Think before you snap; some areas off limits

Think before you snap; some areas off limits

By Michael Luce
eSomethin Staff

There are several things that students expect to have at school: friends to talk to; ‘better’, healthy lunches, and privacy in the bathroom.

Sharing a Snapchat of any of these is innocent and OK, right?

Wrong.

One might be surprised to find himself/herself at the core of an investigation that could land them a lifetime of consequences. If an inappropriate picture of video were to be taken here at PHS, odds are that content is already illegal. Most of the student body is under 18 years old, and any explicit or revealing images of said students would be child pornography and a felony.

privacyFurther sharing of that content would involve more people, and a major situation could arise, involving dozens of students.

It’s no real secret about what happened at the junior high, but what if that whole situation had instead been here at PHS?

Principal Dr. Michael Short expressed that he felt that this sort of occurrence is less likely to happen at the high school than at the junior high.

“It’s a matter of maturity… By the time a student reaches high school, they’ve grown up a bit,” he said. “Or at least you’d hope they would have.”

Dr. Short added that maturity carries with it greater responsibility and consequences, and explained that a student acting outside of the law could face fines or even jail time.

School policy attempts to prevent issues like this from ever arising.

“[Electronic devices], including, but not limited to those with cameras, may not be possessed, activated or utilized at any time in any school situation where a reasonable expectation of personal privacy exists. These locations and circumstances included but are not limited to locker rooms, shower facilities, restrooms.”

Although this is in school policy, the argument exists that it is never enforced, so any punishment from school should also not be enforced. How could a rule like this be enforced? Asking teachers to stand in bathrooms or collect phones outside of the locker rooms is completely ridiculous and not a legitimate solution to the danger of inappropriate activities.

Even Dr. Short acknowledged that the rule wasn’t one that could be carried in a logical way, but that it wasn’t there to punish everybody.

“The rule is there for the few,” he said. “It gives us the opportunity to confront the situation when an issue arises. It’s in our policy.”

He continued with an analogy, explaining that having your phone out in the bathroom in a suspicious situation is like being caught outside the window of a house while dressed in black and holding a glass cutter. You could be doing something completely innocent and just be caught at the wrong place in the wrong time, but odds are that’s not the case. More than likely something bad is happening, and you’ve already determined you’re going to break the rules.

This is an issue that is not unique to Perrysburg. Schools across the nation face issues with poor conduct in private locations.

“You’ve got kids with open access,” said Dr. Short, pointing out that those same kids have a tendency to try to be jokers, but don’t know the limits. “They think that it’s kind of funny. No, it’s not!”

He urged that everyone, not just students should be wary of how they use their technology.

“Those sort of things cannot be undone.”

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