Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I was watching the news just now, and saw this piece.  I looked around a bit more, and found this article.  And I found myself annoyed.

The bit about teachers having "no expectation of privacy" is the one which concerns me.  While it is true that social media, being owned things rather than public domain, are monitored by their owners, and those who use them are putting things out so that others can see them, asserting that one specific group of people has "no expectation of privacy," singling that group out for examination, has unfortunate implications.  That the group is teachers reinforces the idea of teachers as somehow incompetent, as it is not those who are trusted who are monitored.

(And as far as the "co-parents" comment goes, what of the calls in the wake of school shootings and instances of bullying--or even in cases of student depression--that the teachers ought to have seen the signs of trouble?  Can we fault a person for not seeing what is on the other side of a door that has been barred to that person?)

My beloved wife points out that it is yet another in a series of such messages, that teachers are not deserving of the same protections as others.  And there have been no statements to other city employees demanding that they restrict their online interactions with those in their charge.  Despite the potential for inappropriate conduct between, say, police officers and persons who are nominally under their protection, or between administrators of various programs and those enrolled in the programs, there is no specific guideline in place to tell them who they can and cannot connect to online.  They are governed only by the laws already in place; teachers are being singled out, once again, as being untrustworthy.

Is it any wonder, then, that the quality of education students receive is perceived as declining?  Teachers work under what amounts to censure, and it is not as if the very web-savvy students whom the NYC DoE measures are supposed to protect are not aware of that censure; can they be blamed for resisting people whom they see as being denigrated by the community at large?

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