But she’s not naked!
It will be therapeutic, I hope, to take a breather from considering the steadily increasing seriousness of the various government scandals, as well as reviling the increasingly desperate spin being employed to try to deflect them, and to focus on something both far removed and of vital national interest. Of course, that means buckling down and refining the Naked Teacher Principle, which in its formal explication, is that a responsible high school teacher has a duty to take reasonable care that her students do not see her in the nude, and if she does not, and her students do see her in the nude, she has no standing to complain when the school deems her unable to maintain the proper and necessary credibility and dignity necessary for teaching.
Now comes the news that at Martin County High School, in Florida, a ninth-grade English teacher of otherwise good repute named Olivia Sprauer has been fired for being shown on the web modeling bathing suits, and offering her services to photographers for less clothed presentations. Should the Naked Teacher Principle or any of its variations apply? Continue reading
Run away! But pay attention!
I’m not going to take back every negative thing I’ve ever said about reality shows, but there is no getting around it: now and then an episode of one of them is a better training film for good ethics than “Leave It To Beaver,” “Star Trek, The Next Generation,” and “Father Knows Best” combined.
A case in point was a recent episode of “Kitchen Nightmares,” a Fox reality show that sends chef and restaurateur Gordan Ramsay to turn around failing eateries, usually by his browbeating them into basic management competence and the use of fresh ingredients. This time, however, Ramsay was pitted against the proprietors of Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro in Scottsdale Arizona, specifically the eponymous Amy Bouzaglo, a textbook narcissist who dominates her much older husband and partner, abuses employees, and treats all criticism and constructive suggestions as a personal attack. Continue reading
“Meg Lanker-Simons is innocent we believe what she did was justified and deserves not to be held accountable for her accusations we stand behind you sister.”
—-The Facebook page dedicated to the plight of University of Wyoming student, progressive blogger and campus radio host Meg Lanker-Simons, who apparently sent an obscene and threatening message to herself online under the guise of an anonymous male conservative, one of her sworn foes. She has been charged with a misdemeanor by campus police.*
I confess, there were more flattering photos of Meg I could use, but she doesn’t deserve to have me use them. What she deserves, really, would be for me to dress up in drag, blacken my teeth and take my own photo, and then not only label it as Meg, but then riff on how ugly she is in the picture, when it’s really me. Meg would approve of that. She’d have to.
Let us stipulate that the title of the Facebook page may well be correct, as James Taranto persuasively argues: threatening yourself, even with rape, which is what Lanker-Simons did, is unlikely to be anything but protected speech.
Beyond that, however, this kind of stunt is low-wattage Tawana Brawleyism, and thus ethically revolting. That 38 Facebook fans and the semi-literate clod who authored the quote above argue that it is “justified” shows that ethics rot has some new and virulent strains.
We haven’t had a flaming fick for a while, but Christopher Robinson certainly qualifies for the term, denoting someone who proudly flaunts his anti-social, self-centered and unethical ways.
The man who took a photo of himself rolling in dough and then proudly posted it to Facebook, you see, is a deadbeat dad, owing three years of child support. His self-accusing photo brought him to the attention of authorities, and now he’s facing up to eleven years in prison if he’s convicted of willful non-payment.
Being a fick isn’t a jailable offense, but interestingly, most ficks find themselves in trouble with the law sooner or later.
Facts and Graphic: ABC
How stupid can schools get?
Well, let’s see: lets mix several themes that have surfaced on Ethics Alarms lately for a potent recipe:
- Careless Social media posts
- Overly protective parents
- Misfired humor
- Kids being kids
- Brain dead school administrators
- No-tolerance mindset
Melissa Cairns, a middle school math teacher at Akron, Ohio’s Buchtel Community Learning Center, is on unpaid administrative leave and facing terminationafter she posted a photo on Facebook of some of her students with duct tape covering their mouths. “Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!”she wrote. Nobody disputes what happened: a student who had been given duct tape by Cairns to repair a damaged book placed a piece of tape over her own mouth as a joke. Several other students did the same, and Cairns was urged to take a photo of the silly result. Then she posted it.
Harm: none. Possible benefits: quite a few, if it helped Cairns connect with her class in a notoriously dry subject. Reaction of the school board: ridiculous. Continue reading
When is it fair for an employer to fire an employee for the contents of a personal Facebook post?
- When the post harms the business, impugns the integrity of its staff or business practices, or otherwise affects the reputation of the company in the community.
- When the post indicates that the poster lied to a superior.
- When the post raises legitimate doubts about the poster’s fitness for a job, either in the minds of potential client and customers, or in the judgment of employers.
- When the post is sufficiently disreputable and offensive to the community at large that it raises the question of whether any company that hires or has such an individual in a position of authority can or should be trusted.
- When the post shows poor judgement of such a degree that it reaches signature significance, and legitimately causes an employer to doubt the stability, sanity, or trustworthiness of the poster. Continue reading
First Stan Musial dies, and now this.
Petter Kverneng is an awkward Norwegian teen. He wants to have sex with Cathrine, the love of his young life, and she 1) doesn’t or 2) wants to make him earn the privilege by showing how much he wants her or 3) wants to humiliate him first and then if she has to have sex, well, whatever. The story goes that she told him she would have sex with him if he could score 1,000,000 “likes” on Facebook. A large internet message board decided to either help out Petter or stick it to Cathrine, and now the pimply-faced youth has 1.2 million “likes” on his Facebook page.
Get ready, Cat.
Let us take an ethics inventory, shall we? What is interesting about this stupid story, if indeed it is true, is that many of its turns could be seen as both ethical and unethical. Continue reading
The FIRE, admirable campus First Amendment watchdog and champion that it is, is once again charging to the rescue of an innocent student being subjected to censorship, oppression and mind-control by a Stalinist state university…in new Jersey. Its victory is pre-ordained, as you will shortly see. The troubling questions are: Why are there schools in a democracy that act like Montclair State, presuming to tell students how to speak to each others and what views they can communicate in public? How do administrators that make and enforce such manifestly unethical and unconstitutional rules get hired in higher education—indeed, how are they bred at all? Finally, what vile and totalitarian principles does a school run by such dictators teach its students?
The facts of the case warrant little debate. Montclair State, in northeastern New Jersey, suspended Joseph Aziz, a 26-year-old graduate student, for comparing another student’s legs to “a pair of bleached hams” in a YouTube comment and defying a resulting ban on his internet speech. After his YouTube comments came to the attention of the school, Montclair State Coordinator of Student Conduct Jerry S. Collins barred Aziz from all physical, verbal, and electronic contact with the student he had referred to in his YouTube comments. He also issued a virtual gag order, forbidding Aziz from posting on “any social media regarding” the student in question. Continue reading
The Curmie votes are in. This is Rick Jones’ annual prize awarded to educators who embarrass their (and his ) profession. Go to his blog, Curmudgeon Central, to see the winner and the vote totals. I don’t want to spoil the suspense. Check out the nominations here if you haven’t already. A couple of observations, though: Continue reading