Monday, May 19, 2008

Mr. Man

Hello. I am Mr. Man and I am the principal of Grand Heights High School. The Gorillas have kept a wonderful reputation and I would hate to ruin it because of students’ bad behavior. I believe that School Officials should have the right to intervene in cases where private information about peers is published in a public, online forum. School officials have a moral and legal duty to preserve the safety and wellbeing of all students. It should be as easy as 123: Students should realize that they have no privacy when they put information online. Once there, they are often accessible by anyone from administrators to parents to police. When Charlie chose to post information on the internet he dug his own grave. The improper activity of underage drinking is not only harmful, but illegal. The Administration as well as myself are looking out for the safety and future of our students here at Grand Heights. Students have the right to privacy, however students give their own rights up when a picture is online. If we have reason to believe that there is harmful activity, we have the right to search any locker here on school property.

If the police pull a person over and finds an illegal substance present then that person receives consequences. School is the same way. Drugs and alcohol are illegal for high school students. No if ands or buts about it. If students are caught in the act they should be punished.

This internet incident occurred recently at Eden Prairie High School. Students were caught in pictures on facebook with alcohol in their hands. Administrators have reprimanded more than 100 students and suspended some from sports and other extracurricular activities. I agree with the administration that they made the correct decision in punishing the students. This also occurred at Woodbury High School. I have not completely come to any decisions about what I will do about this Punk Rocky MySpace page, but there will be consequences.

20 comments:

ABarmore said...

MR.MAN,

You are very big and scary, with a good looking daughter. I agree with your comments on the whole MYSPACE issue. You are one hundred percent correct when you say the thing about no privacy on the internet. Kids are stupid when it comes to their weekend activities. Remember I am a Beast. I think I am cooler then I am. I want kids to know that they have to be careful what they put out. I know that if they post something online it is fair game for them to get into trouble. Alcohol is illegal for anyone under the age of 21. High School kids should not even be around it at all.

Ty Longby

zoe said...

Dear Mr.Man,

I am glad you realize how much affect this could potentially have on our school.Especially the football players, they are the pride and joy of our school, when they step out on the field, they are stepping out in public representing us. I am glad the leader of our school is setting an example for the rest of the administration to stamp out this problem.

Looking forward to working with you to fix this problem!
-Mr. James Johnson Dean of Students

Jake S said...

Mr. Man, this is your bus driver at the school, Lloyd Christmas. I just want to say what your doing to these kids is wrong. You should not have to punish them for something that happened outside of the classroom. How can they be legally be punished for something that has nothing to do with school. I understand rules are rules, and kids truly should not be drinking, but it's going to happen and you should just try your best to understand somewhat. Have a good one.

LaurenVann said...

Mr. Man,

I completely agree with your stance on this issue. These students need to realize the consequences they may face from their actions. The internet id definitely NOT a place to post picture of the "good times" they're having. I mean, what in the world even makes them want to post these things that could get them in trouble? I mean, when I was a teenager nothing made me think "hey, I'm going to post a picture of me passed out on the internet for all to see." Granted, we did not have internet in my day, but I still never would have done anything of that sort. Peace and chicken grease.
Edna Quiggle

Jeff T said...

Mr Man,
I am 100% behind you in every way in this matter kids at our school should know right from wrong and if you are willing to display your illegal actions on MYSPACE then we have every right to intervene. Our students need to be on the right track for their futures and if that means keeping them out of trouble by finding the trouble then it must be done. if you need any help with the students and a good roll model you know were my office is.

AlyssaV said...

Principal Man,

With all due respect, sir, I have to completely disagree with you. I think your ideas are off the target. Since when is it your responsibility to make sure we are safe outside of school? It’s not. I understand that you may care about the students at Grand Heights and you definitely care about Grand Heights’ reputation. But that doesn’t mean you can make and enforce rules about how the students live their lives outside of school. I’m sorry, but that’s not your responsibility, someone else has that job. The government has that right. I understand the temptation: proof of all these underage drinkers right at your fingertips and an institution of influence in all these student’s lives. That doesn’t mean you have the right to wield it. Obviously you would be entitled to punishment and such forth if a student were caught with an illegal substance on school grounds but you are not responsible for your students when they are not in school or participating in a school activity. I would like to add, on that topic for a moment and veer from the topic of discussion. School administrators seem to take for granted that they can search any student and his or her belongings and I seriously like to warn you of the possible legal dangers YOU could be in. A landmark Supreme Court case, New Jersey v. T.L.O. dealt with school officials searching students without reasonable cause. I would not be surprised if Charlie makes this case. From the news report I read, though uninformed, it sounded as if you searched his locker with out solid reason to believe that he would have any controversial material that might condemn him. You were looking for things affiliated with Punk Rocky. You didn’t find it. You found his personal letters and that is the reason for his suspension.
I think you’re correct in assuming that students strip themselves of their ‘right to privacy’ when they post pictures and information on the web. I agree that students who are caught breaking their sports contracts should be punished. You are not, however, running a police department. You are not responsible for spending your time on a computer trying to find teenagers who are breaking the law. I would hope that you are spending your time educating your students. That is what you get paid for… educating students. Not playing police and trying to find ways to punish them.
Sorry if I came off a little strong, but this is an issue that truly affects the student body.

Sincerely,
Lyla Marx

Student Body President
Grand Heights High School

ABarmore said...

Mr Man,

I do not appreciate you saying that I am not a beast. You were not around in my Glory Days, so you have no idea that I used to rule the school. Just because you were some no name guy that took a lot of steroids doesn't mean you have to come at me saying I was not a beast. Looking at your picture, you need to shave because that look you are rockin is so old. If you need any help with taking care of these issues, let me know and I would love to help you!

Ty Longby

mollym said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mollym said...

Dear Principal Man,
I am 100% behind you on this issue. As captain of the football team, I made a very important decision to stay sober. Drinking and drugs affect my life on and off the playing field. I try to influence everyone else to have the same values as I do, but I'm not sure that I am enough to convince them. As bad as it is to say, I feel that the only way they will come to their senses is to get caught by an official and receive a serious punishment. Though it sucks for the person at the time, it could really change their lives. I don't think that they have the right to argue the way that they got caught, because either way, they broke the rules.
-J.T.

Brandon K. said...

Hey Mr.Man, I'm glad you are looking out for the student body. I am glad to see that you are trying to help us, but unfortunately I disagree with how the administration is dealing with this. Students free time is their own time, and they should be able to do anything they want. The school is not part of the justice system of America. You should try the students in a court if you want. Anyways, have a good day.

Chet Ander

Ryan Vaudreuil said...

Mr. Man,
We have never really agreed on anything since the beginning of my high school career, so why should we start now? I am going to have to say that it is not any of the school's business to be looking at what kids put online. The school administration is meant to deal with problems that occur at school, not at home. If you can't find any problems with us at school, then maybe kids are just behaving better. You and I both know just as well that when you were in highschool, there was just as much drinking and drug use as there is now. You guys were only able to get caught if you did it at school and thats the way it should be for us.
-Joe Hyland

Ryan Vaudreuil said...

Mr. Man,
We have never really agreed on anything since the beginning of my high school career, so why should we start now? I am going to have to say that it is not any of the school's business to be looking at what kids put online. The school administration is meant to deal with problems that occur at school, not at home. If you can't find any problems with us at school, then maybe kids are just behaving better. You and I both know just as well that when you were in highschool, there was just as much drinking and drug use as there is now. You guys were only able to get caught if you did it at school and thats the way it should be for us.
-Joe Hyland

Jillian said...

Mr. Man,

I agree with you one hundred percent. Anything you post on the internet can be accessed by anyone. These students made a horrible decision when they decided to participate in these activities and an even worse one when they posted pictures and articles of these things on the internet. The school has a responsibility to maintain its good reputation and punish those who are doing things to tarnish it. If you are doing illegal things you will be caught and punished no matter when or where these things take place.

Ryan Vaudreuil said...

Mr. Man,
We have never really agreed on anything since the beginning of my high school career, so why should we start now? I am going to have to say that it is not any of the school's business to be looking at what kids put online. The school administration is meant to deal with problems that occur at school, not at home. If you can't find any problems with us at school, then maybe kids are just behaving better. You and I both know just as well that when you were in highschool, there was just as much drinking and drug use as there is now. You guys were only able to get caught if you did it at school and thats the way it should be for us.
-Joe Hyland

Emily_P said...

Dear Mr. Man,

Thank you for your concern. I know you are telling me to do what is right but it's hard. It's hard to walk up and tell a friend they are doing something wrong. It's backstabbing to turn them in. I think the problem is with cyber-bullying. Perhaps we are afraid. You see, no one can escape into the internet anymore. You may have a negative image of it, but sometimes...sometimes it just to get away. But now,...now we can't even go there. If cyber-bullying takes place here, then who can we trust in the real world. Recently Australia did a survey with their workers and asked them about "Cyber-bullying." Did you know that only 49.5% of bullying was taken seriously? If a kid reads something like this, who can they talk to about things like online pictures and what not.

(Article---> http://www.hrreporter.com/loginarea/members/viewing.asp?ArticleNo=6109)

But I really wish people would just talk. Taking Charlie away isn't going to help him, Mr. Man. He's a good kid. And those letters, those were personal. Yes, we want your help but it doesn't help to just punish us and not talk about it. It doesn't help to just take away our things and our private things (such as diaries or Charlie's letters). The school is breaking apart Mr. Man. I'm going to admit, that I am frightened. What's going to happen to us? What is going to happen to Grand Heights? What is going to happen to Charlie? I miss him Mr. Man and I think he is more frightened then he has ever been. We've all made our mistakes, but there was no reason to dig in our lockers and uproot the painful memories we've been trying to evaporate. Thank you for your concern, Mr. Man. I hope I can trust you well enough to help Charlie. I care about him. I really do.

~Isabella Ophoven

AlyssaV said...

Mr. Man,
I want to try to persuade you to change your position. I know you are doing what you think is right but I would disagree. You stated in your comment to me “I also do not believe that the government is going to stop and take time to look at the MySpace photos from our students, so who will deal with it? When these pictures are brought to our attention, we notify the parents as well as make consequences.” Just because you think the government is not going to do their job doesn't mean you're entitled to step in. You may be responsible for your students when they are in school but that does not give you the automatic right to act as law enforcement. I'm not saying you should blow off the pictures you do find. Feel free to turn those pictures in to the police. I'm saying you do not have the authority to punish students for actions that didn't happen on your premises. You said “I will not just let my students hurt themselves by being involved in this illegal activity” but really it's not your decision to make. It has nothing yo do with you. You are not involved in any other capacity than to turn the pictures in to the police. I'm not saying you should not care what your students do, or that they should not be punished for their actions. I just think you're taking responsibilities that are not yours to take.

With my respects,
Lyla Marx

Tommy said...

Mr.Man, I would get really down and dirty debate wise but you could probably beat my buns. However I'd beat your buns in looks and appearance, but that's besides the point. I just have one question for you, Who do you think you are? You think you should have the power to spy on teenagers during their private lives, you're sick! Authority should charge you of petafilization, o yea, it's a real crime, I'm not just making this stuff up. As school nurse, I Have to take care of these kid's health, and it's not healthy to spy on teenagers! Good day.

Sincerely, John Braewood

Ryan Vaudreuil said...

Mr. Man,
You are very good at wrestling but not very good at being a principal. I would expect a lot more out of a former pro wrestler. What needs to happen with this Facebook situation is that the parents should deal with it. Maybe if you weren't so busy looking at kids in our school on facebook, you could parent a little bit more. You might find out that your daughter has been sleeping around a little bit and your son is a heroin addict and he whips himself like Silas the albino monk from the Da Vinci Code. Thats about all I got man. I'll hopefully talk to you never again.

-Joe Hyland

Gorman said...

Mr Man.,

I would like to let you know that I'm glad your doing what's in the best interest of our students, although it hurts our athletics a little bit. It disappoints me, and I disagree that the administration is allowed to look at the students' pages. However, I guess if they've already been looked at, it's nearly impossible to overlook what you now know. Thanks!

Danny Reynolds

E.Holmquist said...

Hello Mr. Man,

I have seen that you support the use of a search in school if there is a good reason. I completely support the fact that you want to really preserve the reputation of Grand Heights and show that we don't accept that behavior. I am personally embarrassed of my classmates and peers for posting themselves doing those different things. THe only part that I think was taken a bit out of hand is the fact that you searched items based on facebook pictures. I know that is your argument but I believe that the administration should only have the right to search your belongings if a student is caught at school with a substance or something along those lines. I don't think that as a school there are any rights that say you may search someones things from a picture that is completely unrelated to school. If there is a clear and present danger to the safety of the students at school then I think you should be able to search. I dont think it is fair for those kids to have their belongings searched at school for unrelated school activity. I understand temporary consequences from the pictures, but I especially thought that punishing a graduate was not the right of the school. That student no longer attends and therefore should not be punished through the high school. I ope you do know that i fully support the administration, but that I am only trying to point out some of the technicalities of the situation.

-Valerie Smith