“My Bad” Emails, Think Before You Click | Business

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“My Bad” Emails, Think Before You Click
“My Bad” Emails, Think Before You Click

“My Bad” Emails, Think Before You Click

This blog stems from the result of the events from an incident in DCPS
concerning the questionable use of email. Teachers, administrators and
support personnel of any school, should understand that the resources
provided are NOT intended for personal use, but the use for educational
 purposes in communication and transferring of data.
This blog in NO WAY blames, nor accuses anyone of any actions, just
highlights the events from news stories and Internet links as a teaching
opportunity for others in the field of education. When using electronic
communication any professional no matter what field of profession
should be careful, cautions and vigilant in the use of equipment and
resources for communication in any online environment.

Link to online story….

Educational professionals as professionals in other careers at times do
speak before they think and in some recent cases click before they think.  
Teachers have been disciplined to various degrees because of lack of
fore thought in sending and forwarding emails that seem inappropriate,
insensitive and potentially racially/culturally charged. As a School
Technology Contact  and teacher of Educational Technology
in higher education I remind and reinforce for by educational peers and
students the importance of being cautious with electronic communication.

There has been an incident of a teacher's possible suspension for a potentially
controversial email. Any situation that puts an educator, administrator or
other school employee at risk for disciplinary action, suspension, reprimand
or firing is a learning opportunity for everyone. Students learn from their
mistakes in the classroom so educators must learn from the mistakes of their
 professional peers.

A recent story by Topher Sanders; that a teacher in DCPS maybe suspended
for bad judgement and inappropriate actions in replying/forwarding
an email.The incident relates to a forwarded email in January (yes January)
ridiculing a supposed Louisiana mother and child for the child having an
unusual name. In the email, the original author says the mother was upset
because her child’s name is often mispronounced. The email’s contents have
been circulating on the web since at least 2008 (yes 2008). Information
on the web never goes away.

This shows that as in other blogs I’ve written about the permanency of digital
content that information on the Internet does not go away. It is always there
backed up or housed on a server or someone body’s computer some place.
Emails, photos, videos, movies, tweets, texts and so on are stored some place.
Words, phrases, and comments can be misunderstood, misinterpreted and
misquoted when the content is text and audio in an online environment.

 Educators must be careful when posting, forwarding and replying because
THEIR original intent in the message or their reply may be misunderstood.
Once the Send button is clicked it is more than “My Bad” it can lead to legal
and professional challenges.  Just as students are asked during discussions in
classroom learning “is that really what you want to say” or something similar,
can be applied to teachers and electronic communication.

 In the email in question, the email ends with the phrase “they live among us,
they vote, and they breed.” Worse things have been potentially stated about
groups, but the statement may imply a particular rationality and ideology.
Teachers must be careful that they as professional educators, leaders of children
and community influencers, educator’s actions just as police, attorneys,
doctors and other professionals in the public eye are scrutinized harder
and closer.

The statement by the DCPS employee as it was forwarded was “Sounds like
some of ours?” The only person that truly knows the intention of the text
comment was the teacher, but the interpretation was taken.

There is always room for caution when replying to or forwarding any
electronic communication. In a personal note I have selected Reply All
 instead of Reply only to be told later of my error. When the Send button
is clicked it is too late. That message cannot be recalled, so teachers,
 administrators and others in education be careful, think before you click.
As a result there is much discussion about the intent of the forward message.
Even when realizing a mistake it takes more than an apology as can be seen
by this case. When something is interpreted as inappropriate by others no
amount of apology, asking for leniency, forgiveness and mercy sometimes
 will not help.

Teachers as in this case must remember that email accounts and equipment
are not for personal use, so in the minds of all; any information can be pulled
from a person’s account when needed. So all digital content can be found out;  
logs about web sites visited, when, how often, and either from work or if a
 educator or administrator takes their computer home these can be identified
as well. Computers have web histories, cookies, cache, favorites, history and
other digital reminders built into web browsers and software.
The potential for reprimands, firing, suspension, and disciplinary letters in
 professional folders should be on the minds of those in education.  Is your
career worth that joke, quick remark or sly comment? Do you need  your face
and your family’s name on the news because of an online comment about a
student, a student’s family or another teacher?


A teacher needs to make sure of how their actions are interpreted. If the

situation permits advice from other professionals should be asked that any
communication is not considered intended to ridicule and denigrate a cultural
minority, person, or group. We live in a time where people especially parents
are very sensitive about their children’s name. Any type of criticism can be
met with legal actions.  Respect should always be shown to parents and
children. Familiarization with a child’s background, name, parental legalities
and more should be understood, if not ask first..

Techer’s work together to make sure children are successful, so teachers,
administrators,  and other school personnel be mindful of the responsibility
 as a role model and mentor. We do not have the leasurly to let our guards
down in our high profile careers. Technology can be a vital tool, but is can
 also be a curse and bring back past mistakes. Be cautious, be educated
and be aware.

Teachers and Blogging

Caution for your Digital Content

Read more at Jacksonville.com:
topher.sanders@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4169

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