable," Sherman said.
Sherman suggests parents remind their teens that what appears on their Facebook profile reflects who they are as a person. "What's on Facebook now, in the future, colleges can see, employers can see. It can prevent you from getting an internship. It can really prevent you from trying to advance in life."
Most importantly, Harrington wants more parents to get involved.
"Go to PTA meetings, that's where school officials present training parents need to know to monitor their kids technology use," Harrington said.
Harrington also wants more parents to utilize the resources on The Palm Beach County School District's website. Online, parents will find tools to help recognize when there is a problem and how to talk with their teen about using social media.
To check these tools out, click here.
Do you agree with how schools deal with social media use and students? Do you think our state should adopt a plan like the new Massachusetts anti-bullying law? Leave your comments below or on the WPTV Facebook page.
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