And Now That They've Banned YouTube In Schools, All Bullying Will Cease

from the so-that's-how-it-works? dept

Sometimes you just have to wonder about the thought process that goes through the heads of some educators. A few years back, there were all these stories about schools banning cameraphones, after students used the cameras to capture (and share) bad behavior of both themselves and teachers and administrators. It seems that this year, the thing to ban is YouTube. An Australian state has apparently decided to ban YouTube in schools to help crackdown on cyberbullying. This is one of those decisions that perhaps sounds good if you don’t bother to actually think about what happens next. Banning YouTube in schools doesn’t even remotely slow down cyberbullying. All it really does is let teachers and administrators bury their heads in the sand and pretend that no cyberbullying is going on because they’ve blocked the best way for them to keep tabs on it. Instead, the cyberbullying will continue — and the videos will still appear on YouTube (and, more likely, other sites), but the teachers and administrators will somehow think they’ve solved the problem because they no longer see it. And, of course, that doesn’t even start down the trail of questions about how much useful, legitimate or educational material the schools end up blocking in the process of blocking YouTube as well. Sure, there’s a lot of useless junk on there, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few very useful videos as well.

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Comments on “And Now That They've Banned YouTube In Schools, All Bullying Will Cease”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: NO


You hit the nail on the head. The educators don’t really believe it will stop anything they are just covering themselves from the current trends. And to be honest it’s not a bad idea.

Besides, I truly doubt there is that much educational need to even have access to youtube at all. As someone else pointed out already, any truly educational content can probably be found elsewhere and youtube.

Eponymous Coward says:

Mollycoddling is bad

Bully: “Give me your lunch money or I’ll beat you up”

Cyberbully: “Give me your money or I’ll say hurtful things about you on the Internet”.

You have to wonder how children that can’t copy with cyberbullying will ever be able to function in the real world.

Perhaps schools should outlaw mollycoddling?

Casper says:

Wait, ok, I’m confused. If the videos are of people being harassed at school, it’s the schools fault for not intervening. If the videos are of the kids doing something embarrassing, then it’s their own stupid fault… unless it was recorded by an invasion of privacy.

Since when did school decide that the video was the source of their problems? This technology has only been around a couple years, yet it’s now to blame for all the bullying going on? Stop blaming people and technology for parents and teachers inabilities to do their jobs.

Frank says:

Think it through

Schools shut off sites like youtube because of the inappropriate material on them. We (yes, I’m one of those meanie-head Education IT guys) get money, a lot of money, from the government which has this little thing called CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act) which we have to abide by to get the money.

We are painfully aware that some stuff on youtube is really great, “Where the hell is Matt” for example. But, there is a ton of grossly violent, pornographic, and just not for school junk there too. Find something you need for a class and see if the IT folks will help you out. Be nice and have a good reason; you might be surprised that we’re not mindless jerks out to stop kids from having fun.

That being said, to block a site for “cyber bullying” is beyond stupid… it’s just the attitude that sites full of garbage are only blocked because of the “Man and his need to keep the peeps down” bugs the crap out of me.

Think it through, this stuff doesn’t support the educational mission, in fact, it can be quite a distraction. And, worse yet… there are people out there looking to make a quick buck through a law suit. I know in America it never happens “Little Jonny saw a naked woman on the internet at school; we want $100k to make up for his emotional scarring…”

Nothing is ever written in stone in a school. I have helped numerous teachers and students get to videos that were blocked on youtube. If you are a student go talk to your IT people just be sure to have a good reason, be polite, and be willing to learn a little bit of how to get what you want. Most of us are in education because we want to support kids… it sure as heck isn’t for the money.

Casper says:

Re: Think it through

Frank, while it is a sad reality, it is not the solution.

I worked in school districts for a few years, and while it can be true, it usually isn’t. While blocking a site with inappropriate material is one thing, what I have found is most people in the education field target anything that they don’t understand or do not agree with.

We constantly had fights about locking down websites. The tighter the restrictions, the less real information made it through. In the end, when we had very few inappropriate sites leaking through, we had almost none of the good sites coming through. Most of the teachers thought this was great, since they see the internet as a generally negative thing and don’t believe children should be reading anything but books anyway (as if the material in a book makes it less subjective).

The solution should not be to restrict access to websites for everyone, but restrict who has what access to the internet and when. There is no reason for a student who has been in trouble to be allowed to access a computer while at school without monitoring. On the other hand, someone who is responsible should have access to EVERYTHING, not just what the school deems permissible. Of course this is also contingent on ages and supervision levels (which I know are pretty much nonexistent). This concept is a kin to punishment before they do something wrong.

I do understand where you are coming from though. The IT people are caught in the tug of war between teachers, parents, and the real world.

Hal Clark says:

Frank is absolutly right

Im an IT guy in a school district in Arizona. Im also the IT guy that put the block on youtube. The reason I did it was exactly as Frank said, to avoid any liability. Same reason I blocked myspace,, and countless other sites. Its ALL about avoiding the liability.

The only thing I can add to Franks comments is that schools have one edict that rules over all edicts; that every child pass the aims test. Every single dollar that we get is eventually tied to this edict. Therefore every class, every activity a child in our schools participates is weighed against the measure of whether or not it will help them pass the aims. Programs that help you pass the aims get more funding programs that don’t get less. A perfect example is that our high school has five English teachers and one part time graphic arts teacher. The graphic arts teacher also teaches part time, intro to technology, and multimedia design. Once again all of them only offered part time.

Im telling the gods honest truth here and I hope it doesn’t give readers the warm fuzzies inside. As a parent of four I know that for my kids to seduced in this world its going to take a helava lot larger skill sets that just whats required to pass the aims. Does the department of education care? Go to there website try to find thier contact page to make a suggestion, read an article and try and comment, or try to find a public forum, you cant. It begs the question why is it so hard for the public to make there voice heard in public education? It also begs the question that if it takes more skills than what is tested for on the aims to succeed in this world than why is the aims held up as the supreme measuring stick for how well our children are taught?


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Frank is absolutly right

I can tell that having those 5 english teachers has not helped anything as you, as opposed to the rest of the world, “here” with your ears and people have websites in “there” posession”. How well our children are taught begins at home. And I think you can tell where I’m going with that and I hope the measuring stick isn’t held up against “there” parents. For people to have their voices taken seriously in any forum, proper grammar is a prerequisite. Also, I hope your kids do not get seduced in this world, but rather succeed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Frank is absolutly right

Our school had goodgle images blocked for a while, but the teachers all complained. A lot of our poster material comes from Google Images and most of the time the teachers spent in the computer lab was spent unblocking sites for kids instead of helping the kids that actually needed help with other stuff.

So it’s back now.

TheDock22 says:

YouTube And School

I agree with the decisions that YouTube should be banned from schools. There is no real educational reason out there for allowing students onto YouTube. As far as trumping it up to cyber-bullying, that’s silly. YouTube should be banned because it’s junk and no other reason.

And Casper, while you idea of different access levels for different students is nice in theory, it would be nearly impossible to implement on the IT side. I work in IT and let me tell you, it’s hard enough controlling 30 different access rights accounts, trying to control 200+ would take so many IT people and financial resources it would never work. The solution is to lock it down for all, as disappointing as this is. Until technology improves, this is the way it has to be.

Jacer (user link) says:

Cyber bullying--a unique perspective


As an Internet Safety leader and educator in my region, as a parent of two teenagers, as an ex-police dispatcher and speaking as someone who works with hundreds and hundreds of children every single week in a computer lab environment for the past five years, perhaps I can shed some light on this.

There are many issues here:

Should children be able to watch videos, whatever they may be, while in school?? Are they there to learn, or to watch videos? Honestly, what kind of educational value is there, for these types of sites?

What IF that material is inappropriate and is viewed by a child?? What if another child happens to see the video and is forever harmed by the content? Who is responsible? The student? The parents? The teacher? The school?

Any issues regarding bandwidth??? Downloading? Copyright issues? VIruses?

It is nearly impossible for one teacher or aid to watch 30 children using computers, especially teenagers-who can click out of a site faster than you can say Moses. I can not tell you how many times I have personally witnessed children doing things online they were not supposed to be doing and as soon as your back is turned, back they go.

And, as they say, wheres there a will, theres a way…Finding ways to avoid the banned sites, are extremely easy for these kids.

Then of course, there is the most important part to this question, cyber bullying aspect. Cyber bullying is rapidly increasing. It is a real problem and needs to be addressed. All schools should take this seriously, as should parents. Food for thought- Besides children being targeted, teachers and principals are now falling prey.

M says:

You Tube

Banning You Tube in schools has nothing to do with teachers and administrators wanting to ignore the bullying that happens. It has to do with You tube not being a good resource for what we are supposed to be teaching our children. What should be discussed is what parents are doing to ban You Tube in their homes. As a parent I monitor my child’s time on the internet and the sites he is visiting. We need to be better role models at home and in school and You Tube is not a good resource to be sharing with our children.

Vik says:


Guys- a lot of you are obviously not living in the real world. Our ways in accessing media is becoming more user centred and more internet centred. YES cyber bullying is a very serious problem and YES it is a problem that needs to be addressed on many levels but banning YouTube is not the answer.

As Frank said, it is not a difficult task to ask an IT guy in your school to unblock a website for a short period of time so that you can access it with your class- it is up to a teacher to be organised and arrange these things ahead of time. For those of you seeing no educational use for sites like YouTube you are mistaken- the YouTube factsheet tells us that they have created the site to allow us to become broadcasters of our own news and current affairs and documentaries etc. YES there is a lot of inappropriate material on YouTube but it also has a lot to offer- with YouTube students can make a film in class about something they feel passionate about (eg animal cruelty) and broadcast it to a much wider audience than they ever could before. Assessment needs to be authentic and relevant to the students in order for them to be engaged with what they are learning- what is more authentic- giving a speech to their classmates about animal cruelty (lets say in Science or Social Studies) or making a film that can be accessed potentially by millions of people world wide?

As a film and media teacher I find it utterly absurd that so many people are still stuck in the fifties trying to protect our children from the evil media- let us educate our kids about and equip them with the tools to be critical and discerning about what they encounter in the media.

Lee (user link) says:


I’m just wondering when we are going to ban talking and eye contact also. Kids don’t need a cellphone to bully. They’ve been bullying each other forever. I agree with Jacob. The main goal of the school districts is to CYA. Fortunately, there are still some of us who feel we should actually teach the kids something that they can use outside the school walls.

harris says:


I think You tube is doing a terrible job in filtering out violence.IN fact,I believe they dont evan care about what is posted and WHO it affects.YOU CAN NEVER GET CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Children are going to school and making videos of there friends fighting.then they go home and post it on You tube to show other students what they can do.Is this right?
Its like they are promoting fighting.I think you TUBE should be regulated and should be held respobsible for ALL & ANY Harm or hurt that is caused to anyone that is posted.
on there site.
They are the creators and they should be more concerened on harm to individuals looking for a 10 second spot in the light of the camera.Some kids start fights just to post it on YOU TUBE.
So you tube is just a big BULLY itself,promoting fights in school and also 1/2 of there videos is off illegal activities IE: How to make drugs,fighting,pranks etc,all that can and DOES hurt people.
I guesse the creators care more about there money and rank among the cyber world.
Soon there will be a group of parents that will end YOU TUBE for its promotion of violence.
What if you saw your child or best friend get assulted on you tube just because the assultor wanted the fame?
Would you like that?
You can always replay the damage that it did to your child,just push watch video again.

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