Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Real problem, stupid solution

Amazingly, there's a bit of educational insanity that appears to be the brainchild of a teachers' union (no surprise there), but it's not one of the teachers' unions in America.

In the UK, the Professional Association of Teachers note that bullying is not just a schoolyard phenomenon, that it goes on after hours and on weekends, and that the internet makes it even easier. Such "cyberbullying," (ugh, what a term) can take the form of abusive blog posts, threatening emails, doctored photos or videos, etc. They argue, and I agree, that this is a Bad Thing.

Their solution: Shut down YouTube.

That's right. Don't deal with the problem directly. Just take the electronic toys away and those darn kids won't get into trouble.

Of course, why stop there? Text messaging and cell phones can be used for bullying, too. Ban cell phones! And what about email? In fact, let's just shut down the whole darn Internet, and the problem will go away, right? After all, we never had any problems in schools at all until that nasty YouTube showed up!

[set snark=OFF]

Look, it's not difficult. E-bullying leaves an E-trail. Threats and harassment are already dealt with in the legal system, especially in the UK with its 'Anti-Social Behavior Orders' (ASBOs) that allow cops to harass teenagers pretty much all they want. Shutting down YouTube to deal with school bullying (in one country) is just stupid, and misses the point. Obtusely, painfully misses it.

But griping about that darn internet that we don't understand is soooo much easier than actually, you know, doing anything about the problem directly.

Addendum: If it weren't for YouTube, we wouldn't know about racist, foul-mouthed priests. And though this incident apparently happened about a year ago, it wasn't until it hit YouTube (and thus publicly embarrassed the Church) that anything was done.

I'm just saying...

No comments: