Melbourne High School and and Kilvington Grammar School in Victoria are among at least a dozen schools in Australia which are using a surveillance tool from cyber security company Netbox Blue, to detect signs of political extremism.
At least 400 schools in Australia are monitoring their students' iMessage, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites and Google searches for signs of cyber bullying, self-harm and other anti-social behaviour.
In February, the department appointed a senior adviser to work with government and non-government schools to promote racial and religious tolerance and social cohesion.
Regional offices across the state have been working with their counterparts in Victoria Police to provide advice and support to schools.
But Monash University's counter-terrorism expert Professor Greg Barton said schools and communities were generally inexperienced in dealing with extremism. He said software that protected students from predators was a good start.
"In the earlier stages, you see more open exchanges and curiosity-driven searches and if the system works well, it will pick it up before the kids are in the danger zone."
A Victorian Education Department spokesman said the department was advising schools with at-risk student populations on ways to support vulnerable students.
Victorian Student Representative Council spokesman Spencer Davis said it was important that schools performed "some form of monitoring" during school hours, but surveillance should not extend beyond the parameters of the school.
"What happens outside of the school should be the responsibility of the parents, not the school."
If schools really want to monitor, say illegal drug use by their students outside of school it’s really pretty easy to do so.
Just look them up on Facebook! It is amazing what some kids will put up there for the whole world to see! I think a few pious private school principals would be astonished to see what their 'young citizens of the future' do in their spare time.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/schools-track-students-social-media-for-signs-of-extremism-20150724-giiw63.html#ixzz3gm8BiTSL