Social Media and the School Community Cybertraps Live 026

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  • If you have questions you’d like answered, please visit the Questions and Feedback page on Cybertraps.com
  • The focus today is on the interactions among adults in our school communities
  • Teachers, administrators, school board members, and parents
  • Social media has altered the traditional power dynamics of the school community
  • School Board members
  • 2021 CA – Entire school board resigns after swearing and joking about parents during virtual meeting
    • “They want their babysitters back.”
    • “Parents want to be home alone so that they can smoke pot.”
    • Profane, threatening language against a parent who criticized her on social media
  • 2020 FL – School board member resigns after making racist comments on FB about Kamala Harris
  • 2016 VT – Burlington School Board member sharply criticized for contents of FB feed
  • Administrators
  • 2020 VT – Principal fired for “insanely tone-deaf” Facebook post criticizing Black Lives Matter movement
    • Principal’s attempt to apologize not successful
  • 2019 NY – Superintendent resigns after wife tweets out allegations of an affair with a subordinate
  • 2018 TX – Superintendent resigns after writing on a public FB page that “You can’t count on a black QB”
    • “As an educator, this experience has taught me that I still have a lot to learn,” Redden wrote to board president Ted Wiggins. “My comments were not only uninformed but also hurtful, and I understand now why they were offensive to so many people.”
    • Redden said he mistakenly thought he was responding to a friend’s private message. He deleted the post, but Spring resident Matt Ericksen sent the Chronicle screenshots of the comment Monday.
  • 2015 LA – High school principal and her husband get backlash for posting image of them wearing their “people of Walmart” Halloween costumes
    • Classism and racism?
    • Just having fun?
  • Teachers
  • One Scottish teacher’s union described the combination of smartphones and social media as “catastrophic” for its members
    • Orwellian scrutiny
  • 2021 WI – High school english teacher (and wife of superintendent) placed on leave after series of racist, homophobic, and transphobic remarks on social media
    • Superintendent also on leave
    • New law firm brought in to investigate
  • 2020 CA – Los Angeles teacher flees her home with her daughter after receiving death threats when an ‘angry parent shared a photo of her’ wearing an ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirt during a virtual class
  • 2018 OH – Teacher fired after encouraging preschoolers to fight and posting videos to Snapchat
  • 2017 NJ – Teacher fired and had license suspended for two years after she describes students as “losers” on Facebook
  • 2017 ND – Teacher resigns after investigation over offensive tweets about her special ed students
  • Parents
  • Steady rise in social media bullying of teachers and administrators by parents
  • Teachers argue that social media is making parents more aggressive
  • Parents have access to much more information about schools and teachers, increasing the potential for complaints and activism
  • 2020 – Multiple reports of parents drinking, smoking pot, and wandering around half-dressed during their kids’ remote classes
  • 2018 Ireland – Teacher successfully sues parent for libel over social media post
  • 2016 Mexico – Parents successfully demand firing of teacher after spring break dance video circulates online
  • What Can Be Done?
  • Should schools ask parents to sign agreements about how they will use social media with respect to teachers and the school itself?
  • THINK before you POST!!!
  • Know how the technology works
  • Slow down

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