School video that mocked student with disabilities posted on YouTube
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
at the TechLearning blog
A video production teacher at Montville High School in New
Jersey had her students create a public service announcement (PSA) as a class
assignment. The students
decided to make an anti-bullying videoand assigned roles for the skit.
B.B., a junior with multiple cognitive and social disabilities, was selected to
be the victim. Other students then emptied garbage cans on his head, slapped
him, and pushed him to the ground. The video concluded with a teacher breaking
up the bullying activity and an anti-bullying message.
video was then edited by some students and posted on YouTube. The YouTube
version omitted the anti-bullying aspects of the video and only showed B.B.
being bullied. The YouTube version was viewed over 3,700 times before it was
taken down. B.B. became the subject of taunts and teasing in school, severe
enough that he missed school for a month. His mother has now sued the teacher,
principal, superintendent, and school board under the state's anti-bullying law
for failing to sufficiently protect her son after the teasing began.
This incident raises multiple issues worthy of consideration. In no
particular order, here are a few questions and thoughts...
- Where did the original video file reside? Presumably the editing of the
PSA was done at school since it was a video production class. What precautions,
if any, were taken regarding storage and/or possible dissemination of the PSA?
Did each student involved in creating the video get a copy?
What rights does each party have to do with the video what it wishes?
school's AUP should cover the offending student's behavior. Although the
offending student was identified, it is unclear what disciplinary action, if
any, was taken against him/her.
policy. Can a minor student with multiple cognitive and social disabilities
for this situation?
victim's reputation was harmed substantially enough to warrant a legal remedy.
Is this harder to prove for a minor student than it would be for an adult,
particularly given the rampant teasing that occurs in schools?
There are lots of issues here, but these are the ones that initially jump out
at me. I think B.B.'s attorney was right when he said that B.B. never should
have been selected in the first place to be the bullying victim. That said, any
of the students conceivably could have been teased if they were in his place.
B.B. just appears to be a particularly sensitive student because of his
As teachers and students in schools continue to create more digital content
as part of coursework, we will see more stories like this. The portability and
modifiability of digital files, combined with the openness of the Internet and
the ready availability of content creation tools, make these types of situations
difficult to prevent. The challenge for schools will be to balance appropriate
safety and supervision concerns with the pedagogical advantages that often
accompany the use of digital technologies. Think about the digital content that
is created in your school: is your organization at risk for similar
inappropriate appropriation of content by a student or staff member?
[thanks to Jim
Gates at Tiplinefor pointing me to this story]
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.