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  1. #1
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    school forum...is it safe?

    I'm in charge of running the school website. I was thinking of installing a forum with the main purpose of setting it up as a tutoring place. What problems will I possibily run across and what legal problems will I have?

    By the way, if the forum goes up, there will be word filters. Any user caught threatening other users, harassing other users, etc. will be IP banned. Users will not be allowed to post from school to prevent school problems. All proxies will be blocked.
    poetry is hard

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot HeatherID's Avatar
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    My senior year in high school (about 3 years ago), another student and I were in charge of our school website, so I have some pretty "close-to-home" suggestions here:

    I almost guarantee you will run into resistance from the administration (and not to say this isn't with good reason). There is a privacy issues and certain liabilities the school has to basically cover their own butts for, including names/ages/photos of students. Would you limit students from posting pictures? If not, how would you police who puts up what?

    My second point is about registration. Would you allow any student who wanted to use the forums to sign up on their own? If so, what would prevent anyone (like me) from accessing the site and lurking? Would you verify every user, or assign user names in some way?

    Just a few things to consider before you take this on. Good luck with it!

    -Heather

  3. #3
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    There is a privacy issues and certain liabilities the school has to basically cover their own butts for, including names/ages/photos of students. Would you limit students from posting pictures? If not, how would you police who puts up what?
    remove most profile options
    remove any way of posting images

    My second point is about registration. Would you allow any student who wanted to use the forums to sign up on their own? If so, what would prevent anyone (like me) from accessing the site and lurking? Would you verify every user, or assign user names in some way?
    that's the only problem
    the district likes Microsoft so they only allow html and asp
    all paid software
    windows server, nothing open source
    so i resorted to hosting it somewhere else
    but its for tutoring only so....i doubt that there will be many lurkers
    poetry is hard

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    You should definitely talk this over with your school administration, school board, even parents and other students.

    Back in high school, some kids in my class set up a message board, and it ended up turning into a place where kids would make fun of other students, and say some awful, hurtful, disgusting things about people. Other students set up rival message boards and it got really messy. Parents involved, people threatening lawsuits, etc. Kids being kids this type of forum needs A LOT of close moderation. Since the forum would be hosted on the official school website you should definitely check with them since they might be libel for anything kids post.

    One suggestion: You may want to consider setting up the forum so that all posts need moderator approval before being published. It causes a lot of extra work for you, but the only way you can assure that nothing questionable gets by.
    Josh is an anomaly
    rails & work & twitter

    Organization is the
    death of creativity.

  5. #5
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    One suggestion: You may want to consider setting up the forum so that all posts need moderator approval before being published. It causes a lot of extra work for you, but the only way you can assure that nothing questionable gets by.

    Thanks for the suggestion. That might be convincing enough to allow a message board on the site.
    poetry is hard

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict smittenbite's Avatar
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    i agree with Bleys. i think people are going to turn this into a place for school gossip . also another thing to think about is, who is going to provide the help for students? areyou going to have teachers help out or have paid people to answer questionson the board or solely rely on students to help each other? and also how many people do you think will really use it cause i dont think it would be worth it if mostpeople werent willing to sign on and help each other out or go to the site when they need a little help.

    and if you make all posts wait for moderator approval, that will probably stunt a lot of questions because what if a student needs immediate answers cause the assignment is due the next day? by the time the moderator gets around it might be too late already or the post wouldve missed being seen by some other students that couldve really helped.

    also if youre going to block IPs how would you be able to stop people that use the school computers to log on??
    nothing.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the help.
    I have decided against setting up a forum on the same server which the site will be on due to more potential problems than I thought there would be.
    poetry is hard


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