Some Thoughts and Observations

Of all the monuments and memorials in Washington, DC, I find Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial to be the most moving. It's not just the aesthetics of the memorial or its setting, both of which are magnificent. What really sets the memorial apart are the more than 58,000 names carved in the polished black granite. Every day, you can see visitors reaching out to touch the name of a family member or friend who died in the war; many leave offerings of flowers or mementos, and then walk with muffled tread up one of the two sloped paths that angle out from the center of the memorial.

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Looking for timely, compelling professional development for your district or school? Contact me at FSLane3@Cybertraps.com

Most military monuments, like the nearby World War II Memorial, use the place names of famous battles as a shorthand for honoring the people who fought there: Normandy. Battle of the Bulge. Midway. Iwo Jima. Guadalcanal. Largely lost to history are the names of the people who actually died. Lin's design brilliantly upends that tradition, reminding us that we should memorialize the people who sacrificed their lives and not the geography where they happened to fall.

The 185 children and adults (at least) who have died as a result of gun violence in schools since 1999 were more sacrificed than sacrificing, but the same geographical shorthand is dimming our memory of the actual lives lost: Columbine. Red Lake. Sandy Hook. Parkland. Santa Fe. Oxford. Uvalde.

Our most pressing responsibility, of course, is to figure out how to prevent that list from getting longer by even a single location. But we should also have the moral courage to carve those names into a monument that can remind us of what we lose every time this happens.

As you can see from the headlines below, social media and digital communications are once again at the center of the investigation into the planning and execution o the Uvalde attack. As more information becomes available, I'll share it in on this platform. A number of points are already clear:

  1. The sheer volume of content online makes it very difficult to identify posts that may indicate a possible terrorist attack;
  2. Even if the posts can be properly identified, it is highly unlikely that any social media company can take action quickly enough to provide useful intelligence to law enforcement or school officials;
  3. If your school district is paying for social media monitoring, you might want to rethink that budget line. Surveillance companies have no ability to monitor many of the channels recently used by attackers to discuss or publicize their plans;
  4. The incidence of fake threats of copy violence simply exploded after the Uvalde shooting. Jethro Jones and I discussed the problem of copycat threats in Episode 104 of The Cybertraps Podcast.
  5. Misinformation is a persistent byproduct of attacks like these. Educating students and parents on the importance of critical thinking is a good investment of time.

The Cybertraps Podcast: Week of May 23, 2022

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TCP Episode 127 — Preventing Educator Abuse of Children with Dr. Charol Shakeshaft

“The Cybertraps Podcast” is recorded live most Mondays at noon Eastern. You can watch the broadcast of the show on the Cybertraps Facebook page.

To get notifications of newly-released episodes, subscribe to "The Cybertraps Podcast" on Apple Podcast or on your podcast player of preference.

We welcome show topic and guest suggestions. Please contact me at FSLane3@cybertraps.com to pass along any ideas.

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The Cybertraps Podcast is a production of The Center for Cyberethics, a 501(c)(3) independent, non-partisan educational institute dedicated to the study and promotion of cyberethics as a positive social force through research, curricula development, publishing and media, professional training, and public advocacy. Click here to donate.

Reminder: Free Safety Training Offered for Districts and Schools

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 cshakeshaft@vcu.edu or (804) 752-2413.

Interesting C4E Headlines for the Week of May 23, 2022

28 May 2022

US_Missouri

US_New York

US_New York

27 May 2022

US / National

US / National

US_Colorado

US_Tennessee

26 May 2022

US / National

US_Florida

US_Florida

US_North Carolina

US_Pennsylvania

25 May 2022

China

US / Global

US_Iowa

US_Oklahoma

US_Tennessee / National

US_Texas

US_Texas

US_Wisconsin

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.

Available in paperback or on Kindle.

24 May 2022

England

Singapore

US / National

US_Illinois

US_Iowa

US_Texas

US_Vermont

23 May 2022

US_California

US_New Hampshire

US_Michigan