SMH article – Quit Facebook or be expelled. http://goo.gl/58Ha6
A Queensland school Principal is threatening to expell students if she discovers they are under 13 with a Facebook account.
Blames cyberbullying as the reason; claims it is a legal issue – praises parents who stickybeak into their children’s lives (does the term helicopter parents pop into your head right now?) Worse somehow manages to get ‘expert’ support and confirmation of her ground-breaking brave decision.
The only ground breaking here is caused by head firmly burying itself in sand.
It also goes to prove that no matter how ridiculous your claim – someone somewhere (often with Dr in front of their name) will be prepared to back you.
The cowardliness involved in hiding behind a public system’s ‘rules’ and totally denying the base problem is upsetting, particularly when it from someone supposedly in a leadership position charged with the education of young people. There is no such thing as cyberbullying – it is just bullying bullying with modern technology thrown in. Semantics? No, bullying has been around since Noah was a boy and the methods have kept pace. This is a social/pastoral issue and not dealing with it, by claiming technology is responsible is poor and shortsighted.
Additionally to run from your responsibility of teaching children how to deal with the world in which they live – rather than hanker back to old people’s time is woeful.
It’s sad that the parent body tolerate this and haven’t taken the Principal to task is only a measure of their like confusion.
Kids already live in an online world. This isn’t going away. We have the responsibility to make them good digital citizens for their own sake as well as society. Failing to teach them how to live in their world is as equally stupid as failing to teach them social manners and how to cross the road.
This totally inappropriate action by an ill-informed, poorly advised Principal should, be held up as an example of what NOT to do.
Where is the offer to teach children how to be good digital citizens? where is the pastoral support for those who bully, where is the offer to skill up those bullied with some resilience training, where is the acknowledgement that the world for children is different from that in which we old people grew up, where is the acknowledgement that positive on line persona is one of the most rapidly growing requirements that young people have?
Kids MUST have Facebook – they MUST have their own domain, they MUST have total control over any online repository/system that is associated with their identity. Their online persona will be a greater force and more important than anything old people will ever get to understand. In any doubt? try applying for a job and not getting Googled… See if resumes have more than a few years of lifespan left (if that). Failing to get this and failing to act on it is doing them a grave injustice and the false claims – weasel wording – abrogation of responsibility is something parents should be railing against.