Monday, June 16, 2008

Disturbing Videotape Prank

In the article Judge orders teens to post apology on YouTube, “A judge here is using YouTube to punish two boys who used the video-sharing website for a prank that ended with battery and criminal mischief charges against them.” At the end of the article it also stated that “The teens wrote, filmed and edited the apology video. They also were sentenced to 100 hours each of community service. In addition, they each have to pay a $30 cleaning fee to the restaurant and write letters of apology. The charges will be dropped when the terms of the sentences are met.”

I wondered if this is the direction that our students are heading to and how can I address this in a classroom. I remember the old shows that people videotaped their funniest moments and how some of them were so forced or manipulated that they weren’t even funny. People were just trying to win some money so they acted out these “funny” moments. Apparently these teens were interested in getting attention and the attention that they got was negative but they still achieved their goal.

I think this was an interesting punishment but I just don’t think the charges should be dropped at the end. It seems like they are only doing the apology, doing community service, and paying the cleaning fee as a means to do away with the charges. I think they should have to do all of that in addition to having the charges on their records. I just don’t understand how teens can be so mean and malicious (and of course it brings me back to saying this is coming from steroids in our foods). If I had done something like this as a teenager, I wouldn’t be alive to have to go before a judge and if I was alive to go to court, I probably would have to stand up the whole time. (I guess this is just showing my age!)

Here are some things I thought I would do in the classroom to teach students that this is not the way they should be getting attention and how to get it in more appropriate ways.
1. Discuss the responsibilities of sharing videos with others and the reactions they hope to get.
2. Discuss appropriate behaviors while videotaping.
3. Brainstorm topics that others might be interested in seeing on videotape.
4. Discuss ways not to give negative attention.
5. Discuss this article.

Can you think of other things I could do in the classroom to combat this type of behavior? Please leave a comment because I would love to know what you think.

Photo credit: Videotaping by Steve Rhodes

1 comment:

Mathew said...

I think you're on the right track, discussing the incident that occurred and whether the students think it was the right punishment.