Schaumburg, IL (PRUnderground) October 26th, 2011
As you may know, a majority of high school athletes are required to sign zero-tolerance and code of conduct policies. These policies typically forbid behavior involving use of tobacco, alcohol, steroids, and other illegal drugs. While these policies obviously apply to behavior on school grounds, some have even been expanded to behaviors off school grounds as well as content posted on the Internet and social networking sites. Photo postings showing students engaging in these activities, could be grounds for dismissal from the team.
For athletes thinking about a college career in sports, these postings can forever scar their academic record and reputation. First, infractions of these policies typically are grounds for dismissal from the team, which could jeopardize their college athletic career. Second, colleges may be monitoring their incoming freshmen’s social media activities and making their own decisions around the child’s future based on these reviews. And of course, if an incident should occur, the ramifications may include lost scholarship money.
When zero tolerance is the rule, parents should understand the risks of social media. Kids post photos freely online, not thinking about their network connections or consequences of their actions. To keep children and their reputations safe, parents must be aware of their child’s actions on and off the field.
While parents can’t control everything their kids do, they can monitor what they post and what is posted online about their child and manage it accordingly. Reputation management begins when parents monitor their child’s social networking sites and speak with their child about the importance of their online reputation.
“Schools take ‘zero tolerance’ seriously. A single incriminating photo could change their future,” said Dave Barker, Vice President at TrueCare.com.
“My recommendation to athletes and parents of athletes is to be alert and be aware of what your child is posting online and what is being posted about your child. Knowing that schools, colleges and future employers might also be looking at kids’ profiles and behaviors, parents should get involved to help keep an eye on what is being posted out there.”