Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More questions than answers

Do kids today have too much available to them? What is the parent's role in making sure that their kids are not abusing themselves or others using today's technology without really thinking about what they are doing to themselves or what they are doing to others? What is the school's role in making sure that the technology is used only for good and not for evil? What is evil? What is good?

The dilemma I have is that all of this is uncharted territory. As school employees, though, we are expected to know the proper lessons to teach and the proper course of action to take when kids make mistakes. No longer is the mistake cheating off of someone's homework or test, however. Now it's how many millions of people saw the video footage of some poor kid's teeth getting knocked out on YouTube. The mistakes made these days last forever. My fear is that all common sense has left when our students log on. Even when the student is spoken to about the common sense aspect of using social networking sites I sometimes get the feeling that they don't understand the ramifications. Does it take the experience of a embarrassing picture being sent all over school to make kids see? Where are we lacking when a student does not know enough by middle school to help the kid getting beaten up instead of worrying about videotaping it for YouTube?

As these issues become more and more prevalent in our school systems there will be more case law to refer to. It is and has to be a very sensitive issue when words like bullying are thrown around. If bullying that isn't physical was hard to detect before, it is a million times harder to detect and prevent today. So in an effort to be proactive and begin to examine some definite steps to take on an everyday basis I am asking for some guidance and some thoughts.

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