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A letter to all students concerning inappropriate images on social media

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Admissions offices, scholarship committees, military personnel and employers each look at many variables when choosing a suitable candidate to join their organization. Some of the credentials include grades, grade point averages, and experience. But they also evaluate personal attributes of character, integrity and moral fitness.
Your social media footprint is more important now than at any time in your life, as you prepare for college, scholarships and employment (part-time/internships/full-time). Think about this: you ask your teacher or guidance counselor to write a letter of recommendation for you. They know you, but they want to know a little more about you. So what do they do? They Google™ you. And what do they find? Pictures from last week’s homecoming dance that someone has posted of you, showing you with your bottom in the air, your legs showing from underneath your dress, or your dress that reveals much more that it should. You appear to be un-ladylike un-gentleman like, distasteful, and not worthy of providing a recommendation.
According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 College Admissions Officers Survey, 27% of admissions officers Googled an applicant to learn more about them, and 26% visited an applicant’s social networking page (such as Facebook). Of those admissions officers, 35% discovered something about the applicant that negatively impacted their application. As you approach the college admissions process, think of who else could be looking at your online profile or Googling you. Teachers writing your letters of recommendation, guidance counselors, coaches, potential college roommates, and future employers may be looking at you online.
Some images, more than others, are ‘targets’ for disqualification:
1. Photographs which depict drugs;
2. Consumption of alcohol and underage drinking;
3. Sexually explicit images;
4. Illegal behaviour/disrespect for the law;
5. Profanity;
6. Messages of hate or discrimination; and
7. Public displays of affection.
These are among the top photographs/images which are used as the basis to DENY admissions, scholarships and employment.
You see, when you display yourself in this manner, it is a reflection not only upon you, but also your parents, your teachers and school, and your community. And for those of you who video/take pictures of these images, and post (and re-post) them, you could be violating state and federal law by dissemination “pornographic” images across wires/internet.
i 10-29-13 – Document provided by Shelli Freeland Eddie Esq., Facilitator of Program Development at Booker High School – All Rights Reserved.

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A letter to all students concerning inappropriate images on social media