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MEAD, Colo. (KDVR) — Three students at Mead High School have been suspended for five days after an image circulated online appearing to show the students re-enacting the George Floyd murder.

The suspensions may end, but it’s a decision that could potentially haunt the students for years.

Christie Barnes knows a thing or two about teens and the lasting impacts of social media. The Colorado author wrote the “Paranoid Parents Guide.”

She can rattle off one example after another of students making horrible decisions that cost them acceptance letters to colleges.

Social media posts “can really come back to haunt you,” Barnes said. “Clear that social media before you apply to a school.”

In this case, however, it may be too late. Barnes believes these students will likely see college acceptance offers rescinded, which is why she said it’s always important to address poor decisions head on.

“Own up to it immediately. Tell us as much about it as you can. Tell us what you’ve learned, why it was a stupid thing to do,” Barnes said. “Do something that shows you’ve really changed. Do talks at your local school or join an anti-bullying campaign,” she suggested.

Even so, Barnes said it’s a decision that may also impact these teens well into their adult lives.

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social networking sites to research candidates, and 48% routinely monitor their employees on social media.