HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A western Maryland school district says it will monitor social media for words such as “kill” and “bomb” in messages sent from middle- and high-school campuses this school year.

The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown reports that Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox announced the program at a school board meeting Tuesday

He says the district will contract with Social Sentinel Inc. of Burlington, Vermont, to provide the service for about $20,000 a year.

If the software detects a suspicious word, it will automatically alert the school principal or security director.

Wilcox says the service will increase school safety.

Washington County Teachers Association President Denise Fry says the program is sure to raise privacy concerns. She says it sounds a little like “Big Brother is watching.”
Information from: The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown, Md., http://www.herald-mail.com

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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