Saturday, October 22, 2016

An uphill battle for schools....

On Thursday, October 20, I sent this email to a Mr. Marc Kaye, some sort of manager at the firm that runs Warm 106.9 in Seattle.

Mr. Kaye,
This morning I was surfing through stations and landed for a moment on 106.9.  I arrived in the middle of Allen and Ashley talking--apparently--about Ashley's child taking Ashley's cell phone to Ashley while she was in the shower.  The phone was--I gathered--in some sort of video chat mode, so Allen saw Ashley in the shower.  

Allen proceeded to make all manner of jokes--innuendo, nothing direct--about having gotten to see Ashley in some measure of undress.  The one comment I remember is that "the Sono Bello really worked."  

I'm a teacher at a middle school, where we routinely deal with the emotional, psychological and intellectual consequences of children digitally trading in inappropriate pictures of themselves and each other.  Let me assure you, those consequences are not pleasant.   And too often, the social ramifications for the children involved--primarily the girls--can be significant and enduring.

Since the fascination with their electronics is so great, though, we fight an uphill battle on this issue.  And to have a media figure make such lighthearted sport of digital voyeurism--even if unintentional--makes that hill even steeper.

In trying to coach and model self-discipline and respectful regard for their peers, we are working against substantial obstacles.  The satisfying pull of the digital life--especially its prurient elements-- is enticing to teenagers, so encouraging them to avoid that involves working against their very primal impulses.  It is very easy to imagine, for instance, a teenage boy--if he were to find himself in Allen's situation-- taking a screen shot and sending it to his friends.  (But one story about such episodes.)

So to have a media figure make light of something so similar as what we coach them to avoid is, frankly speaking, irresponsible.

I wish that this were the only instance of such public (mis)conduct.  Alas, it is not, but I heard this one, and I feel compelled to address it.  

I'd like to think that the station might reconsider such conduct, even perhaps undertake a concerted effort to raise awareness about the dangers of such digital conduct, and work to support children in refraining from participating in this.  Short of that, though, I'll "unselect" 106.9 from my saved stations.

Andrew Milton

Two minutes later, I got this reply.

Thank you for your thoughts and comments.

This gives us another perspective and one we will need to consider.


I doubt they will.

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