Douche Bag Reprise

June 16, 2007

Why would not EVERY kid
at that high school
get a MySpace account
and post every day from now
to the end of the school year,
one simple line –

Graphic via Massachusetts
Law Enforcement Network

Text Via Dangerously Irrelevant

Why the Title?
Our intelligence tends to produce technological and social change at a rate faster than our institutions and emotions can cope with. . . . Innovation is cumulative and the rate of change accelerates. We therefore find ourselves continually trying to accommodate new realities within inappropriate existing institutions, and trying to think about those new realities in traditional but sometimes dangerously irrelevant terms. – Gwynne Dyer

Posted by: A,. Mercer May 26, 2007 at 10:47 PM

In my neck of the woods, on Friday, the local TV stations carried a a story about a student blogger in trouble at Lewis Mills High School. The student, upset at some kind of snafu and screw up by the central office staff that was interfering with a school sponsored event, went on line to her MySpace and posted an entry that as the newscast said, “described the person with a term normally associated with a feminine hygiene product”. Of course word got back to administration and the young lady had to inform her mother what she wrote, apologize to the person, and, as she was running for class secretary, SHE WAS BANNED FROM RUNNING FOR SCHOOL OFFICE.

It strikes me that in so many ways this is just so stupid on so many levels. Here is a child who is just what we want. Involved in school events, with enough passion to be angry when things are not going well, willing to lend her effort and energy by running for office. In ten years this is the kid that I want as President of my PTO, running for the Board of Selectmen, speaking out and making efforts to change things in her community, and maybe in her state and beyond.

Was she wrong, yes. Should she apologize, yes. But, she doesn’t need punishment beyond that. She needs mentoring, a listening ear about what she was angry about, and somebody to give her direction about what she can do to make positive change. She also needs adults in her world to be able to remember what is was like to be 16, and to show some ability to laugh at themselves.

It is an inherently flaccid position taken by the administration that is so easily undercut and flipped around. It shows that they do not grasp the power of new technologies and social networking. Why would not EVERY kid at that high school get a MySpace account and post every day from now to the end of the school year, one simple line – MY PRINCIPAL IS A DOUCHE-BAG!

How much more effective would it have been if the admin types had just called her in laughed and said, “You know maybe I am being a douche-bag here, but it was not intentional, this is how I see it and how we can work together to….”

Here is a link to someone else who is taking the miscarriage of justice angle:

And for the record and in support of this child, as a teacher, I declare that at times I am a douche-bag, my principals can be douche-bags, and my Superintendents can be douche-bags!


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