Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Social Networking Sites Are Mightier Than The Sword

The CBC radio had a segment this morning on cyber bullying and the use of social networks. They focused in particular on this story of a ThornHill student who was suspended due to his comments on a Facebook site..

There were some things that bugged me in the interview (not the least of which was the attitude of this dad who was more pissed that his kid can't go on a trip to Montreal than his sons actual bad behaviour). But the thing I was the most curious about….

The school had been monitoring the Facebook site in question. They clearly understood that there was room and potential for inappropriate comments to be made. Rather than proactively educating these kids and talking to them about the public dangers when you choose to put your life and opinions online (or even sending out a warning newsletter about acceptable behaviour), they chose to lurk and waited until something bad happened.

That just seems wrong to me.

The teacher in question could a real beef in my opinion with school officials who prefer to “catch” the kids in the act of doing something wrong versus what I consider in part their job, helping kids figure out what’s right in the first place.

In the end, everyone loses. The kid, the school and ultimately the teacher all with the lesson, social networking sites are mightier than the sword.


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