Idiot Teachers fool with the Interweb

I have a friend in Wellington who has drawn a blank in dealing with her child’s school and her childs home room teacher in particular.

This eager bunny of  teacher has decided to publish a blog of her class complete with photos, and first names of the kids in the class. Quite apart from the awful formatting and the security implications of such a fool enterprise the school has failed to see the error of their ways.

The school won’t see reason from the many parents who have complained. Since it is all about who you know and not what you know it seems it has fallen to this blogger to educate in the cruelest way possible these dimwitted teachers as to the perils of the internet.

But first some emails;

From: FoW [Friend of Whaleoil]
Sent: Monday, 25 May 2009 8:48 a.m.
To: Fool [email protected]
Subject: Room8 – Blog

Morning Louise,

I support your decision to have a class blog, however being a Blog/ Website Designer myself, i would like to express the following Internet Safety concerns;

1. I do not believe any ‘individual and/ or named photos’ of any child, be present on this site

2. No Personal information to be posted about any Room8 student

3. What sort of ‘content’ guidelines, do you propose?

4. Does this Blog comply with the ERO policy?

5. How will you moderate the site comments and content?

6. The ‘h k cafe’ sidebar promotes playing, downloading and visiting several game sites that contain Malware

I look forward to your reply & thankyou in advance for your time

Not bad, friendly, not obstructive from mother of Child expressing concern.

From: Idiot Teacher [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, 25 May 2009 1:03 p.m.
To: ‘FoW’
Cc: ‘Fool TeacherX’ [The Teacher]
Subject: RE: Room8 – Blog

Hi FoW,

Thank you for sharing your concerns. I will respond on behalf of Louise as I am the teacher in charge of IT.

1. We will not be posting any named individual photos of the children and will not be including any last names on the posts.
2. No personal information about the children will be posted – just samples of work we are doing and the occasional post from the children about school events.
3. As this is new to us we are just developing our content guidelines – if you have any suggestions we would love to hear from you.
4. The blogs as they are currently being set up and common throughout many schools with no issues to date.
5. Any comments that are posted on the site go straight to the teacher’s email address and then we choose if we want to publish them or not.
6. Regarding the “H K Café” side bar. I have to admit we don’t know that much about it. We thought we were taking all appropriate measures to ensure that a visitor wouldn’t be directed to inappropriate sites. It is an area that you may have more expertise then we do and would therefore appreciate any guidance that you can provide. If you could pop up to school and show me that would be even better.

Thanks again for your comments. If you are able to provide any advice or support to ensure that our blogs are successful we would really appreciate it.

Kind regards,

Idiot Teacher

Right, nice attempt to answer despite apparent lack of understanding of issues. Nice asking for help

From: FoW
Sent: Thursday, 28 May 2009 10:45 a.m.
To: ‘Idiot Teacher’
Subject: RE: Room8 – Blog

Hi Dana,

1. Great, however i suggest not even 1st names are posted either (in content nor images)… perhaps ‘our reading group’ (or similar generic) is significantly more acceptable for students of this age group.

2. Okay, however the students should post under a ‘generic’ blogger user such as ‘room8’ or by subject group perhaps? not their names

3. I would recommend that all content be as general and non child specific as you can, and always posted as a group effort

4. Yes, Blogs are common throughout schools, i look after a few, however i disagree with your ‘no issues to date’ comment

5. Agreed, the only way to truely Moderate comments on a blog

6. Just remove the sidebars, bit boring i know, but this inturn removes other website tracking, logging & potential spam of your Blog / email

The last thing i wish, is to appear as the Party Pooper… and am happy to donate my time and expertise in anything you need.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to do a module on Internet Bullying & Identity Protection…the unfortunate reality of true Internet usage. As what you teach them now will hopefully (yeah right, maybe, haha) prevent a few hassles in a year or two when they all want their own Blog on Facebook or Bebo.

Look forward to speaking with you further

FoW

Nice an polite response from mother suggesting some helpful tips.

From: Idiot Teacher [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, 5 June 2009 11:22 a.m.
To: ‘FoW’
Subject: RE: Room8 – Blog

Hi FoW,

Thanks for the further advice. We were just curious about the other issues that schools were having, as we have not heard of any. Could you please let us know?

Thanks,

Dana.

Well Duh! First indication that trouble lies ahead. how on earth can anyone not know about problems ont he internet with stalkers and kiddy fiddlers. Where have these idiots been, up Michael Jacksons arse?

from FoW
to Idiot Teacher <[email protected]>,
date Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 1:19 PM
subject RE: Room8 – Blog

Good Morning Dana,

I have left my reply to this email, until i studied the Room8 Blog progress, as your last reply appeared to carry no real merit of true ICT comprehension.

It is MOST disturbing that you have indeed ignored ALL of general internet/blog protocol, for this age group …let alone the most serious consideration of all;
Children are named outright! Individually Photographed!

Sure No Surnames, but hey …Yay! to Caleb, or how about the class clown who has a monogrammed beanie on, Rhys is running so fast that his hair is blowing in the wind! need i go further? Predators Paradise!

I now formally request the Blog to be removed even disabled, until a parent/ principal conference of Room8 be called, or you actually take advice onboard

Other parents are in support of this email, also included in the BCC of this email is one of the most influential bloggers in the country

Thankyou in advance & i look forward to our meeting
FoW

Patience has run out. The handy suggestions have been ignored and even after the subtle threat to bring it to the attention of the country’s most notorious blogger they still ahven’t changed the site.

Welcome, Teachers of Pauatahanui Primary School to a lesson in how to draw attention to yourself on the internet in a really bad way.

There is more to come on this. We will keep you posted.

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