I don't have the solution to cyber-bullying, but I'm pretty sure the problem is only going to get worse without some sort of prevention plan. A new law that went into effect this month in North Carolina would seem to be a step in the right direction. But even that law is getting some mixed reviews.
Starting this month, students can face criminal punishment if they post any statement online about a school employee. It's meant to keep students from attacking teachers in anonymous forums. But the American Civil Liberties Union is fired up. While I don't always agree with the ACLU, they do make some good points.
According to them, if the student makes any statement, true or false, they could be charged with a crime. Teachers endure a lot and they need extra protection. But I worry about the bad-apple teachers that might now get away with bad teaching practices because those who know their poor work best could be jailed if they even raise a hand.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emailed comments from viewers:
I am a school bus driver. I have experienced what can happen when a child spreads rumors about school staff.
It can and does get ugly very quickly.
A false statement made by a child can destroy a persons career. Imagine a rumor being spread about a teacher and then parents losing their trust in his or her teaching abilities? How about if its about a bus driver? They hold the lives of our future in their hands.
We all desire, expect, and deserve to have trust in our schools and their employees, and yet one false rumor can destroy that trust.
To say that a "bad apple" teacher or other school official can get away with bad practices because a child can not post complaints online leaves me flabbergasted. There are so many legitimate avenues to go to and be heard.
They can speak to other teachers, guidance counselors, assistant principals, principals, parents, superintendent, school board members.
That is infinitely more reasonable than to go post something on Facebook or twitter a true or false complaint.
Anyway, that's my turn.
Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.
322 Shipyard Boulevard