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Posts November 2013, Questions and Thoughts

Being in the right place at the right time can be dangerous

  This past weekend a group of us attended a concert in celebration of the Grey Cup weekend.  Being the designated driver, my sensitivity to those around me was perhaps on higher alert than those enjoying spirits of one kind or another.

  Our group was located on the floor where it was standing room only.  Due to the number of festivities taking place for Grey Cup weekend in Regina, this venue was certainly busy but not uncomfortably packed.  During the concert, I happened to notice a tall, thick in build, lone man somewhere in his mid 50s to early 60s, enjoying the concert.  Behind him were a group of 5 or 6 young men around the age of 19.  This group of young and very inebriated men were intentionally pushing one another into this older man and recording it with their iPhones.  This of course is a condensed version of the event.

  This type of situation is not new to the 21st century.  Unfortunately, it seems the recording of illegal behavior such as assault has become, for some, a way of initiation or celebration of strength.   According to the Canadian Criminal Code, section 423(1) encompasses all means of intimidation.  From what I understand, when videos of any criminal activity are posted and the law enforcement can track down who it was and prove intent, the criminals will be held accountable.

  I am wondering if this man had retaliated, stood up to these bullies, was recorded and it was posted to the net, what consequences would there be for him?  What if someone from his work witnessed this act of retalliation?  Would the video capture the amount of times he had ignored their attacks?  Would it capture the fact that I had gone to get the security guards, who unfortunately did not seem to have the skills necessary to deal with the situation?

  More and more, people are innocently being recorded or photographed without their consent and it is being posted to the internet.  Many times, the act they are caught in is in fact innocent but the wrong people see it and don’t have the full story.  For example, a Catholic staff member who had attended a stagette was photographed drinking from a penis cup.  The picture ended up being posted to Facebook.  This staff member was than reprimanded for this photograph, as this was not appropriate behavior for a Catholic staff member.  As it was explained to the staff member, had the photograph not been posted, no one would have known .

  Other than taking refuge in our homes, what can we do to protect ourselves from ending up on the internet left for others to judge?


About amandahassen

I have been working in the field of Education for the last 11 years. I am presently working as a Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (CIA) consultant. I am enjoying the research and the collaboration that this jobs entails.


8 thoughts on “Being in the right place at the right time can be dangerous

  1. Oh wow Amanda. I don’t even know where to begin on this one! First, I have to give kudos to the gentleman for not retaliating and taking the higher road in this situation. I’m not sure I would have been able to withstand that level of abuse without doing something about it. The security guards response is quite concerning to me and it makes me think of how much training the volunteers at these large events actually get. In one of my first education classes, it was made clear that when you are a teacher, you are a teacher 24/7. That never did sit well with me. I understand the reasoning behind it, but when it goes so far that a teacher can’t enjoy an evening out with her friends without being reprimanded, well I take exception to that. I’m not sure anymore how we can protect ourselves in terms of photos and videos being posted online. I have always been careful of what I post online, but there is no way I can control what others post about me. It’s a tricky situation, and one I wish I had the answer to. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

    Posted by Lindsay | November 24, 2013, 5:04 pm
    • Thank you so much for your comments Lindsay. Though I do understand the expectation that teachers are expected to be responsible 24/7, I have a such a hard time with this knowing there are others with greater responsibility, that are looked to as leaders, that end up airing of their very dirty laundry in the media. Unfortunately, I do not have a solution as to how one can protect themselves from having things posted online without their consent, but I think this is something society needs to seriously look into.

      Posted by amandahassen | November 26, 2013, 2:06 am
  2. That is awful to hear what happened to the older gentleman. I agree that more and more innocent people are being put out on the Internet for the entertainment of others. With the capabilities that smart phones have now I think it is something we have to accept as reality. Discussions with children about what should be posted online is a start. Like Lindsay said above, I also wish I had the answer to how to deal with this. Thanks for the post.

    Posted by Jessica Madiratta | November 24, 2013, 5:52 pm
    • Hi Jessica. Perhaps as time evolves and society (teachers, parents, media etc.) continues educating children on social media responsibility and netiquette, more and more will grow up to be more responsible and kind online. I think a second, and more concerning, issue is the fact that there are individuals that see this type of behavior as entertaining and seem to have no remorse for the pain they causing others.

      Posted by amandahassen | November 26, 2013, 2:12 am
  3. Thanks for this post, Amanda – you pose a really interesting question at the end. Unfortunately, we can’t do all that much to prevent other people from posting negative things, so this speaks to the importance of having a lot of positive presence on the web – hopefully, the good things will outnumber the bad!

    Posted by katiahildebrandt | November 24, 2013, 6:44 pm
    • Hi Katia. For those using the web, I agree the more positive information they come across, the better. But what about the victims whose pain (from being attacked) is exploited? No matter how much positive presence there is, the victims pain and embarrassment will never go away. Perhaps there needs to be (and maybe there is and I just don’t know) someone like a “Cyber-Nanny ” but that targets standing up to this online horrific behavior?

      Posted by amandahassen | November 26, 2013, 2:17 am
  4. In watching the news last night about the “Knockout Game” http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/22/knockout-game-arrests/3676649/ and now reading your post, it is troubling about what some people view as entertainment. Sometimes it does seem that the only way to protect ourselves is in the safety of our home, but then who wins. It seems that I am trying to watch the news less and focus on reading positive stories more and more. Maybe that is just my form of denial but it makes for a happy me!

    Posted by Cory | November 25, 2013, 5:10 pm
    • Thank you Cory for sharing this link. Prior to this incident this past weekend, I had heard about this “Knockout Game”. It absolutely makes me sick. I sincerely worry that one day it will be one of my parents or siblings that are attacked!
      Cory, I have wavered back on forth trying on whether or not I should watch the news, as it cause me a lot of distress. Unfortunately, it is part of my role to be aware of these types of situations and find ways to support the teachers in my school division in having honest and sincere conversations about these issues. It is my hope that the more we educate the students of today, the adults of our future will have the necessary tools and skills to find ways to stand up and put a stop to this behavior.

      Posted by amandahassen | November 26, 2013, 2:25 am

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