Friday, March 15, 2013

Parent notification of bullying video opt-out

Like all modern schools, students of the L&N are not immune to behaviors and repercussions of bullying.  Modern technology's dark side is the availability of anonymity to degrade another without revealing one's own identity and shortcomings. 

As part of our efforts to teach students the habit of empathy, and to educate them about the consequences of bullying, we will be viewing a TED talk video in Advisory classes next Thursday, March 21.  TED talk is a website, app, and social phenomenon that has been referred to as "YouTube for the NPR set."  All videos are done professionally and must follow strict guidelines to be listed on the website.  The particular video we are using is a powerful message delivered by a young man who was a victim of bullying and eventually engaged in this behavior towards others.  It is delivered in a style and format that will hold students' attention to hear the message he brings.

We are notifying you for two reasons; first, to make you aware of our efforts to stop bullying among our youth, and second, this particular video has one curse word in it that could be offensive to some (it is the "f-word").  The video was viewed by our school's PTSA Board, who agreed with school administrators that the message is so powerful that we don't want one incidence of language to preclude students' viewing of it.  It is used only once and we are working on figuring out a way to censor/bleep it out.  In the event we cannot by next Thursday, we want parents to have the opportunity to opt-out your student from viewing the video.  We will provide an alternative setting where they will still discuss the topic but not view this video.  To opt out, parents must call the school office (329-8440) and leave your student's name with the secretary so we can make these other arrangements.  You must call by Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. so we have time to accommodate your wishes.

On the day we view with students, we will post a link for parents to be able to view the video yourself so you can engage with your child about the contents and what they thought about it.  We will also include with the link the questions that teachers will be using for class discussion following the viewing.  Please feel free to contact any administrator if you have questions/further comments about this important effort to stem the tide of an ugly side effect of access to technology to engage in bullying behaviors.  Thank you for your support.

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