Cellphone videos pose new challenges for school administrators

Nov 9, 2015 by

A decade ago, before cellphones could record video and share it instantly, there was relatively little worry over how students might use devices on campus.

But smartphones have changed all of that. In recent weeks, viral videos have portrayed a teacher wrestling a student to the ground at McClatchy High School in Sacramento, a student tossing Florin High School’s principal to the cafeteria floor and a school police officer throwing a student out of her chair in South Carolina.

With the press of a button, students have gained power in confrontational situations with classmates or authority figures. They also can become provocateurs or citizen journalists by posting videos that go viral well beyond the campus community.

Robert Faris, sociology professor at UC Davis, said unanticipated recordings have become a reality because video cameras are everywhere. He sees some merits to posting video on social media but warned that it can also have unfair and negative consequences.

“A lot of injustices are recorded,” he said, “and until they get attention nothing is done about them.”

On the other hand, Faris noted, “there is a cycle of shaming and public outrage and outsized attention. It thrusts people into the limelight that may not want to be in the limelight or deserve to be in the limelight.”

Source: Cellphone videos pose new challenges for school administrators | The Sacramento Bee

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