Social Networking Gone Wild?

I am a little behind on my RSS feeds and am attempting to catch up on as much as I can before Grey’s Anatomy tonight. 🙂 

In my reading I came across a rather upsetting article in the New York Times entitled Teenagers Misbehaving, for All On-line to Watch

The article discusses inappropriate and sometimes malicious videos and pictures being posted on the web for all to see (and I don’t really think it is fair to imply that this is only done by teenagers).

“Most suburban teenagers, it seems, can rattle off a litany of the latest teens-gone-wild offerings as though they were the local multiplex listings: boys holding cellphones under the lunch table to photograph up girls’ skirts; an innocent kiss at a party posted out of context on an ex-boyfriend’s Web site; someone bursting in on friends who are in the bathroom or sleeping, drinking or smoking; students goading teachers into tantrums; assaulting homeless people.”

I think it is horrible to create a video that depicts someone in a poor light and post it on the web, but the question I struggle with is what do we do about it?  Students (and people in general) have been making fun of each other, playing pranks and being mean to each other forever – the only difference is that it is now being published for the world to view.

I definitely think we should discuss the ethics of such behaviors with our students but beyond that I think we enter a grey area…

  • If inappropriate material is filmed on school property or with school material and then posted to YouTube is it the school’s responsibility to deliver a consequence and if so, what should it be?
  • What if a malicious video is filmed outside of school property with a student’s personal camera and then posted on-line? Is it now out of the school’s jurisdiction or do they still intervene? What if students are viewing the video at school?

I am just not sure how these types of “offenses” should be handled, and unfortunately, I think we are going to be faced with making the call about these types of behaviors more frequently.  I don’t know what the “correct” answer is… or if there is one, but I think we need to open the dialogue because we are going to have to work through the problem and not just try to “block” our students from viewing theses types of materials at school.

What do you think?  How should teachers and administrators handle these types of situations?

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Explore posts in the same categories: Discipline, News, Question, reflection

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