By Teachers, For Teachers
With Gossip Girl scheduled for some summer guilty pleasure viewing, I wondered if there are real life gossip girl sites out there and what/if schools and teachers should do anything about them.
Last May, an 8th grader was expelled after starting an anonymous Gossip Girl-copycat blog called Miss ITK (In the Know). She got shut down shortly after naming names and slinging dirt on the site.
The elite NYC prep school Horace Mann faced this debate after a teacher discovered facebook groups smearing teachers with unbelievably offensive commentary. When teachers and the school tried to take action, affluent parents claimed invasion of privacy. By the following fall, numerous teachers involved were no longer HM employees and one of the facebook ringleader was class president.
In age group with more freedom and less parental control, juicycampus.com lets college students around the country post gossip about classmates. One “juicy” comment reads:
I just saw her on campus yesterday and holy s***........... did she double in size or what? shes a f***ing cow, what could she have possible done over summer besides not exercise?
As you can imagine, schools such as Tennessee State University are blocking the site from their servers. Juicycampus.com is suing the school for denying their first amendment rights to free speech.
Gossip Girl may be fun for a fictional thrill, but it certainly gets ugly, cruel and unoriginal in the real world.
The question remains: Is online gossip the school/teacher’s business? Take the poll on the Teacher Tips page or post your thoughts in the comments section!