Tuesday, February 24, 2015

School Mission Creep

There probably used to be a time when the primary function of a school was to educate students.  Nowadays we do so much more.  We feed the students, we proselytize about global warming, we teach them "values" and/or "character ed", we entertain, we enable their bad behaviors by encouraging them to use their phones in class (then wonder why they goof around with them), we teach them to "work in groups" because that's what's needed "in the 21st Century", we teach them to be good little racists by teaching them that they should classify themselves by race.  We should spend our time teaching.

What students do in their off-school time is their (and their parents') own concern.  Oh, but what if it affects the school environment, you ask?  Well, if Boy A dumps Girl B that "affects the school environment" because she's distraught but it's not really the school's business, is it?  I'm all for a very tight reading of the "affects the school environment" standard.

So this new Illinois law is one that I would absolutely not support, and if my child were punished for violating it (on my instructions), I'd fight it in court:
The crusade against bullying is entering a new phase in Illinois. In an attempt to “stop cyber-bullying,” a new law went into effect that on January 1 that forces students in all school districts and universities to turn over their social media passwords to school officials if they feel they have “reasonable cause” to believe the accounts contain evidence the student has run afoul of the school’s “disciplinary rule policy.”
Seems a little bit 4th Amendment-y to me, doesn't it?  With very few exceptions (again, there's that "close reading" I was talking about) it's not the school's business what's on a kid's social media site unless the kid is posting from school.  Schools should focus on at-school behavior and on learning, and leave the raising of kids to their parents.

(And for those of you teachers who say that "parents aren't raising their kids", that's their issue, not yours.  You just teach.)


maxutils said...

That's so unconstitutional, it's ridiculous. Bet it gets rethought before the first challenge.

Ellen K said...

People will blindly turn over information because we have a nation of sheep that don't question anything authority demands. The things being emphasized in schools today over actual content has changed us from being educators to being some sort of facilitator/counselors. I have three years left. I'm not sure I'll make it.

Darren said...

I have 13. The kids who enter kindergarten this August, I'll be done when they are. *sigh*