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11 comments

1 Decatur Deb  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 6:36:33am

Sympathy with your daughter. My school required that ties be worn at all times, and the rector would pull down your turtleneck to make sure one was there. Still became a godless commie.

2 Bob Levin  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 11:24:10am

One of my children attended a day school, and I'm betting that there are more pressing issues facing the community, families, and children other than Facebook.

Of course, like a private corporation, they have every right to set the rules. But since their mission is different than a private corporation, the question is actually whether or not this helps to fulfill the mission.

My guess is that if Facebook disappeared tomorrow, some very serious issues remain.

3 shutdown  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 11:36:59am

There are greater issues here about where a school or religious authorities disciplinary reach may properly extend. If these girls' parents are aware of their Facebook use and this use does not impact their performance in school or their compliance with rules of conduct while on school grounds, then what right does the school have to regulate their non-school behaviour and activities? Where does it stop? Surprise home inspections to examine the compliance of the family with the laws of Kashrut or the contents of the home library?

I am sure that Babushka's daughters and granddaughters received a fine education in accordance with their needs and expectations. But, as Bob puts it, serious issues remain, Facebook notwithstanding.

4 Decatur Deb  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 12:25:59pm

re: #3 Phlebas

There are greater issues here about where a school or religious authorities disciplinary reach may properly extend. If these girls' parents are aware of their Facebook use and this use does not impact their performance in school or their compliance with rules of conduct while on school grounds, then what right does the school have to regulate their non-school behaviour and activities? Where does it stop? Surprise home inspections to examine the compliance of the family with the laws of Kashrut or the contents of the home library?

I am sure that Babushka's daughters and granddaughters received a fine education in accordance with their needs and expectations. But, as Bob puts it, serious issues remain, Facebook notwithstanding.

The school may set any rules the parents voluntarily accede to. Ours censored our incoming and outgoing mail, including that to our parents. (We learned how to defeat it by using the exotic US Postal Service mailing cases we used to move our dirty and cleaned laundry back and forth. That satisfied our need for contraband--mostly candy bars.)

5 shutdown  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 1:01:50pm

No doubt that the school may set rules; the question is should they set such rules, and should parents accede to them. Where does the responsibility - and reach - of the educator end, and that of the family begin? Of course people can band together and agree to any legal, common rules of conduct they wish. But that does not, in my opinion, preclude a public discussion about institutional boundaries.

6 Decatur Deb  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 1:14:14pm

re: #5 Phlebas

No doubt that the school may set rules; the question is should they set such rules, and should parents accede to them. Where does the responsibility - and reach - of the educator end, and that of the family begin? Of course people can band together and agree to any legal, common rules of conduct they wish. But that does not, in my opinion, preclude a public discussion about institutional boundaries.

In those days we had a fairly formal 'in loco parentis' concept. Now the answer seems to be to be to withdraw and find a school more attuned to the parent's wants. In both these cases, the driving force was an external--the Higher Good of a distinct religious worldview. PTA ain't gonna change that. Could be worse--at least they get to wear buttons to school.

7 shutdown  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 1:38:31pm

re: #6 Decatur Deb

In those days we had a fairly formal 'in loco parentis' concept. Now the answer seems to be to be to withdraw and find a school more attuned to the parent's wants. In both these cases, the driving force was an external--the Higher Good of a distinct religious worldview. PTA ain't gonna change that. Could be worse--at least they get to wear buttons to school.

The concept of in loco parentis implies, among other things, the assumption by the school of parental duties and obligations - not necessarily a projection by the school onto the student a set of arbitrary institutional rules. It's an interesting discussion, but I don't think the answer is "if you don't like it, go somewhere else". That reasoning, if taken to its logical end, gives tyrants the right to rule those who are comfortable with tyranny, or pedophile polygamists to live securely on the bosom of a sovereign entity which does not criminalize such behaviour.

8 Bob Levin  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 2:13:44pm

re: #7 Phlebas

How about, instead of taking the reasoning to a logical end, you just take the reasoning to a reasonable point and point out any cracks you might see?
I only say this because the logical end strategy brings up more misunderstandings--such as 'do you really believe that this leads to pedophilia?'

I'm not saying that DD would go there, but we aren't sitting in the corner of a coffee house.

9 shutdown  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 2:37:33pm

re: #8 Bob Levin

Not at all meant to imply this, of course. I hope DD knows that my argument was purely theoretical.

10 Bob Levin  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 3:08:51pm

re: #9 Phlebas

Think of this as a coffee house with a very loud microphone at each table. ;-)

11 Decatur Deb  Wed, Mar 28, 2012 3:53:19pm

Sorry--been in the garden, putting in peppers. I would say that we were at greater risk for intellectual or criminal abuse because of the barriers between family and the school. The big difference between us and a sealed-off cult was that it is very hard to get out of a cult, and it was very, very hard to stay in our school. (My highschool/jr. college class had a survival rate of only 5:65 after 5 years.) But if you break into the fundamental principles that controlled it or the Orthodox girls' school, it basically stops being the school the parents were looking out for in the first place. All this was in the 50s-60s, before the outrage about paedophilia and mind-control cults had surfaced. The parents should be watchful, but cannot gainsay their school for the methods it uses to achieve the very kind of graduates the parents themselves are seeking.


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