Student-led Instagram accounts need to stay

Student-led Instagram accounts need to stay
Flint Hill is a community where students and faculty strive to improve on a daily basis in order to be not only the best individuals possible but the best community as well. As students have joined on the trends of creating accounts celebrating different groups at our school and overall school spirit, there has been more negative response than positive. Accounts have been banned, and disciplinary actions from students writing apologies all the way to in-school suspensions. We should be encouraging students to unite and come together through social media rather than trying to prevent it.
In order to grow, it is important to be able to assess your strengths and weaknesses. School spirit is something that our school lacks in some aspects, but students have been taking action and changing this. One senior I interviewed, who chose to remain anonymous because of fear of taking a stance, stated, “These accounts are positive. Alumni are able to see into student life, and we are able to come together as a community.” She went on to explain how social media is a large aspect of her life and how it makes sense to be integrated into her school community.
It is relevant to address the idea of these accounts standing as a representation of our school and that digital footprint is something that is a valid concern of faculty. With that being said, other schools have posted content bashing our school and sports team, and it is important to be able to stand up for Flint Hill. Two wrongs do not make a right, but there is also light in the idea of students coming together to defend our school. One student who served an in-school suspension for what he posted on a now-banned Instagram account explained to me how he understood why the school was not okay with the post and that they would learn from said actions. This is in the past and if the school chooses to work with the accounts, encouraging them while drawing a line between what will be against the rules and what will not, will prevent issues for everybody.
Social media is an immense part of everyday life for high schoolers, and implementing it into the space we spend every day in with a creative outlook simply makes sense. It has been shown that the school cannot stop this from happening, and they must work with the conditions of our times, embracing the tools and ways students express themselves. These accounts are intended to be uplifting, positive, and based on connection. These are aspects that represent who we are as a school and should continue being encouraged.

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