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Enterprise High School students used social media to coordinate their camouflage attire to cheer for their basketball team in a league title game against Foothill on Friday night.
Sandow's routine is the norm for many teens in general and high school student-athletes in the north state. While the use of social media can stir up school pride, the potential of cyberbullying leads some school administrators to debate whether to put in place written policies regulating the use of social media.
When teenagers — who may not always think through the ramifications of their actions — expose their thoughts and raw emotions in a public forum, they can often be misinterpreted, Enterprise High School athletic administrator Keith Turner said.
The Shasta Union High School District does not have a written plan regulating its students' use of social media, but Turner said he thinks setting such a policy is something schools need to look at more closely.
While social media tools are used in a variety of ways by different people, Sandow points to networking as its main source of popularity among teens. Social media can be used as a centralized hub, providing a place of personalized information. Enterprise, Shasta and Foothill High Schools have unofficial Twitter accounts created by anonymous users to promote and rally in support of their schools' athletic events. Such announcements promote harmless rivalries by displaying a passion through social media, said Jace O'Ravez, a two-sport Enterprise athlete involved with the club.
Social media's growing popularity led Enterprise coaches to address its use in athletic meetings with parents and talk with students during team meetings about etiquette. Social media allows sports fans to build a feeling of community before, during and after games.
School cheering sections use social media to organize and rally in support of their sports teams, which has been a positive experience at Foothill as it boosts school spirit. With social media available 24 hours a day, fans or parents have up-to-date information at their fingertips.

Monitoring student-athlete profiles would add an extra task for administrators who may not have the time to monitor postings. Even at the state level, CIF has not discussed regulation of social media for student-athletes, said Brutlag, who oversees social media for the organization.
Mike Haworth, a three-sport coach and teacher at Enterprise with more than 30 years of experience, believes that it would be too much work to monitor all student-athlete profiles on social media, considering that there were more than 750,000 athletes participating statewide in 2011. A study in June conducted by Common Sense Media reports that 90 percent of American teenagers have used some form of social media — with 75 percent maintaining a profile on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Sara Grimes, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto who researches children's digital media cultures, play studies and critical theories of technology, attributes the increase in social media activity to the various contexts in which it can be used. Social media has been an important part of developing children for the future, Grimes said, as it can provide an environment for becoming adept at technical literacy, developing social skills and contributing to a shared culture through online sites. According to articles on the Mother Nature Network, schools are beginning to incorporate social media into their curriculum, and teachers are using social media for out-of-class communication to create discussions in a way in which students are comfortable.
Students operating social network profiles can be developing skills and traits that could be beneficial for future employers or business opportunities, setting a standard for the younger generation. The ACLU made the case that, although the law was intended to protect children from online predators, barring social media sites went too far. The controversy may seem strange, considering Facebook technically restricts children under 13 from registering for accounts. A similar law in Louisiana got thrown out last year, prompting the state to pass a new revised version that merely requires sex offenders to identify themselves on social networks. The growing use of social media among youths creates new ways for student-athletes to interact and express themselves while sharing information informally. Such incidents bring to light the fact that local school districts don't have clear rules defining when school officials can step in to regulate issues in cyberspace.

They're easily accessible through cellphones and tablets that students take with them everywhere, providing opportunities for cyberbullying. When something inappropriate arises, district officials refer to the handbook and treat online behavior the same as it would for in-person instances, Enterprise High athletic administrator Keith Turner said. Turner concedes that the digital arena may have its own potential for harm that schools should address.
But CIF Media Relations Officer Rebecca Brutlag suggests that CIF could provide enforcement services and that schools could use CIF as a governing body, as long as local guidelines were established. Instead, she suggests that regulation would have to begin locally and that CIF could be used as a governing body.
The report also says 51 percent of teens visit social media sites daily, up from 40 percent from a 2010 report by Kaiser Family Foundation.
She said that as the world embraces social media, it could become an everyday habit like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that barring registered sex offenders from using Facebook and other social networks is unconstitutional. The clients were no longer on probation, yet were subject to an Indiana law that prohibited their use of social networks.
These days, sites like Facebook are indispensable for plenty of legitimate purposes, including political, business and religious activities.
This may be what has spurred states like Indiana, Louisiana and Nebraska to pass their own social media legislation for sex offenders.

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