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A word about MySpace October 2, 2006

Posted by Admin in General Announcements.

Cross-posted from the THS9 page

Did you know that authorities are investigating the possibility that the gunman that invaded a Colorado school and assualted several female students may have found the information about these students through the incredibly popular internet site MySpace?

On Wednesday, Duane Morrison held six girls hostage at a high school in Bailey, Colorado, killing one of them. Authorities are investigating the possibility Morrison was stalking the girls on http://www.myspace.com. With so many teens logging onto popular chat websites school officials say they have more to worry about.

– from WIBW

MySpace is an increasingly popular internet forum in which students can create their own free website to share with others. Another similar forum is Xanga (note access to both MySpace and Xanga are completely blocked on the school internet server). Students sometimes enter very private and personal information on these self-managed sites. For many students, this information is made public with everything from names to addresses, phone numbers, and school activities. Even pictures are often posted. With word coming from Colorado of the potential dangers of such information being so widely available, students and parents are encouraged to take the extra step to hide such information from the public.

The good news is that MySpace and Xanga users can easily adjust the settings on their MySpace pages to make them ‘private‘. This will still allow for the desired social networking abilities with friends that they use the sites for while making their information available only to their trusted friends that they “add” or invite to their page.

An informal in-class survey just today showed that 1/3 to 1/2 of all students in the 9th grade maintain their own MySpace or Xanga pages. The majority of these had not made their pages “private”!

Parents: please take the time to discuss the settings that your child uses with these sites. You can even check yourself by going to MySpace.com and entering some common search terms (Names of people you are looking for or other terms such as “Tonganoxie Junior High” or “Tonganoxie High School” or just “tonganoxie”, etc…) into the box at the top and searching the MySpace domain. Don’t hesitate to email us (see “Contact Us”) with any questions or concerns you may have.



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