Can we use a little common sense, please?

Posted: September 13, 2011 in Thinking out loud
Tags: , , , ,

Over the summer I was very interested in and followed the story involving Missouri educators’ use of social media to communicate with their students. You can read about it here and here.  While the law’s purpose was to protect students from inappropriate contact from adults, a judge issued a temporary injunction halting it’s implementation.

Last night while watching the news a story aired from Ohio. Dayton Public Schools have put a similar policy in effect. I was annoyed but not alarmed until I heard something to the effect of Ohio was getting ahead of the game by banning contact between students and teachers through social media.

JAW DROP (I wish I could find a clip of the story to get the exact wording.)

How is banning something that’s a way of life for most of us getting ahead of the game? Barring a total collapse of the world as we know it (think a Stephen King-esque super flu or zombie apocalypse) social media isn’t going anywhere.

I get what these districts are trying to do, but they’re doing it the wrong way.

You can’t ban your way to safety. You can’t tell kids (and adults) “don’t do that” and expect them to behave the way you want them to.

Let’s face it, if someone wants to take advantage of a child they can do it without social media. Predators have done it probably since the beginning of time. They don’t need Facebook.

We need to be proactive and smart. Let’s teach adults the right ways to use social media with their students. Let’s teach our children how to recognize inappropriate contact and ways to deal with it…ways that will better serve them than a ban.

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