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Student Using Social Media Inappropriately

Post Series: Ethics Scenario Archive


I am a founder and executive director for a school for children with ASD. We have a female HS student who has an iPhone with access to her own social media accounts. She is very socially motivated. She comes from a single parent, low SES home. Her mother can be challenging to work with. We have found recently on her phone inappropriate content. Solicitations for attention from men that we don’t think she knows…your basic nightmare. Obviously the first step would be making her mother aware of this, but I highly suspect that won’t go anywhere.  I will still do that as a first measure.  Is this a CPS call? What social services might be available to ensure this student is safe? She is obviously an extremely vulnerable young adult.


    • Committee Input: First step includes meeting with parent, disclosing content that was found on phone and the nature of how the content was discovered. Invest in sex ed curriculum (evidence based)/programming available to remediate maladaptive behavior and increase skills. Provide recommendations to parent for monitoring/parental controls (ie. Disney Circle). Establish open communication between parent/school site to support ongoing check-ins on status.
    • Exploration: Policies and procedures related to reasonable permission to review social media account of students. Parental consent to access student phones/accounts. Consider including policies and procedures around access to technology/consent at onset of services? Consider level of permission. Collaborate/reach out to attorney to determine what is within limits of law etc. Reach out to third parties for staff/parent in-services/training(s) related to online safety and sex ed – PR, Specialists (therapists, online safety specialists) and PD.
    • Codes: 2.05, 4.02
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