In this article, issues are brought forward concerning student freedom of speech online. The article discusses how there have been several examples where students posted slanderous comments about their teachers and administrators, even going so far as to create fake online profiles for their teachers/admin with ridiculous accusations and attributes. The victims are upset that the U.S. Supreme Court will not consider these issues as serious enough to discuss at their level.
The fact is, slanderous attacks against people (whether it be fellow students, teachers, parents etc) have been occurring since the beginning of language. And slanderous written attacks against people have been occurring since the dawn of the written language. People have been expressing their disdain for others long before the internet was around, the difference being that a much smaller crowd would have had access to that hate-literature prior to the explosion of the net.
I think that the approach these admin and teachers are taking to the issues are escalating the issue rather than sufficiently dealing with it. Instead of attempting to attack the situation right back, why not help to educate everyone involved on the issues. I think it would be good to take both a proactive and retroactive approach, to deal with the current situations but also to preempt future situations. I think that with the rapid rate at which the world is expanding socially/globally through the internet we as educators need to help students understand the implications of what they post on the net, as well as how to deal with any posts directed to them on the net. We cannot deny that these skills are vital ones in this world that we are fighting to keep up with. Students need to understand that although they have the power to express freedom of speech, how what they say and how they say it negatively affects both the reputation of who they are attacking as well as their own. Students also need to learn coping skills when attacked on the net or face-to-face, it is a skill that will strengthen them as a person and prepare them for the unforgiving comments of the faceless billions of online participants.
I strongly believe that along with educating students on appropriate social skills and face-to-face manners, we (as educators and even parents) need to include education for students on online correspondence.