Student Use and Misuse of Electronic Communication Tools: How Exposed Is Your District?
More than 80% of teenagers have their own cellphone, and the average age of cellphone ownership has now dropped below 11. The overwhelming majority of those devices are equipped with cameras, and students are using them to share unprecedented amounts of private information about themselves with classmates, teachers, staff, and the world at large.
The rapidly-changing and ever-expanding communication universe is presenting unique educational, legal, and social challenges to school boards and school districts throughout the United States. Among the myriad issues that have arisen:
- Unauthorized disclosure of student information
- Unauthorized use or misuse of student information
- Electronic cheating
- Harassment, stalking, and cyberbullying
- Inappropriate relationships between students and staff
- Sexual harassment and blackmail
- Voyeurism and sexting
As an expert in law, technology, and privacy (and school board chair), I offer the following consulting services to school boards and school districts:
- Board, administration, and staff training on student misuse of electronic communication tools;
- Consultation on board acceptable use policies and district disciplinary procedures;
- Educational lectures and materials for students and parents; and
- Consultation regarding effective incident response, including media response.
If you are interested in discussing a visit to your district, please contact me by clicking on the "Contact Fred" link. To view the PDF handout of my recent lecture at the National School Boards Association annual conference, click on the image to the right.
Response from Attendees of My Sexting Lecture at the 2010 NSBA Annual Conference on April 11, 2010
This presentation received 98.72 out of 100 points from attendees.
"It was a wonderful presentation and was something we discussed at dinner that night with the other BOE members who attended NSBA from the district. This has become a bit of an issue for us at the high school this year. Thanks again and your session was extremely informative."
-- Dr. Brenda S. Dietrich, Superintendent of Schools, Auburn-Washburn USD 437, Topeka, KS [2010 NSBA in Chicago]
"Relevant topic. Provided ideas for future board meetings." -- Evaluation Form Feedback [anonymous]
"The presentation was powerful. Recommend that the speaker continues his presentation with the NSBA." -- Evaluation Form Feedback [anonymous]
"One of the best presentations." -- Evaluation Form Feedback [anonymous]
"Thank you for bringing up a valid concern for our schools today. Very worthwhile. I will definitely research our school policy(s)." -- Evaluation Form Feedback [anonymous]
"This was a timely well-done presentation. Thank you." -- Evaluation Form Feedback [anonymous]
"Best session I have attended thus far. Speaker was excellent." -- Evaluation Form Feedback [anonymous]
"As important as a topic as there is. Awesome presentation." -- Evaluation Form Feedback [anonymous]
"Excellent. Very timely information. All districts should be required to learn this data. Thank you." -- Evaluation Form Feedback [anonymous]
"Excellent overview of very timely topics." -- Evaluation Form Feedback [anonymous]
"Extremely timely. Please bring him back and provide a much larger space. Excellent presentation and made clear connection to school boards." -- Evaluation Form Feedback [anonymous]
Recent Examples of Cyber-Misbehavior
The following headlines are drawn from my database of articles and press releases. They illustrate the types of electronic and cyber-misbehavior by students and staff that are increasingly common. The headlines are links to the full article on the originating web site; due to copyright concerns, the full texts of these press releases and articles are not available on this site.
Please note that some articles may no longer be available on their original site, and others may require site log-in or registration to view.
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