Friday, April 25, 2014

Why Huntsville ISD Blocked Twitter Today . . .

You may have noticed that for the first time in years today, Twitter is not available on our public networks. While this decision runs completely counter to our policies of openness and innovation, we felt it was important to make a statement today about the hateful words posted by some of our, and other, local students.

Twitter will be back, but we want to ask you, is what you post . . .
True? And if it’s true (or you believe it to be) is it also
Helpful? If you think it helps someone, does it also
Inspire confidence in you, your word and your values? If it is inspiring, is it also
Necessary, that is, does it add to the world of information? And if you think it’s necessary, is it also

If what you are posting is not ALL of these things, don’t post:

Think about what your Pastor, Mom, Grandma, or other relative would think of the things that have been posted.

We know we can’t stop you from posting online, but we care for you enough to say that you should protect yourself and your peers from the negative consequences and burdens of words that are damaging.

*Do not tell yourself that you aren’t a part of the problem 
because you think your 
Tweets or posts are vague, hidden or anonymous.*

Also, students, we hope you will show that you appreciate the privileges you have of a largely open network and respectful personal electronics policies we have put in place to support your 21st Century learning.

Please show us that you can THINK before you post and that you appreciate the privileges you have while we consider the impact of our words. Make your community, the people who care about you, your pastors, grandmothers, fathers, school leaders, and teachers proud of you by “thinking” before you post/text/Tweet, or speak.


  1. That's awesome!!!

  2. We used to be able to address many dbj problems (don't be a jerk) in house where the consequences were limited. Unfortunately today's behavior classroom has evolved into public forums through Twitter. We simply can no longer protect our students adequately from themselves (or others who choose these forums to attack).

    I think this is an appropriate response as a wake-up call to get the students and staff to think about how they use social media. I also appreciate your anticipation of opening your network back up after your point has been made.

  3. I love that you addressed the idea many have that they aren't a part of the issue because what they write is "...vague, hidden, or anonymous". This is a great way to show that you care both about digital opportunities and digital responsibility.

  4. Great response to a difficult situation.

  5. Wonderful district response while still supporting 21st century learning.

  6. Great Post! Check out my blog @
    to see what we are doing in South Florida to address this same issue.

  7. This is the right decision.

  8. I applaud Huntsville ISD's decision to do this. I am curious though. How long did you keep Twitter blocked? What was the reaction of the students? Did it stir constructive conversations? Have you seen an improvement in student posting online? A follow - up blog post would be awesome. Perhaps with student contribution if appropriate.

    Thank you for sharing this. :-)

  9. I am assuming your students have set up a Twitter Confidential page where students can send info through an online form and the info gets posted anonymously to a Twitter account. If so, I can give you some ideas on how we handled it. Some of the people who were involved setting it up were not current students so they may not have cared if Twitter were blocked in the school district.

    1. Craig, I would like to hear some ideas on how you handled the situation with Twitter confidential/confession accounts.