September 14, 2006

Disturbing misuse of technology?

A story on the BBC newssite caught my attention: a video of two schoolgirls fighting, taken by a mobile phone and posted to YouTube, has been removed after criticism from anti-bullying campaigners. A member of the Association of Head Teachers commented:
""Both boys and girls have been scrapping as long as there've been boys and girls. But it's the mentality now and the way they think it's OK to stage a fight - because this is a staged fight, it's not one that just happened...What is disturbing for me is the misuse of the technology - of both the phones and the internet... I have to ask parents do you know what your children are doing with their mobile phones? Do they know what they're doing on the internet?"

More disturbing is this:
John Carr, new technology adviser to children's charity NCH, said the fact it was so easy for children to reach a "large audience", encouraged more staged fights than would otherwise happen. Mr Carr said: "There was a case in London not long ago where a young lad was killed and the whole thing was videoed over a mobile phone. The judge was quite clear that it was partly because they wanted to film what they were doing that caused the attack in the first place."

The fight was out of school hours and not on school property, tho from the couple of screenshots on the BBC website, it looks like the girls were still in school uniform.

An unpleasant incident, but great material for a class discussion/debate. The fact that it was videoed, and the suggestion that the fight was staged for that purpose certainly puts the spotlight on technology use, and the darker side of it being easy for children to reach a "large audience"

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