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Highlights from the week of May 9-15, 2022.
No educator can read the headlines from the end of last week without feeling a sickening sense of deja vu. The horrific shooting in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York could just as easily have occurred in a predominantly black school. Educators, parents, and children are forced to live with that stark reality every single day.
Much of my work is dedicated to understanding the impact of technology on society. This attack is Exhibit A for how easily dark corners of the internet can radicalize, desensitize, and galvanize someone susceptible to the most vile ideologies and beliefs.
Much will be written about the shooter's use of sites and services like Twitch, YouTube, 4chan, Discord, and so on, but I was particularly struck by the insights offered by author and commentator Elie Mystal:
If you are not on Twitter or if you would simply like an easier way to read his thread, click here. (I also highly recommend Mystal's recent book, Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution, which offers a compelling and wildly-entertaining look at some of the fundamental flaws in jurisprudence relating to the Bill of Rights.)
The premise that no one's grandmother, of any race, creed, religion, or national origin, should be shot to death with an assault rifle while shopping for groceries should be absolutely incontrovertible. But we must confront the fact that we have a lot of work to do to make that basic proposition a reliable reality in this country. There's enough work to go around for all of us: parents, educators, tech titans, politicians, students, etc. We have to do better.
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Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University have been given a grant by the Centers for Disease Control to study the effectiveness of an educator sexual misconduct prevention program created and marketed by a company called Praesidium. The program, known as The Praesidium Safety Equation, is designed to evaluate and strengthen eight different aspects of an organization's student abuse mitigation and response efforts.
Dr. Charol Shakeshaft, the Principal Investigator, is looking for schools and school districts that would be interested in participating in the study. She provide me with the following details regarding study participation:
Participation includes ~50 minutes of Praesidium's Safety Equation® online self-paced training for all staff and ~45 additional minutes of online self-paced training for administrators, completion of two surveys, and sharing school policies and procedures with researchers. Participating schools will receive the most comprehensive training on the market at no cost for the duration of the grant and a safety assessment documenting safety practices at the school. Schools will receive modest tokens of appreciation for participation. Training is available between July and early 2023.
If you work in a school/district that might be interested in helping with this research project, please contact Dr. Shakeshaft at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 752-2413.
You can listen to Dr. Shakeshaft discuss her ongoing study on The Cybertraps Podcast on Monday, May 23, 2022 at 12 noon. Visit the Cybertraps Facebook page to sign up for alerts and to watch the live recording of the interview.
Published in September 2020, this book is an invaluable tool for educating teachers and administrators about the risks arising from the use and misuse of digital devices. Each cautionary tale is linked to specific provisions of the Model Code of Ethics for Educators to help guide educators in the ethical use of technology. Contact the author to arrange for bulk purchases.
🎼 Above the Fold: School District Strips "Sound of Music" of Nazi Imagery ~ 💽 2. The Shifting Stories of A School Data Theft ~ 🌈 3. Wisconsin "Pride Fest" Draws Online Attacks ~ 🚓 4. Teacher Gets 10 Year Jail Term for Solicitation ~ 🏖️ 5. What, No Vacation Days Left?
📖 Above the Fold: Diary of a Pervy Teacher ~ 📹 2. Update on Plainview ISD iPad Video Controversy ~ 🏈 3. CA Football Player Accused of Electronic Sexual Assault ~ ⛪ 4. Bible Reference Sparks Online Outrage in Loudon County ~ 🎌 5. Japanese Teacher Crosses a Line
Above the Fold: Video of Teacher Using N-Word Earns Student a 3-Day Suspension ~ 2. Oregon Schools Grapple with Emojigate ~ 3. North Carolina School Board Member Indicted for Extortion ~ 4. New CISA Toolkit: Strengthening K-12 Reporting Systems ~ 5. Will AI Be Critiquing Your Teaching Soon?
Cybertraps Summer 2023 Webinar Series ~ Above the Fold: 1st Grader Records In-Class Sexual Assault ~ 2. The Cellphone Ban Debate Continues ~ 3. Teacher Pepper-Sprayed after Confiscating Phone ~ 4. MPS Data Breach: "Worst Case Scenario" ~ 5. Teachers Face Economic Threats and Moral Dilemmas
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