Matt Murrow saw an ugly side to Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas--teen drinking, threats of violence, and a student cussing at him still rattle in his memories. But the school resource officer took notice of those activities through an investigative tool some students would prefer he have no access to.

Facebook, MySpace, and Xanga--social networking web sites that students frequent--have garnered much attention as schools struggle with how to create policies addressing their use (see story: Social-networking sites confound schools). But the sites also have become a relatively new frontier that school...

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