Friday, July 16, 2010

What's wrong with adult response to cyberabuse?

Reading the New York Times article "Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray" by Jan Hoffman makes me wonder: What's wrong with adult response to cyberabuse?

Evan S. Cohen, an LA lawyer, sued his eighth-grade daughter's school district when she was suspended for two days for after-school cyberbullying. The girl had posted on YouTube a mean-spirited video with sexual slurs about another eighth-grade girl, which her father admits "wasn’t a nice thing to do."

However, he claims... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.


CopperJP said...

This is TERRIBLE! I would say it's truly unbelievable, but, unfortunately, I have met too many parents who would side with their child, even if their child were doing the wrong thing. When are we as a community going to take charge and make sure that everyone learns the values of community living? Children - and adults - need to be considerate, if not compassionate, towards others.

Anonymous said...

Hey Copper --

The case was about the limits of governmental power. Read it. Go ahead, the link is in the NYT article. Ask yourself where the limits should be. Then, perhaps, you can discuss these issues intelligently.

Evan Cohen

CopperJP said...

Dear Mr. Cohen,

I have no issues with you using your professional power to fight against the limits of government power. Most schools are busy enough as is without needing to also do a parent's job.

Whether the school should or should not have gotten involved -- which is what I understand your case to be about -- is not my concern. I have not disagreed with you, and I'm not sure why you've felt the need to attack my position, which has nothing to do with yours.

On a side note, I will mention that our summer camp (privately-owned) did have rules for our campers and staff about bullying, even after they had left camp. These rules were spelled out and agreed to in their applications/contracts, and specifically addressed cyber-relationships. There were consequences for violations, which we enforced.

I'm not saying that schools, whether government-owned or private, should necessarily have these policies or not. But some do.

And I still stand by Kae's point, which I took to be that we all need to work together -- as role models and as mentors -- to instill today's children with the ability to take responsibility for their own actions (and hopefully to think through the consequences of their actions _before_ they take them).

Good luck to you in raising your daughter as a responsible citizen of her community,
Jessica Coleman
Retired Director, Camp Echo (NY)