Friday, July 01, 2005

Blogging Policies Needed For Schools, Universities?

Liberation (in French only) runs an article today about a high school student facing expulsion for defaming her French teacher on her blog.

“E” (the anonymous student from a small town high school) posted a nasty comment about her French teacher in her blog - roughly translated as “I hate this crap teacher” - on the 29th of May. A week later, a lecturer in the same school, who was curious to find out if his school was mentioned on the blogosphere came across the infuriating post. He forwarded it to E’s French teacher, who complained to the school principal. The matter escalated to the regional academy who advised the school to take a firm stance. Despite E’s apologies, she will face a disciplinary hearing that could result in permanent expulsion. The student and her family are said to be devastated.

The regional academy is now working on a leaflet to be distributed in all its schools next year to give guidelines on acceptable blog usage in line with schools’ code of conducts.

I suspect that this is not an isolated case. Many see blogs as a personal diary and forget that there are publicly accessible. I can only see the number of such incidents increasing in conjunction with the increase of self-publishing tools.


octaviorojas said...

Dear Joel...

I don't agree with censorship and less in a school.

It's the worst way to educate children to be free -not letting them to think and express themselves-.

What will be next?

Joël Céré said...

Hello Octavio,

You have a point here, I think that the school overeacted and is trying to make an example here. But it is also necessary to teach kids responsibility for their actions as we live in a society which is getting increasingly conservative and prone to legal actions.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joel,

The internet and the ability to 'blog' gives people a lot of power.

And some may not handle the power 'wisely'.

A simple post on a 'blog' by a school child could lead to immense damage for any organisation.

So defined policies can be a great thing.

The setting of the policies may upset some people. Yet there needs to be some 'ground rules'.

Just like driving a car.

I wonder if there'll be an age limit on posting blogs?

Casey Gollan
Business Growth

Anonymous said...

Dear Joel,

Your article makes a good point and I believe such issues will be increase over the coming months as academic institutions slowly get to grips with the power of blogs.

Ironically, another famous blog story similar to this is the phantom professor whose contract was 'not renewed' due to her writing about her students!! I wrote about this and other blogging issues facing academia in my article on in Is blogging just academic