Have These People Ever Met a Teenager?

My teen years are fully two decades behind me, and I can tell you with absolute certainty what nonsense like this would have made me want to do. Here’s a hint: It wouldn’t be shutting up:

The students, some wearing duct tape over their mouths and carrying signs, were protesting an announcement at the beginning of the day, in which Strongsville High School Principal William Steffen asked the children to refrain from posting on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Steffen said he’s been trying to tell students since yesterday-when several videos, Tweets and Facebook posts depicted disorganization and unruliness at the start of school March 4 – that, when they post things online, they’re there forever and that has the potential to be seen by the entire nation.

“I’ve told them that some of the rumors that they’re putting out there are putting our students and our school in a bad light,” he said. “We had a student tell the students on announcements to keep it classy.”

If you want the young’uns to refrain from doing something, the best way to get them to do that is to shout orders at them from a great height, right guys? Franklin Delano Roosevelt Christ. And what a passive-aggressive bullshit way to go about it, too, all “we’re not telling you not to say anything, just to be VERY CAREFUL about what you say.”

Not for nothing, but I would suggest to Mr. Steffen that what is “putting the school in a bad light” is having a teacher strike in the first place, not students talking about it. The description of a thing is not the thing itself, and outrage over what’s being said should never exceed outrage over what’s been done.

Via dan_ps.


6 thoughts on “Have These People Ever Met a Teenager?

  1. ” when they post things online, they’re there forever and that has the potential to be seen by the entire nation”
    as opposed to what’s happening in the “real” world, which the principal believes (or wants to believe) will become instantaneously invisible and meaningless, therefore tree, forest, yada yada, move along here

  2. The teachers had just given over $3 million in concessions on their last contract, with promises from the school board that they would make that up in the next contract. Now that it’s time to pony up, the school board says no way. The board claims there is a $4 million shortfall. Could it be time for an outside audit?
    BTW, the comments section at the link for this story are hideous and show how disrespected teachers have become.
    As for the kids, fat chance they’re going to stop their tweets and texts. They’re kids, for crissakes, they’re loaded with social media savvy and they’re not afraid to use it. These old, out of touch morons need to get a grip, or, as my grandkids say to me: catch up or shut up.

  3. I have to admit that I am sympathetic to the idea of limiting the use of social media among teens. The principal is right that what is posted can turn around and bite you. I’d add that a problem with social media bringing the world to your living room is that there are many parts of the world that one doesn’t want to be anywhere near them – but the social media bring them anyway.
    The principal could add that to sign up for facebook (at least I remember it this way) one has to click a button saying they are over a certain age. I’m sure there is at least one 6 year old out there that didn’t just automatically click the “yes” button /snark.
    But like you said, a principal making such an announcement is an almost certain way to make sure that they really jump in and start using the social media even more.

  4. But then any sympathy I have for the principal flies out the window when I see that what they are REALLY worried about is the collection of posts that make the school look bad.
    And especially that the “bad” is the condition caused by, as one commenter put it, “a tea party school board” turning the screws on the teachers resulting in a strike / lack of teachers.
    As such, wouldn’t the students documenting the conditions be considered reporting and/or political speech?

  5. Well, you know, this is a good education for the kids. Expressing pro-labor opinions will mean you will never have a job. Expressing atheist opinions means you will never be elected to public office. Expressing vaguely liberal thoughts will eventually send you to the ovens.
    Welcome to Amurka.

  6. ” when they post things online, they’re there forever and that has the potential to be seen by the entire nation”
    And it will go on your PERMANENT RECORD, he should have said.

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