Officials at Milton Academy in Massachusetts launched an aggressive investigation last month after receiving copies of Facebook photos sent anonymously that showed students drinking at off-campus parties. But in the end, the school’s director acknowledged in a letter to students that officials found it hard to mete out justice fairly based on an anonymous tip culled from a social-networking web site, reports the Boston Globe. The episode, which roiled the school community, highlights the difficulties that boarding schools encounter in policing off-campus behavior, especially in the era of Facebook. When penalizing students, public schools typically distinguish between what happens on their grounds or at school functions and what happens off campus and after-hours, leaving discipline in these latter instances to parents and police. The exception is for athletes; the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association requires suspensions for students caught using drugs or alcohol. But the matter is thornier for boarding schools, charged with full-time safeguarding of students living miles or even continents away from their parents…

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