Notice to Readers: The Publishing Tool has been having difficulties, this article was orginally titled I Hear the Hooves of ACLU Lawyers Regarding This School District’s Sexting Policy
In Should OSPI Develop A Model Rule About Teacher/Student Texting/Sexting? I said:
I think Superintendent Dorn of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is doing a great job given the political and economic environment in which he is a leader and his organization must operate. Generally, I think Washington School Laws often restrict common sense decisions by principals and teachers, that is one reason I like charter schools. However, some teachers simply have no common sense and frankly their actions need to be restricted. The question is whether Superintendent Dorn should look at developing model rules regarding texting and sexting between teachers and students?
See, This Teacher’s Conduct Was Both Sick and Stupid
Now, Katie Mc Vicker has a story in the Whidbey News Times which was reprinted at SeattlePI.Com about the Oak Harbor School District’s sexting proposal. In Checking for Sexting: Oak Harbor School Board Policy Would Let School Officials Search Students’ Cell Phones Mc Vicker reports:
An Oak Harbor School Board policy regarding cell phone use has been re-written to allow administrators to search students’ phones and to protect themselves against possible criminal charges regarding sexting.
Sexting is a newer phenomenon among middle school and high school students and is defined as sending sexually explicit photos via text messages. Sending, receiving or storing explicit images of minors on a cell phone is a felony in the United States, but currently there are no state laws that prohibit sexting in school or provide punishment. However, laws do give school districts the right to manage students’ cell phone use on school grounds or at school-sponsored events.
The first reading of the new policy, which was unanimously approved at Monday’s board meeting, states, “By bringing a cell phone and other electronic devices to school or school sponsored events, the student and parents consent to the search of the device when school officials have a reasonable suspicion that such a search will reveal a violation of school rules.”
Assistant Superintendent Lance Gibbon presented the policy to the board. He pointed out that school officials already have the right to search lockers and backpacks with reasonable suspicion; now they’re simply extending that right to the electronic realm.
“We shared this with building administrators and their feedback was that this gives them the latitude they needed to enforce these policies,” Gibbon said. “This gives them the ability to do those investigations, confiscate those devices and go through them. I know it’s something our administrators have had to deal with in various ways.”
The updated policy was based off of recommendations from the Washington State School Directors’ Association newsletter. The newsletter discusses a case that took place in Bothell. A picture of a naked female student in the Northshore School District circulated on cell phones and the girl was suspended from the cheer squad. The student later sued the school officials who investigated the case and charges of dissemination of child pornography were brought against them. …
The fact that many parents are not taking the time to discuss how technology should be used means that school officials will probably have to develop rules and protocols for the use of technology in the school environment.
I sincerely hope that the ACLU stays out of this school district’s policy because there are too many children nowadays who need both boundaries and direction.
1.Stupid Is As Stupid Does
2.File This Under What The Heck Were These Parents Thinking?
3.Acting Stupid Could Cost You And Your Child
4.Update: Acting Stupid Could Cost You And Your Child
5.Sexting is looking For love In All The Wrong Places
6.Update: Sexting is Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places
7.Alert: How to Teach Kids How to use the Media Responsibly
8.Make Sure That Children Understand the Privacy Issues Associated With Facebook
9.Alert: A Nasty New Social Networking Site May Promote Cyberbullying
10. Alert: Resources to Help Monitor Your Child’s Media Intake
11. Oh Well, It Had to Happen. Internet Rehab for Child Internet Addicts
12. The Sexed Up Children of This Culture
Dr. Wilda may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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