… not to post people’s names on your blog. Unless I have something nice to say about them, or I don’t know them personally and they are the butt of a major news story, I don’t name names on my blog. Some high schoolers in Texas decided to post a blog that defames their vice principal and she decided to fight back, in court.
What blows me away about this is that the suit also names the kids’ parents for failing to supervise their children while they were on the internet. While I can appreciate that parents do need to have some control over the behavior of their kids while they are surfing, you can’t expect parents not to sleep. We’re all human. Sooner or later, children will do things without their parents knowing about it. Doing those things on the internet is extremely easy.
My solution to this problem is that I’ve got myspace black listed on our firewall. I won’t let my children have a myspace page. Also, my husband spends an hour or two every Sunday reading our server’s log files to make sure that the children haven’t been doing things like signing up for porn sites with our credit card numbers. Thankfully, nothing like this has happened. I’m even more thankful that my wonderful husband is a computer genius.
I would imagine that maybe 1 in 10,000 households in America have a set-up like ours that allows us to log everything that our children do without missing a single beat, or giving them ways to work around that logging. Most parents are not that computer literate themselves. Kids that have computer literate parents are in the minority and you have to be computer literate to make something like what we have going work. With all of this in mind, I have a hard time believing that the parents actually had the capability to have the level of control over their teenagers’ internet time that is being assumed in this lawsuit.
If I were that vice principal, I would have called the parents and insisted that they have their children take down the myspace page, or even better I would have reported it directly to myspace and asked them to remove the site and then I might have considered some sort of in school community service or worked with the parents to ensure an appropriate punishment for the children in question via a counsellor. Hiring a lawyer never would have entered my thought processes.
Even though that’s what I would do in that exact circumstance, I still don’t name names. It’s just not wise in today’s sue and be sued world.