Posts Tagged ‘Free Speech’

How Can Facebook Allow James Holmes Tribute Pages?

July 26, 2012

How can we trust Facebook to help us fight cyberbullying if they can’t even ban tribute pages to a murderer? How can we trust Facebook to protect our children from online predators when they can’t stop online propaganda championing a sick murderer? How can we trust Facebook when they claim to be enforcing their age restriction policy when they can’t even take a common sense approach to getting rid of James Holmes tribute pages?

I have no trust in Facebook!

While Facebook pages paying tribute to James Holmes — the alleged shooter in the attacks in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., last week during the premiere showing of The Dark Knight Rises— may violate all standards of common decency, they apparently do not violate Facebook’s terms of service.

CNN reported that a “few-dozen” such pages have sprung up over the past week, including one with more than 800 likes.

The social network is caught in a no-win situation in cases such as this: If it removes the pages, it is accused of violating free-speech rights. And if it allows the pages to exist, users complain that it allows distasteful, hateful content on its network.

Facebook Spokesman Fred Wolens told CNN that the pages, “while incredibly distasteful, don’t violate our terms,” adding that “credible threats” against specific people or content with the potential to incite violence would be grounds for the deletion of pages.

The free speech argument must be used only within the confines of common sense. Facebook should be ashamed of themselves!

Click on the link to read Don’t Even Try to Huminise James Holmes

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Rely on Free Speech Shouldn’t be Teachers

Click on the link to read Facebook’s Age Restictions are a Joke

Click on the link to read Facebook and Child Exploitation

Important Tips for Teachers Who Use Facebook

July 12, 2012

In light of  the latest teacher Facebook scandal, where music teacher Lauren Orban referred to a student on Facebook as possibly being the “evolutionary link between orangutans and humans”, I thought it would be helpful to relate some important tips for teachers using social media.

I found these helpful hints for both teachers and non-teachers at

Ten Tips for Teachers for Staying Smart on Social Networking Websites:


  1. Google yourself. Your employer, coworkers, supervisors, kids, relatives, and friends have probably all done it already. You should know what is out there with your name on it.
  2. Report concerns you may have to the hosting website. Most social networking sites have reporting mechanisms so you can easily report problems, misinformation, hacked accounts, scams, phishing, or other concerns. You can also request that your information be removed from sites that may have it posted.
  3. Post only what you want the world (including your mother, your mother-in-law, your students, your spouse, your kids, your boss, your next door neighbor, everyone) to see.
  4. Set your privacy settings so that “only friends” can view your information. Other settings allow unknown individuals to view your information and may compromise the privacy of you and your family.
  5. Do not post things that may bring shame or embarrassment to you or your employer. Those photos of rush week, your best friend’s bachelor party, or even that weekend family reunion two years ago might be better left un-posted.
  6. Choose passwords that cannot be easily guessed so that your accounts are secure. Your kid’s names, your pet’s names, your birthday, and your address are common offenders that make your account easy to hack.


  1. Honor your school’s policy. If your school does not allow employees to use Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc, follow the policy–your job may depend on it. If your school does not allow the use of social networking sites, be extremely careful to keep your professional and personal interactions separated. Do not friend colleagues or interact with students via these sites.
  2. Use approved sites or sites provided by your school district for social networking when possible. These are great venues for educational and collaboration purposes.
  3. Do not post messages criticizing or airing your frustrations about your job, boss, coworkers, students, administrators, faculty, staff, or even school policies.
  4. Post only those things you would be comfortable sharing in front of a classroom. Before you post it, imagine one of your students bringing it up in class. If that thought makes you uncomfortable, don’t post it.


Click here to read my post, ‘Teachers Who Rely on Free Speech Shouldn’t be Teachers’.

Students Are Not Allowed Opinions Anymore

September 26, 2011

As a teacher, it isn’t uncommon to confront opinionated students.  Of course, many of their opinions I don’t personally agree with (some of which are a reflection of their immaturity).  That being the case, I still feel that it is much healthier for a child to have too many opinions that to have none at all.  As our job description includes nurturing each childs’ critical thinking skills, you would have thought that the canvassing of opinions is vital to a functioning classroom.

But you would be wrong.  More than ever before, the powers that be have been stifling debate, silencing contrasting views and imposing a mantra of political correctness.  Take the case of Dakota Ary:

The mother of a Fort Worth student said she unhappy her son was given in-school suspension for making a comment in class about homosexuality and Christianity.

During a discussion in his German class at Western hills High School on Tuesday, freshman Dakota Ary said he commented to a friend that his religious beliefs say homosexuality is wrong.

“I said, ‘I’m Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong,'” Ary said. “And then he (the teacher) got mad, wrote me an infraction and sent me to the office.”

It is my view that you don’t change a person’s viewpoint by silencing or suspending them.  Whether I agree or disagree with my students is immaterial, they are still entitled to share their views with the class.  Usually views materialise from only considering one side of the argument.  A healthy classroom discussion often features a range of insights and perspectives.  This healthy discussion often leads kids to change or alter their views and accept differences of opinions.

Unfortunately, in the age of political correctness opinions are becoming a thing of the past.

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