Got Any More Like These?

Discussion in 'Education' started by Madeline, May 21, 2010.

  1. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    I'm interested in the intersection between the internet and public school disciplinary rules. Specifically as they pertain to bullying and cyber-bullying.

    The Lori Drew case circa 2008 involved a 49 year old Missouri woman who posed as a phoney 16 year old boy to lure a 12 year girl who was a school mate of her daughter's into a relationship on MySpace, then dumped her in public and ridiculed her until she suicided. Even though the malfeasor's daughter and the victim were in school together, there doesn't seem to have been any active role for the school to have played in this tragedy.

    The Phoebe Prince case from 2010 involves six high school students who battered and assaulted a 15 year old on campus and cyber-bullied her off of it. The parents of the victim knew about this and asked the school to intervene but they did not. This case is still too recent to yield any court decisions or other guidance as to what exactly the school should have done.

    This is what I think may be reasonable. For middle school students, gather parents and students together and announce that school policy prohibits any student from joining any social networking site, PERIOD. Give the parents the option to allow the student onto these sites at the parents' own risk. Afterwards, the school does nothing, except expell students caught on these sites without a filed permission slip from their folks.

    For high school students, announce that a student caught accessing any social networking site by any means on campus or during school hours is getting expelled, PERIOD. Then tell students and parents why these sites are a terrible, life killing place to engage in any acting out. Then tell them all they are not getting any protection on such sites from the school.

    I also think public schools should have equipment to detect any and all cell phones etc. and confiscate same at the beginning of each school day, returning them only after a student has left campus or the school bus, whichever is later. No student ought to have a device that can take photos or video AND upload it onto the 'net....such things endanger teachers and administrators, not just other students.

    Any thoughts? Additional cases? Different ways to skin a cat (aka advise a school board as to the necessary school administrator conduct needed to avoid liability for failing to prevent cyber-bullying between students)?

    I believe we have some teachers here on USMB, along with plenty of parents of kidlets in K-12. All POVs are welcome; I'm asking for input, not necessarially agreement.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  2. bodecea
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    bodecea Diamond Member

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    All I know is that my daughter's school has a cyberbullying assembly each year...local police talk about the legal ramifications.
     
  3. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    Is there anything in writing you might could steal for me bodecea? Not the entire student conduct handbook; just a pledge they signed or whatnot?

    Thankies...and I think getting cops in to try and scare kidlets off this trend is a great idea. I'm stealing that one too. You are most kind.
     
  4. Bill O'Olberman
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    Bill O'Olberman Active Member

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    There has always been bullying, kids committing suicide is not a new phenomena, and the internet/social networking sites arent to blame. Granted it does present a new medium for bullying which (should) require parents to monitor another aspect of their childs life. That being said, I personally wouldnt want my 13 year old on a social networking site and I personally wouldnt buy him or her a cell phone either (I honestly cannot imagine the parent who would buy their preteen/young teen a smartphone with data plan). And I believe in the case of Phoebe Prince the school should be found to have been negligent especially if they school was informed of the bullying and failed to act.

    Policy should be that access to those site from school should be blocked, any bullying that occurs on those sites should be treated like any other instance of bullying, and let the kids know the potential consequences.

    Social networking site are far from 'terrible, life killing." Its actually a very good way to stay connected with your friends and family especially those living far away from you. In a 15 minute period I can find out what all my aunts, uncles, cousins, and even my grand parents are doing, leave them messages, chat with them on facebook chat, and coordinate activities with them.

    Taking cell phones away form high school kids, I disagree. While policy should dictate that the device remain off while in class, God forbid an incident happen at school where the kid needs to promptly connact their parents to tell them that theyre "okay" or that they need something. How exactly is it a threat to teachers and administrators? When they get completely out of line their actions are now recorded...
     
  5. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    Most schools have sites like Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, etc blocked from their school computers, so the kids can't get on them on campus anyway.


    As for cell phones in high school, if a student brings one to school they should be kept in their lockers for the duration of the school day. Allowing them in the classrooom is just another distraction.

    As for cyber bullying-I don't think the schools can be held accountable for something that the students do in the privacy of their homes, at least they shouldn't be, since it's not happening on school property. If someone is bullying you at home on the internet, wouldn't you tell your PARENTS?
     
  6. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    Nobody should be required to submit to random videotaping by non-employer personnel in order to do their job. Certainly not video taping by people who are minors. Any piece of video can be altered, even if only by splicing...but to the viewer, it certainly looks real. We ask far too much from teachers and other school personnel. At least allow them to maintain some discipline in classrooms without recording every conflict with a student and uploading it to YouTube.

    WTF sort of emergency could any student have on campus that would necessitate instantaneous contact with their parents who are off-campus? Why's it not enough to allow students to ask permission to use the phone down in the administration office?

    Social networking sites are often far too intense for adults to handle. No little kid should be exposed to the aggression many people feel free to unleash under the false impression that what they do on the 'net is anonymous. Personally, I don't happen to think twitter is a great idea. I prefer such things as hand written letters and telephone calls to chat and catch up on one another's news. I think we are becoming more isolated and less connected, and lonelier, because we have lost so much of the drive to go face to face with other humans.

    I say schools should buy jammers, so no one can use a cell phone or the'net, and then hard wire a few pcs in the admin office and the library for whatever legitimate need students or school personnel may have to use this new technology.

    We don't allow students to bring weapons onto the campus. Far too often, in the hands of a minor the 'net is just another weapon.
     
  7. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    Phoebe Prince evidentially told her parents, Ma'am. When cyber-bullying is brought to the attention of school administrators, I see the administrators as having no option but to call the police and file a report. Because the cyber-bully is under suspicion of having committed a crime, the school (IMO) must expel him or her until the matter is resolved.

    Anything less, and student suicides resulting in part from the school's docile or tacit approval of cyber-bullying seem entirely foreseeable to me...and thus, I can see no way to protect school administrators from liability.
     

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