Friday, December 05, 2008

Sad, But True

Here's something I'll share with students. It follows along advice in earlier years not to go to the liquor store in the town they are student teaching in. Yes, it will probably be some parent there that "reports" them to the school board but it's best not to push the envelope of community expectations at that stage of the game. It's just reality, folks.

And, I'm afraid, many of our students really do think Facebook and Myspace are private spaces just for their friends and "cute" members of the opposite sex. They are much more and only a window opening into the larger Web 2.0 world that connects us all.

Here's the Chronicle article:
Judge Sides With University Against Student-Teacher With 'Drunken Pirate' Photo
A federal judge has ruled against a former student who sued Millersville University of Pennsylvania for denying her a degree in education in connection with an online photo of her drinking, The Washington Post reported.

The former student, Stacy Snyder, sued Millersville in 2007. A year before, the nearby high school where Ms. Snyder was student-teaching had barred her from its campus days before the end of her semester-long assignment. Prior evaluations had criticized her competence and professionalism in the classroom, the legal decision says, but the school’s discovery of a photograph of Ms. Snyder on MySpace — with the caption “drunken pirate” and a note alluding to her strained relationship with her supervising teacher — precipitated the decision to end her assignment.

That prevented Millersville from awarding Ms. Snyder a bachelor’s degree in education. Instead, the university reclassified some academic credits and gave her a degree in English, a decision she appealed and lost. When she sued, alleging violations of her free-speech and due-process rights, she sought the degree in education.

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I learned this lesson in 6th grade. I had a group of friends over for a sleepover and we walked a mile down to the country store on our little country road to get some snacks. One girl in the bunch (only one) was a smoker and smoked.

By the time I got home, my mother had received a call that we were smoking. Making it even more incredible, we'd only lived there for 1/2 year and already the nosies were involved. You never know who's watching.
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