Tuesday, May 23, 2006

School District to Monitor Student Blogs

Wow, what an incredibly stupid idea. I see that the kneejerk stupid reactions to MySpace are continuing on schedule. Even if this was a good idea, don't schools have more important things to focus their resources on? Why do they think it's any of their business to punish kids for what they do outside of school?

"I don't think they need to police what students are doing online," [a parent]said. "That's my job."

Exactly. I'm all for parents monitoring what their kids do online, and I don't even have a problem if people at the school alert the parents if they come across something troubling, but there is no reason for a school to have any authority over what a kid does outside of school.
"The concept that searching a blog site is an invasion of privacy is almost an oxymoron," [Associate Superintendent Prentiss Lea ] said. "It is called the World Wide Web."

I actualy agree with this. I'll never understand why people post stuff online then expect it to be private. However, that's a completely different issue than whether the school should be able to punish kids for it.

And anyway, how the hell do you implement something like this? There's no way they can actively monitor (or even know about) every student's blog, which almost guarantees it will be enforced subjectively and unfairly. Anyway, this will just encourage the kids to be more secretive in what they post online. And if their names are not tied to the account, how can they be punished for it? They can always deny that it's them. And what if some kid is pissed at another kid, so throws up a fake page with that kid's name and a bunch of made up stuff on it? This is just ridiculous. Good luck trying to handle this mess, Community High School District 128.

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maurinsky said...

And how would the school know whether there is any accuracy to what a student puts on their MySpace?

You're right, this is stupid.

John Howard said...

Right, they wouldn't. Even if it was a good idea in the first place (which it isn't), it is impossible to implement well.

Robert Bayn said...

The myspace hype is that your kids will be molested, which is just insane. Though i agree Teachers should not be keeping tabs on kids outside of school, i do understand why they would do this. Several instances where students had planned to bring weapons to school or have another columbine, they have posted it on their blog. Now there is also some truth in that, if they were serious they would have not posted it for everyone to see, so maybe it was a cry for help, but if teachers can see that, they can help the student. Is it a waste of time? Not if it saves lives and helps trouble youth, do we need to spend more time and energy on education, of course, but i think you can do that and pay attention to troubled youth, which their is a lot of.

Chris Howard said...

Yeah, this is stupid. Certainly blogs aren't private, but as you say, there's no way to prove authenticity.

Storm said...

Besides all the student has to do is use a nickname thus avoiding the thought police of the school. Of course using a nickname, not mentioning your home town, and being concerned about who you were talking to and their motives would achieve the desired effect of geeting those children whose parents will not parent to act more safely.

I am confused why should we not parent for those that will not. We provide retirements for people that do not plan for retirement. We provide health care, housing, and a bunch of stuff because people do not take responsibility for themselves. Look at Katrina, we are even supposed to be responsible for people that failed to excerise the common sense to get in out of the rain.