Responding to potential subversiveness

May 30

I discovered some students in a local school have begun an “underground blog” to discuss school issues. I sent the URL to the principal and he was already aware of it and figured he knew who was behind it.  He sent an email to the students. Here’s an excerpt.

I do appreciate the recent gestures that you are making with your blog.  I feel that it is good for students to be able to voice opinions and discuss items of concern for them.  I only caution them that the internet is never really as private as it seems and it is not as hard as you might imagine for people to find out who posters to the blog are so ultimately people need to be able to take responsibility for what they say.  (remember your teachers have been marking students writing for a number of years and can easily pick up on catch words and style – It’s kind of like a finger print)

I do admire your enthusiasm – and I just encourage you to remember with great power comes great responsibility – I think Uncle Ben said that!

I’d say he handled it pretty well.

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  • http://dmcordell.blogspot.com diane

    I’d say he handled it exceedingly well. This is a model message – will be sure to deliver it to students in my Current Events and those who use our LMC computers.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    dianes last blog post..Connections

  • http://weblogs.elearning.ubc.ca/brian/archives/044683.php Brian

    How refreshingly sane… thanks for sharing a non-horror story.

    Brians last blog post..You can learn a lot about punk from a folk song…

  • Deanna

    Awesome! What a great way to handle this situation! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://manintheblackcoat.blogspot.com Stuart Ciske

    Wow – not only refreshing, but enlightened.

    As a former journalism teacher, when ever things like “underground” papers (back in the day) were discussed or kids wanted to tackle something controversial, I always laid out my mantra from the legal aspects part of the class: With (1st amendments) rights comes responsibilities and just because you can doesn’t always mean you should!”

    Most kids are smart and savvy and if they are, they generally know the line between rights and responsibilities.

    Your principal did a good job of reminding them!

    SJC

    Stuart Ciskes last blog post..Your Ideas for EdWeek’s "Technology Counts" 2009

  • http://robwall.ca Rob Wall

    Honesty – what a novel approach. I think it is very important that he emphasized responsibility for one’s words. When google cache and internet archive are able to archive what we have written for as long as their servers are running, it is imperative that we remember this.

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  • http://omegageek.net/rickscafe Richard Schwier

    Remarkable restraint. I see your fine hand in this, Dean. It is evidence that your work in the division is paying off when administrators are able to understand the issues well enough to provide this kind of response. I know you won’t take credit, but I’m pretty sure that your influence is being felt.

    Richard Schwiers last blog post..Yann Martel on teachers

  • http://www.twitter.com/skydaddy Corrie Bergeron

    What a superb example!

  • andar909

    hi, andar here, i just read your post. i like very much. agree to you, sir.