A few months ago some kids in India filmed themselves performing sexual acts with a cameraphone. The video got out and, in response, the government has banned mobile phones from public schools -- which seems to be a complete over reaction to two individuals doing something wrong. The two individuals should be punished for their actions. Instead, everyone else gets punished for having devices that could be misused. However, a new story in the US may be even worse. Picturephoning has a story about an angry teacher being caught on video by a cameraphone and then placed on the web. The teacher is seen screaming at students and then yanks the chair out from one student who refuses to stand up for the national anthem (something that the courts have made clear he doesn't need to stand for). To be honest, the quality of the video is pretty good -- so I wonder if it's really a mobile phone camera, though it certainly could be. However, the real issue is the way the school is handling the situation. First of all, the teacher wasn't disciplined at all. Instead, the students who filmed the incident were suspended for 10 days. On top of that, the school is considering banning all mobile phones just because of this incident. It's still not clear what the students did wrong here. They simply filmed a teacher going overboard -- which seems like the perfect use of mobile phone cameras. They helped these students document a teacher going too far. That's the type of use that should be encouraged. Instead, the exact opposite message is being given to students and teachers. Instead of dealing with the real issues, the school is trying to cover it up. As long as the problems aren't known, then everything must be fine.
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