5 Things You Must Not Do With Personal Technology

Updated June 11, 2016 |
5 Things You Must Not Do With Personal Technology
Young people take personal technology devices for granted. We parents and teachers must make them aware of how such devices are used in the real world.
Students in private schools must follow their school's guidelines and directives when it comes to using personal technology. Personal technology includes devices such as laptops, desktops, cell phones, Blackberries, PDAs, language translators, video players, and MP3 players.What is somewhat perplexing to many mature teachers is that none of these devices were in common use ten years ago. The reality is that young people have all some or all of these devices and use them naturally, freely and without much thought.
As a rule there are limits on these devices and their use in private schools. Let's look at five things you are not supposed to do with personal technology. Breaking the rules in your school could land you in a heap of trouble, including expulsion. If you are a parent, have a discussion with your child. Review her school's personal technology use policy. Help her understand the limits and the reasons why. Remind her further that she has no rights in a private school. So if the school disciplines her for an infraction, there is no recourse.

Private school students are covered by contract law, not constitutional rights. Her rights and privileges are clearly detailed in the contract you, her parent, signed with the school. This is a legal and binding document.

Here then are five things you must not do with personal technology while under school jurisdiction.

1. Harrass
Harrassing is broadly defined as bothering somebody. It takes many forms and runs the gamut from racial to sexual harrassment. Most schools strictly prohibit harrassment in all its forms. The problem for students is that they don't consider texting somebody who doesn't want to be texted as harrassment. But it is. Similarly posting harrassing notes or photos on a social networking site like Facebook. Children do these sorts of things without thinking. They think it is acceptable behavior.

2. Bully
Bullying has always been difficult for adults to catch. It is a form of harrassment which hides in the shadows. Years ago it was something which occurred during recess or after school. Children would taunt another or beat up somebody or threatening them with physical abuse. Electronic or cyber-bullying is an even harder to detect form of intimidation. Bullying in all its manifestations is intimidation. Children need to know that it is unacceptable. Anywhere. Anytime.

3. Haze
Hazing for many years was considered a rite of passage. It was a tradition. Frankly it was a lousy tradition. Most administrators and teachers have come to their senses and banned hazing in all its forms. Read The Hazing Reader by Dr. Hank Nuwer for a detailed examination of the topic. Explain to your children that hazing is illegal besides being unacceptable. Tell them that they must report any hazing which they witness.

4. Cheat
How easy is it to take a picture of a test or homework answer or anything? Dead easy. Children do it without thinking. They take pictures of everything. They need to know that they cannot do this. They will get caught. They will face major disciplinary action. The problem is that we adults often set poor examples. They see us sneak them into the cinema as children even though they are over the age limit and should be charged full fare. They see us speed. Cheat on our taxes. Our example is far more powerful than words. Show them a good example.

5. Waste Time
Teenagers have wasted time since the beginning of time I suspect. Nothing much will change. Unfortunately in these tough times wasting time needs to be kept to a minimum. If America is ever to regain its competitive edge in the global community, our young people need to be held to the highest standards of personal and academic behavior possible. We all need relaxation. Show your young person how to meld all his various activities together in order to excel and achieve the promise with which he was born. We must do that by example.

Examples of Personal Technology Policies

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