Internet can be dangerous

Published 9:51 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

A recent incident allegedly involving a Rock Hill High School teacher and a student shows how social media can be as detrimental as it can aid communication in our society.

Last week staff at the school allegedly discovered the two in what law enforcement and school officials are terming “suspicious and inappropriate activity.”

Rightly the school district immediately contacted the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services. Both agencies launched investigations.

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Brief press releases were issued stating the teacher was put on administrative leave and not allowed to have any contact with students while investigations were ongoing. Prosecuting attorney Brigham Anderson was notified about the situation. No names were released and no details.

Officials took all the right actions.

What were not right actions were the burning up of social media by people who were in no way involved, making potentially unfounded statements about what happened.

Enjoying gossip and other people’s misfortunes have always been a part of the makeup of some people. Maybe at times we all unfortunately go down that path.

But before the Internet, those unfortunate conversations stayed within the home or perhaps between a few people at an office.

Now distortions are rampantly broadcast and can damage, even destroy, reputations on a much wider scale than ever before. Total strangers in far-reaching areas can receive rumors and innuendo about others.

It is only responsible to use discretion, no, kindness, to keep away from mass transmittals of misinformation. One never knows when one could be the victim of a vicious post.