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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Indoor forest


Just last week on Wabash Avenue.

Springfield School District 186 is trying to come up with a policy that would dictate teachers' and students' behavior on social networking sites, and in particular, Facebook.

If I was in charge, and if there had to be a policy, it would say "use common sense," and nothing else. We all know how to use common sense, right? Also, my policy would apply to all social situations, including, email, phone, and in person.

As an example of how teachers and students can interact outside the classroom without someone going to jail, let me take you back to one of my own experiences from the seventh grade. It was Labor Day weekend in 1968. I remember it just like it was yesterday....

We’d gone to a trap and skeet shoot somewhere in Missouri where I happened to notice my English teacher, who, as a matter of fact, I had only met for the first time the week before. She was sitting all by herself in a folding lawn chair reading a magazine, obviously waiting for her husband to get done shooting.

Unable to help myself, I stomped right over, waving my arms, and got my face between her face and her magazine, and burst out with,“holy shit, Mrs. Ess (not her real name), what the fuck are you doing here?”

To which she yelled, obviously in the spirit of special occasions and new found camaraderie, “get the fuck so close out of my face so I can see who the fuck I’m talking to ya little shit.”

I loved her immediately. After the initial pleasantries, we hung out together all weekend, cussing and telling lies and setting the forest on fire and she taught me how to roll my first joint and I taught her how to hot-wire a boat.

Okay, except for the part about hanging out together all weekend, none of that really happened. Mostly. But, from the sound of it, the school board is afraid that's exactly what goes on when teachers and students get together outside of class. Every kid is curious to know what their teachers are like outside of the classroom.

You’ve got to trust your people. If you can trust them to be at a trap and skeet shoot together all weekend and out of state, you should be able to trust them to be on Facebook together, assuming it’s okay with all parties, including the parents of the student. Just like me and Mrs. Ess that weekend in 1968, when we all did our social networking in person.

Posted by Marie at November 10, 2011 11:22 PM


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