Central Texas schools block and warn parents of Saturn app

Waco, TX (FOX 44) — A social media app used to better help students in school is raising concern for parents and school districts.

It’s called the Saturn app and some school districts in Central Texas have already rejected the app at the start of the school year.

Saturn is an app where students are able to share their class schedules online and chat with their classmates.

Created with good intent, school districts see the app creating problems for student security and privacy.

“There’s very personal information that’s shared sometimes on some of those schedules and things that I imagine. I imagine that there are families that might not want their detailed students schedule out there and about for everybody else to see,” said Belton ISD Superintendent Dr. Matt Smith.

Dr. Smith says they’re not endorsing the app and leaves it up to parents to decide what’s best.

“Parents be informed. We want you to be informed about this and make good decisions with your kids about social media. That is not what we get involved in on a regular basis. We don’t tell them to go do that,” said Dr. Smith.

Saturn app developers released a statement earlier this month saying it strengthened its verification process requiring a student email to have full access.

Digital Media Butterfly owner Caryn Brown says its not enough to be comfortable.

“It’s super easy to get in there and make a profile, and there’s some language in there about they’re going to verify, but they’re not, unfortunately. You can get on there, you can create a profile, and you can also change your profile, which is also very concerning,” said Brown.

Saturn users can share their name, personal info, and picture on the app.

Its too much info for Brown to fall in the wrong hands.

“You’re just opening the doors to somebody that could not only, you know, possibly abduct your child, but also just somebody that could become a friend, befriend them online when they’re not who they say they are,” said Brown.

Many wonder with the risks, is this app is really needed to help students?

“These students are in class every day with these other students, so again, there’s just not really a need for this extra this extra level there, because they’re seeing them already every day,” said Brown.

We also reached out to Waco ISD who released statement saying they have not approved use of the Saturn app and has firewalls in place to protect students using district devices.

The district is encouraging parents to monitor their students activity on all social media accounts when using their personal devices.

Another concern with the Saturn app is that a student could find another students schedule to stalk or bully them.

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