linked up: girls in the news

Happy Friday everyone! I’m ending this short week with a round up of links.

1. NYT has an article on one girl’s attempt to sue her principal after she was suspended her for creating a facebook page that she used to openly criticize a teacher. In a new take on the debate surrounding online harassment, the principal and other school officials suspended Katherine Evans for 3 days stating that she cyber-bullied the teacher. However, this punishment came months after Evans created the fan page and after she’d already taken it down. That last part is what gets to me. Why punish her after the page has already been dismantled? More than likely the principal wanted to send a message to the students in the hopes of preventing future facebook groups devoted to bashing on teachers.

I can understand that – but at the same time I can honestly say I had some awful teachers in high school. I had one teacher in particular who came from old money (and Montana) and had an antiquated sense of what should be taught in school. As my sophomore English teacher she decided to spend multiple days instructing the class on how to properly set a table when hosting a dinner party. She also spent several class periods instructing students on how to write a proper thank you note. All of this in English class!! (And no she did not connect the dinner party table lesson or the thank you note lesson with something we were reading for class.) I found her to be one of the most frustrating teachers I ever had in high school and I can honestly say that I learned next to nothing in her class. Now if we could do some sort of time travel mash-up in which current technology (Facebook) could be brought back to my 1998 high school days, would future/past me have devoted a hatebook page to her? That I can’t say. But I can say that my friends and I hated on this teacher in private discussions at lunch and after school. Which is to say that kids dissing their teachers is nothing new, only now it’s easier for teachers (and principals) to find out about it.

2. In reflecting on the importance of Title IX, NYT’s Well blog discusses a recent study that girls benefit from playing sports in high school. According to the study it’s not only that hard working girls who already excel in school are attracted to sports, but that girls’ participation in sports has a positive effect on their education and employment in the future, all on top of health benefits. The article ends by stating that currently only 1 in 3 girls plays a sport in high school, and that there is room for improvement in keeping girls physically active during high school.

Title IX doesn’t apply to non-sports related after school clubs, but part of me wonders why there are less studies focusing on girls’ participation in say choir or drama. If the statistics state that only 1 in 3 girls plays a sport, then what are those other 2 girls doing as far as after school activities? Just because those 2 girls do not sign up for sports doesn’t mean they’re not active in other ways. While I agree that we should continue to support high school sports programs for girls, we should also recognize that girls can be active in a variety of ways. Some girls may gravitate towards set design as part of the drama club for instance, and these types of after school programs and opportunities need our support as well . . . it shouldn’t all go to sports, and this is coming from a girl who loved sports and played volleyball and softball in high school.

3. Thank you to The Root for pointing to an article on Wired.com on how to raise racist kids. It’s easier than you think . . . basically never ever talk about race with your kids. That’s it – that’s all you have to do . . . or not do. Jonathan Liu mentions how parents are willing to talk about gender disparity and the idea that women can be whatever they want, but that parents fail to have a similar talk in relation to race. Sometimes this is because parents think they can raise colorblind children if race is never discussed at home or around the dinner table, but statistics suggest acknowledging and talking about race makes a positive difference in how kids relate to one another. Also note when parents should start talking to their kids about race: before the 3rd grade.

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~ by actyourage09 on February 19, 2010.

2 Responses to “linked up: girls in the news”

  1. I heard an even more troubling story about students getting punished for their at-home social networking practices. A couple of high school girls in Indiana were suspended from school sports and required to apologize to the all-male coaching staff at their school for posting some racy photos on MySpace. The girls are suing the school with the help of the ACLU. Here’s a snippet on the case: http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/10/30/3444068-school-sued-for-punishing-teens-over-myspace-pix

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