If your child violates another student’s privacy this way, they deserve to be punished, not enabled.
What would you do if you found out your son was spreading nude pictures of his classmates around on Instagram? If the answer is anything but serious discipline for his jerkitude and idiocy, you’re doing it wrong. As a parent, it’s your job to teach your kids that only garbage people violate other people’s privacy in this manner.
It’s not your job to throw a little tantrum when they get in trouble for it and sue the school district for a free speech violation, the way that a Madison, Mississippi, family is doing. Back in January, a minor referred to as J.B. received a picture on his cell phone of a naked classmate. He then created an Instagram account and named it, charmingly, “Germantown Whores.” The administration at his school then decided this was kind of gross and definitely inappropriate, and expelled J.B., sending him to an alternative school in the county.
Where this gets interesting, or nauseating, if you are a human person, is the part where J.B.’s family sues the school district for $400,000 because they don’t feel that his educational experience is up to snuff. In particular, they cite the fact that the alternative school doesn’t offer Spanish language curriculum. They further posit that the boy’s free speech rights were violated.
According to the family’s lawyer, “The parents’ and child’s concern is that he’s not getting the same level of education he would have gotten had he been able to stay at Germantown… He’s being punished once by being put in the alternative school. He shouldn’t be punished a second time by being offered less in the way of academics and curriculum.”
There’s more. Apparently J.B. was an honor roll student, and the family doesn’t think he should be punished because spreading naked pictures of your classmates isn’t expressly prohibited in the student handbook.
First of all, please spare us all the “but this is a good kid” rhetoric. Good kids don’t call their classmates whores. Second, who cares if it wasn’t in the handbook? Spreading around naked pictures of minors is a felony, and according to the Handbook of Not Being a Complete Tool, it’s not something decent people do.
I know that people will ultimately bring this back to the girl, and wonder what kind of slutty slut would take naked pictures of herself if she didn’t want a slimy classmate to share them with the world. I have a daughter. And while I hope that I can either drive the lesson of not taking racy pics home or the entire world is plunged into a new, technology-less dark age before her idiot gland starts producing moron hormones in puberty, I would still be incensed if someone violated her privacy this way.
I wish I could say that I wasn’t worried about it, but with people like J.B.’s parents sending the clear message to boys that this kind of thing is okay, I don’t see this kind of thing stopping anytime soon.
If it comes down to preserving the quality of education, people need to remember that this girl’s chance of that was destroyed when her classmate decided to publicly humiliate her. What about her? As for this boy, I hope he does get the education that he deserves, the lesson that you don’t just get to do whatever you want at the expense of someone else.