What are we teaching our students?

Tweet by CBC's Fresh Air - Saturday, February 6, 2016
Tweet by CBC’s Fresh Air – Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tweet by CBC’s Fresh Air – Saturday, February 6, 2016

Since Facebook arrived in my Secondary School in the fall of 2005, my role as Vice Principal, and now as Principal, has included educating and guiding teenagers in their use of Social Media.

Our refrain of “never capture someone’s image without their permission”, and “always consider your audience”, seem to be a message that has been missed by our trusted national broadcaster:  the CBC.

As I drove to my grad school class (I’m a student too!) on Saturday morning, with CBC Radio’s “Fresh Air” as my companion, I was shocked and dismayed to hear host Mary Ito (@cbcfreshair) laughing at the plight of a young person who fell asleep on his second day at a new job.

I have rarely been brought to tears by a radio broadcaster.

We have worked so hard with our young people, to focus on character traits, learning skills, and a growth mindset.  And then a respected broadcaster publicly shames someone, and celebrates that his work colleagues took advantage of him.

This seems juvenile and thoughtless.

This is one time that I’m GLAD that my students don’t listen to CBC, ’cause I won’t have to explain this on Monday!

Can anyone suggest another radio station in the GTA?  I need to reset my car radio.

Tweet me @terrywhitmell with suggestions.

#neverputanyonedown #manners #considerate #empathy

3 thoughts on “What are we teaching our students?

  1. Does it make a difference that the photo was posted and shared, on the very public site Reddit (from which it went viral) by the sleeping man himself? His colleagues took the photo while he was unaware, true, and there’s arguably a victimization there. But when he himself is the one to share it, is he still a victim of the public reaction? Can he cyber bully himself? Or is it the choice of an adult who grew up with a certain social media sensibility? Where does his role in his own public shaming fit in, and is it indeed shaming if he in his own words says he’s untroubled? Perhaps the teachable moment here is not just about taking advantage of someone at a disadvantage, but repercussions and possible effects of posting embarrassing and/or victimizing photos of oneself. Or, on ways to react to being in such a situation, by exploring anger, embarrassment, action, confidence and humour as various alternatives for response. It seems to me that agency and impact have a part in the conversation.

  2. PS it is also worth noting that the place Eduard posted it on Reddit is a section called “TODAY I F—D UP”. So the personal responsibility element is absolutely part of the discussion here. Based on the reporting, this is a person who opted to put his situation out there on a forum inviting ridicule, and by his own statements is find with it. The full context of the situation warrants consideration.

  3. Thank you. You have identified many of the topics we talk about with our teens, and which change in perspective as they move from “child” to “adult”. I think of our students as “young adults”, but also have to recognize that their frontal lobe development won’t be complete until their mid-20’s, so their judgment might not be as “solid” as they believe.

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