The Sarcoxie School District has stopped using its official Facebook page because the page has “become a forum for negativity,” according to Superintendent Keith Goddard.
The last post on the Sarcoxie R-II School District's Facebook page announced in December that “the Sarcoxie R2 School Board decided that the District's Facebook page will no longer be part of the District's communication platform. The District website, School Messenger and Twitter will still be used for communication. All school cancellations will still be broadcast via local television and radio stations.”
Goddard said he spent a large amount of his own free time monitoring the page for posts with profanity, posts that were inappropriate or posts that were derogatory to individuals and included their names.
“I was an art teacher and constructive criticism is a part of life that helps people get better,” Goddard said. “But when people posted negativity without offering suggested actions, that's not helpful. Occasionally someone would drag a kid into a conversation or a parent's name would be used in a negative post. One time my own kids were dragged into a post. I had contemplated shutting the page down before the school board finally decided to do it.”
Goddard said the page had been useful for posting when school was cancelled and when games had to be postponed.
Before it was taken private after the new year, it included pictures from school events and other related posts.
The district started the page on Oct. 28, 2011 with the post “Welcome Sarcoxians to the OFFICIAL school Facebook page!”
Several people commented on the decision to stop using the page before it became private.
“That's a bummer that they are heading backward not forward....even technology has its "'growing pains.'” said April J. Berry. “Disappointing.”
“From what I understand there were a lot of circumstances following this, including but not limited to parents using foul language,” commented Michelle Yost.
“I will miss this page, it has been a nice way to get alerts and follow events.” said Julie Brown.
“I must say, this is a VERY stupid idea!!” commented Jillian M. Youngblood. “As many MILLIONS of people who use Facebook on a day to day basis!! I LOVE this page and HATE to see it go!! I don't even know how to use Twitter!!! lol”
“I understand the reasons for getting rid of the page but it stinks because I have kids that do not bring home notes and I don't have Twitter,” posted Amanda Collins. “To bad people abuse things and the rest of us suffer.”
Goddard said the district is redesigning its internet presence with a new web page. The district will also offer parents a Sarcoxie School District app they can download to their smart phones to receive district alerts and information.
Page 2 of 2 - If school has to be cancelled, Goddard said he will post it to his own Twitter feed and to the district's Twitter feed first, then contact local television and radio stations.