Claire, my 10-year-old, and I had a conversation last week that still has me shaking my head.
We were out running errands together, the girls and me. We had run to Shopko to see if they had plain, white short-sleeved t-shirts, as Claire got a silk-screen kit for her birthday and wanted to try it out. (Turned out cute, btw.)
In the general course of conversation, the bus was mentioned. Anyone who has ever ridden a bus over any period of time know what a bizarre little microcosm kids become when smooshed into a small space, loaded with energy, full of bravado, and wishing to be anywhere but where they’re sitting at that moment. I think bus transportation is perfectly acceptable, but I have to admit, I’ve never seen a bus situation that brought out the best in people.
Claire has told me repeatedly that other kids bring their personal electronics, many of them with active internet access, on the bus. iPod, iPod Touch, DS systems, etc. Unbelievable to me, but what do I know.
What she told me next, though, was far more troubling. She said that a boy — who was a bit older than she is — was annoyed by another kid, a girl, who was humming and singing loudly. I got the impression this girl wasn’t very well-liked. Which shouldn’t have any bearing on the situation.
Except that it did.
The boy with the iPod Touch, annoyed by this “weird” girl singing crazy songs and NOT HURTING A FLEA — took out his nifty electronic and took a video of her singing/humming.
Without her knowledge.
And posted it to YouTube.
Again, without her knowledge.
Claire thought it was funny. “I think if we look it up when we get home, I think a little part of me might be in it,” she said, browsing through the t-shirts, and therefore missing the look of complete horror on my face.
“You’re IN IT?” I asked, trying to keep my tone casual, failing miserably.
My outrage-laced voice got her attention. “I didn’t do it, Mom! I didn’t do anything wrong!!” she shouted at me, right as we stood smack-dab in the middle of the store. Of course, her eyes instantly started tearing up.
Oh crap. “No, you’re absolutely right, you didn’t do anything wrong,” I said, shifting back into the in-control-of-my-emotions parent I like to think that I usually am. “As long as you had nothing to do with the filming, and you didn’t in any way encourage the boy who did do the filming , and you weren’t in any way mean or un-kind to the girl who was being ‘so annoying’.”
For as quickly as she responded, I do believe she was being honest. “Mom, I DIDN’T! I didn’t DO anything! I promise!”
Deep breath in.
Cleansing breath out.
“Honey, I understand that,” I said wearily, hardly able to believe that all that bullying crap you hear in the news is, in fact, literally happening right under my nose.
What followed was a discussion on how filming people without their permission is wrong. And how posting ANYTHING at ANY TIME for ANY REASON on the internet about a person, showing the person, etc., is NOT OK. Now, since Hubby and I don’t give our children much internet access, I didn’t go much further on that last point, but clearly, I will need to reinforce that point and add more detail to it in the near future.
What Do YOU Think?
So what do YOU think about this happening on the bus (or anywhere else at school, for that matter)? Should I investigate further to see if the video is, in fact, on YouTube? Should I mention it to the bus company, or the principals of the school? Should I let the parents of the children I know who ride our bus?
I am really interested in your feedback here. I’m so interested, as a matter of fact, that I’m going to reward you for it.
Introducing… More Cool, Free Stuff!
Here’s the deal. Up for grabs is a $25 gift card from Shopko. (I realize it’s not much, but times are tough, right?) And here’s how you can get in the drawing for it:
- For each comment that you leave that is about and relevant to this post, you’ll receive one entry into the drawing. Stop and think about the above-described situation a bit, because honestly? I really REALLY want to know what you think about it.
- If you join the A Broken Compass Facebook page, you’ll receive one entry into the drawing. Be sure to leave a comment below, letting me know you did this!
- If you hit the blue Facebook “Share” rectangular button below this post, you’ll receive one entry into the drawing. Be sure to leave a comment below, letting me know you did this.
- If you enter your email address into the form in the upper right-hand column, you’ll receive an entry into the drawing. Be sure to leave a comment below, letting me know you did this!
- Click around on my site a bit, and find a post you really enjoy. Then come back here, to this post’s comments, and tell me what the post was and why you liked it. You’ll get one entry for each time you do this.
- Follow me on Twitter. You’ll get one entry into the drawing for doing this. Be sure to leave a comment below, letting me know you did this!
This drawing/contest is open as of this posting, and will finish on Wednesday, March 16th at 5 p.m. (central DST). Random.org will be used to select a winner, and I will then notify that winner via email. The winner has three days to respond to me, thanking me profusely and providing a mailing address. Should I receive nothing in response to the notification by the deadline, I will choose another winner and proceed as I did with the first winner.