Schoolyard face-offs blamed on Facebook taunts

Twice this month, students at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., have used their fists to settle disputes that arose on Facebook, reports the Washington Post. So Principal Alan Goodwin took the unusual step of asking parents to monitor their children’s postings on the social-networking site. He did this in a posting to the school’s eMail list, which is a forum as addictive to some Whitman parents as Facebook has become to their children. "I am becoming increasingly frustrated by negative incidents at school that arise from students harassing other students on Facebook," Goodwin wrote April 18. Teens are conducting an increasing share of their social lives electronically, via text messaging, eMail, and social-networking sites such as Facebook. Threats, harassment, and bullying have followed them online. Although such behavior is not new, research suggests that it is expanding rapidly, and educators and lawmakers seem resolved to pay closer attention to the words students exchange online while off campus…

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