[K12OSN] OT: "MySpace.com" or "policies for when computer use leads to assault and battery on campus"

Steven Santos Steven at Stevensantos.com
Tue Jan 24 14:10:03 UTC 2006

Slightly off topic, but since I can't think of a group that would know more
about this...

A school in the area has been hit with a rash of in school assaults over
things that have been posted to myspace.com, and specifically things posted
by students claiming to be other students.

Case in point, one student was contacted by what he thought was his girl
friend telling him she had been sexually assaulted by another student.  When
the girlfriend isn't in school the next day (due to a scheduled ortho
appointment) the boyfriend proceeds to beat the crap out of the other boy in

Further investigation showed the myspace account that sent the message was a
complete copy of the girlfriends account, with a slight, and unnoticed
alteration in the username (name1211313 instead of name121313) used to help
pull off the deception.

The school has had 5 or 6 other instances not unlike this one over the past
60 days where assaults have taken place, and 15 or so that they were able to
avert. Criminal prosecution in these cases is often difficult, as the person
committing the actual assault is often also a victim, and tracking down who
is behind it is proving to be almost impossible. I should also note that the
myspace postings are taking place off school grounds.

What policies and procedures do people have in place, or could your
recommend to deal with these types of issues?

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