Friday afternoon, I got a message from the vice principal of my kids’ school saying she had Thing2 in her office and to please call her back.
Ooo-boy. That’s never good.
Unfortunately, I was out of town and got the message an hour later. Luckily, my hubby was working in the home shop that day. I called him, he called the school, I waited for hours (ok, maybe it was only minutes), then he called back with the scoop.
Thing2 broke a rule of Internet behavior. She accessed a chat website (which is a no-no at school and was a newer site that the school’s filters didn’t block) and, while she turned away to talk to someone, another kid reached over and typed in a racial slur on her computer.
Of course, that sent up the bat signal and she was apprehended.
Sorry. That was a tad disrespectful, but the whole incident seems surreal.
Thing2 was given two days of in-school suspension and the tech department would scour her online behavior. The other kid got three days of in-school as well. In this day of Internet shenanigans, schools have zero tolerance for specific types of infractions, even when the culprit is a high honor student who’s never had a discipline problem her entire school career.
Hubby was at home when Thing2 got off the bus. (Thank God.) Right off, she came clean, told him she had done something stupid, something she’d never done before, something she knew was wrong, and, no, she didn’t know why she did it. (Thus far, her impulsive nature has only gotten her in hot water at home. Guess there’s a first time for everything.)
When I got home, Hubby and I agreed that all electronics were to be confiscated and her weekend plans with friends cancelled. She expected it and didn’t put up a fuss.
The whole situation has mortified her, mainly because now everyone at school knows she got in trouble. It’s embarrassing.
From our point of view, it taught her some valuable lessons.
The school is serious about its Internet policy and there are consequences to what kids think are seemingly minor infractions. We’re confident she will be careful how she conducts herself online at school from now on, possibly from getting into any kind of trouble right to graduation. Projected further, maybe she’ll remember this situation when she’s tempted to do something similar at a job, etc.
Personally, I hope it rubs off on her behavior at home. At least for a little while.
image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons