Friday, November 26, 2010

Not Something I'm Interested In Doing

I'll be honest--there's not a lot I want to know about my students outside of their behavior and performance in school. Sure, I'll listen to their stories from band or sports or other classes or clubs or student government, and because I care about the kids themselves I'm actually interested in what they tell me, but there are certain things I just don't care to know about them. At all.

I don't want to know if they're having sex.
I don't want to know if they're doing drugs.
I don't even want to know if they're drinking.

I guess I can narrow down the field here: I don't want to know what things they're doing that can get them in trouble. "Oh." some will say, "you just want to ignore that stuff and keep your head in the sand!" To which I reply, "It's not my job to deal with it (unless it happens at school), and I already have a child for whom I'm a parent." My genuine caring for my students does not extend to wanting to be their parent.

So if I were put in this situation, I'd let the school administration do the button-pushing:
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican, issued a legal opinion Wednesday ruling that not only can school officials seize students' cell phones and laptops, but they can also read their text messages if there is "reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school."

Cuccinelli was responding to a request from Republican Delegate Robert Bell who wanted to know when principals or teachers can seize the devices to battle cyberbullying and how school officials can address "sexting," or sexual messages sent via text, without violating the state law themselves.
I'm not interested in going through their text messages and learning about what they're doing outside of the idealized environment of my classroom. That's what our principal and vice principals are for.

I'm not sure how long this ruling will last anyway:
Cuccinelli's opinion lacks the legal force of a court ruling and his past opinions have been challenged before.

Of course, this ruling was issued in part to address the new"big bad" in schools, cyberbullying.

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