Social media posts at home may get students in trouble at school - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Social media posts at home may get students in trouble at school

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A Minnesota honor student's joke on Twitter is no laughing matter to local police, and his superintendent.

Reid Sagehorn is suspended from school for a tweet he posted.

Someone wrote he was kissing a teacher online and Sagehorn responded with "actually, yes."

Sagehorn's friends call the punishment unfair, but police say his actions are impacting real lives, including the teacher.

KSFY News looked into how South Dakota's largest school district handles social media guidelines.

Parents should be aware of not only which social media their kids use but what they are saying online.       

In the Minnesota case, the student's father said his son was just kidding.

So I visited a Sioux Falls high school to find out what parents and kids can learn from this.
what teens say in the hallways of high school may not always stay there, thanks to social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Lincoln High School senior Maggi Ibis said "not everyone realizes how public Twitter is, it goes outside your followers, it can get re-tweeted, one follower leads to another and pretty soon it can be everywhere ."

Fellow Lincoln High School senior Brock Gilmer said "every once and a while there's a couple times where I think about my tweets every time that I post it and say 'I'm representing my club, my school, should I put this out there and I reevaluate."

There's a simple rule. If you've got something to say, but wouldn't say it on stage in front of the entire school, don't post it online for the entire world to see.

Sioux Falls School District Assistant Superintendent Sue Simons said "we expect people to ethically and honestly use that communication tool just as you and I are talking today and what you say in this conversation is what you should be saying in electronic medium and we haven't changed the facts that if it does impact the school, we're going to take a look at it."

There's a lesson to be learned from this Twitter incident.

People can't tell if you're being funny or being serious when it's a text or an email message or Facebook posting ,so you really have to be careful because what you say isn't private anymore, if you're are going to use those types of social medium," Simons said.

Word about a Minnesota student's suspension for his tweet travels as fast as any post on Twitter.

"I do think it was a little harsh. I think they could have maybe talked with the student and come up with a different way of punishing him," Ibis said.

"I did think that the punishment was fitting in the way that he has used a teacher's personal life, and teachers are someone you look up to," Gilmer said.

Sioux Falls has a progressive discipline policy so the consequences would depend upon their past behavior and the seriousness of the student's actions.

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