AUBURN — A few eyebrows were raised Wednesday night when Auburn School Committee members heard that students use Facebook on school laptops during school hours and that Facebook is used by some students to bully others.
Student representatives were giving reports about what's going on in schools. One said a bullying expert recently talked to students and the talk was useful.
Committee member Bonnie Hayes asked if there's bullying at Edward Little High School. Students said not in the high school, but on laptops.
There are nasty writings on bathroom stalls that never seem to go away, but there's not much bullying in school, said student Frankie Lally.
But, there's a lot that goes on with school laptops issued to students, she said. “You'll always find a fight on Facebook, every day.”
On Monday, the school began to block students from entering Facebook during the school day. Once logged onto Facebook, it's easy to waste time, even hours, Lally said. “It's a complete waste of time. We don't use our time wisely.”
School Committee members, including Lane Feldman, seemed surprised to hear that students use school laptops during school to go to Facebook. “Can we fix that?” Feldman asked, looking at Superintendent Tom Morrill.
Morrill said there are many ways to use Facebook, including ways that benefit learning. But it can also be abused, he said.
School officials have blocked Facebook use during school hours, Morrill said, but students find ways to get around the blocks as soon as they're put up. Facebook in schools will be explored in greater detail, Morrill said, adding that he would schedule a discussion between the School Committee and the school department's technology expert at a future meeting.