You Can’t Build Character with 140 Characters: Schools Chief Responds to Rash of Offensive Tweets from MoCo Students
In mid-December, when the threat of snow and icy winter hit Montgomery County, Schools Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr went about the process of deciding whether school would be delayed or cancelled the next day. As he and his staff were evaluating road conditions and weather forecasts, his Twitter account was bombarded with tweets from students pleading for him to close schools. It was no surprise…everyone loves a snow day, after all. But Dr. Starr never expected the barrage of offensive and threatening tweets full of racial slurs and curse words from students who wanted the day off.
In this exclusive interview with On The Marc Media, Dr. Starr talks about why he decided to take action by writing this letter to the parents and guardians of the 151,000 students he oversees. Technology can be used in a way that is healthy, productive and positive, he says in the letter, but parents need to talk to their children about communicating in a civil and respectful way. He coins the term “cybercivility” to describe appropriate online interactions.
Dr. Starr has three young children himself and he knows that kids are not mini-adults. They don’t always make proper decisions, and it’s up to parents and caregivers to guide them. Watch the interview and post your comments below.