The digital limits of ‘in loco parentis’

By March 7, 2008

Colleges avert gaze from students’ posts on social-network sites

by Sara Lipka

The Chronicle of Higher Education


Being rowdy and impulsive is a time-honored tradition among college students. Documenting that behavior online is a recent phenomenon that still vexes administrators.

They know what to do with a drunken student. But what about a Facebook photo of a seemingly drunken student?

Some colleges have reacted with strict discipline. Two years ago, officials at Millersville University of Pennsylvania discovered a picture on MySpace of Stacy Snyder, in a pirate hat, drinking from a yellow plastic cup. With no judicial hearing, the alumna says, they deemed her unfit to be a schoolteacher, denied her an education degree, and awarded her one in English instead.


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