Augusta, Maine - Assistant Principal's Conference
I set about folding brochures I’d printed before I’d left home, then as people filed out of the room, followed Jeff in to set up my laptop and get ready for my talk, which would happen after lunch.
The room was full, over 80 assistant principals from throughout Maine, and a few law enforcement officers. I talked mainly about cyberbullying, predators and social networking sites like Myspace.com.
I had done a search on Myspace for York High School, as I couldn’t find an Augusta High School, and did screenshots from the results I’d found, choosing a boy and girl who had put too much info in their profiles, showing how anyone can access profiles not marked private.
Afterwards, got some good questions and a Lewiston cop asked if one type of teen had Myspace accounts. It was pretty funny, several people in the audience loudly said no. I told him that if he meant kids who were depressed or caused problems, no. I saw all kinds of kids – popular ones, loners, goth, dorks, - every kind of teen you can imagine.
I also was asked by one man if I felt an ethical duty to contact the parents of the two students I’d profiled that their children had too much information in their profiles. I told him no, because if I spent my time going through *every* high school student’s profiles to find out who had too much information and contact their parents, then I wouldn’t be doing anything else. I told him my purpose was to educate them, the audience, on how to look for this info and take it from there. If they felt they had to contact a parent, fine, but I advised them to talk to the student first and explain why too much information was not a good thing.
Hey, if someone wants to pay me to “police” Myspace.com, please contact me. But until then, it’s not my job, ethically or not. My job is to educate and spread and the word. I love it when people get all high and mighty and try to turn my good work into something bad. Pfft.
I sold all the books I had with me, got a lot of requests about speaking at their school and left loads of business cards with people.
I packed up my things and headed home. Smooth driving again.
Chris had to deal with the sewer guys all day. That will have to be another post. And probably a long one.
I had to get ready for my next trip to Topeka, Kansas. I was going to be keynote speaker as well as giving a 1.5 hour workshop. I was leaving early Monday for that, so I was rushing around, buying last minute clothes, underwear, girl stuff. Did some laundry. Rented King Kong (Peter Jackson’s version). What a disappointment. After LOTR, my expectations had been enormously high. The movie was long, too long, and didn’t get exciting until the island where Kong was from and NYC. Even then, it wasn’t as good as all the hype.
More soon about the wonderful sewer district and my trip to Topeka.