Latest Fear Mongering Report: Parents! Pedophile Teachers Are Text Messaging Your Kids! Be Afraid!

from the fear-fear-fear-fear dept

Every few months someone has to put up some scary news article about something horrible that's putting our children at risk. Sometimes it's video games. Sometimes it's the internet. Sometimes it's social networks. CNN is the latest to join the pack with an article going a bit overboard on how mobile phones are providing a "secret path" for teachers to prey on your kids. It's based on some recent stories of teachers who had affairs with students, which they covered up via messages on their mobile phones. Is this happening that widely? Who knows? Are there any stats to show that this is a major problem? Stats? Who needs stats when we have a few scary anecdotes! Instead, you just tell the story, and then say, matter-of-factly: "Now, teachers have weeks, months and years to secretly undermine a child's parents and get a student to go along with sexual contact." Actually, that doesn't sound like it's mobile phones that are the problem, but teachers! I say we ban them all.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 7:17am

    What kind of a world do we live in that we think its bad that a 14 year old boy is banging his high school teacher? Hell, that was my dream when I was 14. If my 8 year old son comes to me in 6 years telling me he was banging a hot (female) teacher, I will give him a high 5.

    Now 14 year old girls? Throw the male teacher in jail.

     

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    Kilgore Trout, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 7:20am

    Re:

    Wow, double standard much?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 7:37am

    Double standard? You don't know there is a difference between men and women? Let go of your keyboard for a while and you will see.

     

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    CNN isn't even a news outlet, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 7:48am

    I wouldn't worry too much about CNN,

    I watched CNN yesterday for about 8 hrs while i played video games as an experiment.

    All i heard for 8 straight hours was how great Hillary Clinton is followed by golden globe coverage with Larry King. What a facade of a news organization.

    They are pretty much one infomercial/political agenda after another.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 7:52am

    What if he says he is banging a hot male teacher. Hahaha.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 7:53am

    What if he says he is banging a hot male teacher. Hahaha.

    Then we have a problem (not that there is anything wrong with that.)

     

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    Araemo, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 7:57am

    Double standard..

    "Double standard? You don't know there is a difference between men and women? Let go of your keyboard for a while and you will see."

    What difference is there that makes 14 year old boys completely independent and not in need of protection, but 14 year old girls are completely dependent and need protection?

    Neither gender is intellectually/emotionally mature at 14, and while more 14 year old boys would be capable of harming a teacher that was being physically abusive than 14 year old girls.. the more common harm is not from physical abuse.

     

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  8.  
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    Brian, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 8:03am

    HA!

    A new TechDirt low, even for Mike... must be a slow news morning.

     

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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Jan 14th, 2008 @ 8:07am

    Re: Double standard..

    Yes, while I don't buy any "emotional abuse" arguments in this situation, paternity IS a possibility and a 14 year old is too young to shoulder that decision/risk.

    Still...How I would have longed to have been "groomed" by my junior high school spanish teacher.

    The double standard is actually an internal conflict for males.

     

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  10.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 8:08am

    Re: Double standard..

    Technically a female is closer to maturity than a male so the female would need less protection than a male. I don't believe that for a second, neither should have that problem at all.

    Any teacher having a relationship with any student, be it elementary school or college, is inappropriate. It's the same standard in the military where a superior officer can not be in a relationship with a subordinate.

     

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    gpcarmody, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 8:18am

    Fear mongering

    I can barely tolerate most news broadcasts anymore because so many of them use very loosely-associated topics and blow them way out of proportion. This is another good example. The bottom line is that parents should alert their children to be careful about possible sexual predators, and that predators may use any means of communication. End of story.

     

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    TheDock22, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 8:22am

    Circles

    We are just spinning in circles here. First people are outrages by the handful of teachers who have had relation with their students (not counting the dumb teens who are LYING just because a teacher gives them a bad grade). The we go to priests who have done the same thing. Then, of course, there are general pedophiles or family members which are more numerous than teachers and priests combined.

    The point is, PARENTS NEED TO BE PARENTS! They will start banning txting and technology in school, but children will still be hurt. Just be a little more involved in your child's life. Let them know when they are little (3 and 4) that sometimes adults are scary and what to look out for. There are plenty of fun videos on personal safety (my 4 year old niece loves this one: http://www.mypreciouskid.com/stranger-danger.html). I think adults are too afraid to bring hard issues to the attention of a young child, but you can do it in a way that they know what is right and wrong without knowing the specifics. Talk to you kids young! If you wait until they go to school, your too late.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    The only decent news is local anything else seems to get horrible from anything fox/cnn related

     

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    Joe, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 9:08am

    I couldn't believe this story either

    I saw the news report and it made me wonder "WTF...the news has nothing better to talk about?"

    It's all based on a 14/15 year old boy who recieved naked photos of his teacher. (female gym teacher i think) I couldn't believe the news article headline was actually being thrown online. I didn't bother to read it I already knew it was tripe.

    Overall the article was using fear to sell a few more online ad clicks. It is a waste of the readers time to have this reported on and I don't see the point. Everyone knows that if a person gives out their number to the wrong people bad things can happen. The real problem is that a teacher wanted to have this type of relationship not how she communicated with the teen. Obviously if someone is looking to have a relationship they will do what they can to have a dialogue. Just so happens that cell-phones are huge with everyone now adays.

    It also removes the parent/kid barrier, but that isn't a reason to fear cell phones it's a reason to A) teach your children of right and wrong, responsibility etc, or B) if they teen is the one initiating the relationship to know when they can't share things with the world and when to delete things and not show them around.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 9:12am

    Re:

    He's an internet nerd, of course he knows no difference between male and, what was that word...fe-mayel...

     

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    J3ff, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 9:21am

    My female gym teacher.

    Had my female gym teacher sent me naked pictures of herself when I was 14 I'd have probably been scarred for life. I could barely tolerate her clothed.

    However I really don't think I would have been all that broken up about getting naked pictures of my English teacher back then.

    Double standard or not, men are driven to procreate at a very young age. Women tend to be more nurturing so it's not really a double standard to say that a 14 year old boy will be less effected mentally, having sex with an older women than a 14 year old girl having sex with an older male.

     

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    4-80-sicks, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 9:33am

    The real problem is that a teacher wanted to have this type of relationship not how she communicated with the teen.

    Exactly. In fact, it is better to allow cell phone usage, because then there is evidence recorded of the inappropriate situation. To ban cell phones for this would be like banning paper and pens thirty or fifty years ago if a teacher wrote a romantic note to a student.

     

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  18.  
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    Alimas, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 9:38am

    Re:

    The differences between the genders have nothing to do with your disgusting double-standard attitude.
    Teaching a male hes doing great having sex (in particular with someone whos supposed to be an authority figure) and the female that what she did was wrong is gross on so many levels.
    The teachers shouldn't be going for your pants, regardless of your gender.

    And this text messaging thing is stupid. If it weren't phones it'd be paper messages or after class meetings where the inappropriate interaction would be occur.
    The problem is the teachers, not the phones.
    Maybe we should ban schools while we're at it, so that pedophiles can't try to live by them. :

     

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  19.  
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    Alimas, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 9:44am

    Re: My female gym teacher.

    You've got to be kidding. Since when are women inherently more nurturing? The people with the biggest, rawest libidos I ever met were females.
    As the guy with the double standard further up proves in his statements, our society rewards men for being more sexually active and discourages it among females.

     

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  20.  
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    TheDock22, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: My female gym teacher.

    There is no arguing with some of these people. All men are perverts, some just not as much as others. To say it is okay for teen boys to have sex with their teachers is very perverted and you should be ashamed of yourselves for saying that.

     

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  21.  
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    Old Guy, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 9:59am

    Re: I couldn't believe this story either

    I saw the news report and it made me wonder "WTF...the news has nothing better to talk about?"

    Ain't that the truth, they haven't done a story about Brittney Spears in what almost 48hrs...sheesh and they call themselves a news network

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    Dock22, just because you are forced to repress your sexuality (due to your upbringing) doesn't mean others that don't are perverts.

    All men are perverts? If all men are something, then its not perverted, it is just the way men are. That was my original point. Always has been, always will be.

     

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  23.  
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    Sneeje, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Double standard..

    I think you might not realize how vulnerable teenagers are to emotional damage, particularly where sex is involved. There has been plenty of research on the subject showing how relationships like this damage teens ability to have healthy relationships later.

    Even if you don't believe that, what about the abuse of power? I personally believe that individuals in positions of power, such as teachers, professors, psychiatrists, have strong ethical (and sometimes legal) responsibilities to maintain their distance. Too often we romanticize these relationships (as many are regarding 14 yr old boys on this board) when we should instead be outraged.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 10:10am

    You know, if children can be lured away from parental guidance by some text messages from a teacher, chances are the parents have done a fairly piss poor job of raising the child in the first place.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 10:18am

    Homo says what?

     

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  26.  
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    You never know, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 10:22am

    If the bickering would just stop for a moment.... The issue here is not the Mobil devices or even if it's teachers or not. The issue is CNN has pointed out a new tool for getting to Kids. Whether it be a good thing or bad, it is another tool. Now as parents we have to do the leg work here and check the messaging, (I do my kids phone online, If I don't recognize the phone number you can bet I'm calling.) They are our kids, not the phone co. not the internet service providers, and certainly not the educational system, it's our responsibility to protect our kids.

     

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  27.  
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    ZeTron, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 10:30am

    I am glad you picked this story up Mike. When I read CNNs rss feed last week I let out a big WTF!!. Classic fear mongering

     

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  28.  
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    ZeTron, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 10:41am

    Re:

    If you're a parent and do not check you childs text messaging you're a fool. CNN should not be your lightbulb on this fact.

     

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  29.  
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    TheDock22, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    AC, Who says I repress my sexuality? If a woman goes out and has sex with teachers, or a couple different guys, suddenly she's easy and a whore. Yet men do the same thing, and they are considered studs.

    That's what makes it perverted. Men can get away with being sexually comfortable, but woman are labeled with all sorts of negative stereotypes. Some of those stereotypes can damage a young woman for life. Therefore, what's bad for one should be bad for the other. What's good for one should be good for the other. Equality.

     

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  30.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re:

    I agree with you 100% Dock. Men are perverted, me included. I'd like to think to a lesser degree. I also agree that men should be held to the same standards as women, and vise verse. I am one of the few people that believe in truly equal rights for women, the good and the bad.

     

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  31.  
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    Lucretious, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 12:33pm

    Here's a righteous GOOD MOM making sure her kids are safe and well protected from the horrible predator teachers.

    http://www.lisareneeward.com/wordpress/?p=103&referer=sphere_related_content

    she took away her kids texting ability citing this story as one of the reasons.

    Lets thank this woman for being one of the sheep that the news networks targets with these idiotic stories. I hope her womb goes barren.

     

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  32.  
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    Homo, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 12:48pm

    Re:

    what?

     

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  33.  
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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Jan 14th, 2008 @ 1:15pm

    TheDock22 / Equality

    "That's what makes it perverted. Men can get away with being sexually comfortable, but woman are labeled with all sorts of negative stereotypes. Some of those stereotypes can damage a young woman for life. Therefore, what's bad for one should be bad for the other. What's good for one should be good for the other. Equality."

    Huh??

    Equality is a totally artifical concept and has no basis in nature.

    You would think me a loon if I insisted (like in Monty Python's "Life of Brian" ) that I be called "Loretta" and started demanding my "equality" to have a baby. Nevermind that whole not having a womb thing.

    Men and Women are different. And I thank the Universe everyday I am reminded of that fact. If you're not happy with the way society treats women, you might try developing some strength of character and dropping the "Victim Mentality" and try serving the result up as a roll model for other women.

    Hey, did I just ask you to "Man Up"?

    See how easy it is to fall into the "You Should Be More Like Me/Us" trap??

     

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  34.  
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    TheDock22, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    Re: TheDock22 / Equality

    If you're not happy with the way society treats women, you might try developing some strength of character and dropping the "Victim Mentality" and try serving the result up as a roll model for other women.

    Because women don't care if other women are "easy" or "sluts". Men applied those stereotypes. But, no adult woman comfortable with herself cares what a man thinks anyway. I am concerned about young teenage women and the attitude that it is okay for boys to have sex, but not girls encourages the younger women to think sex is wrong. And it not wrong, it is natural just maybe not with and older person if you are too young.

    But if we want to make young woman feel that sex is okay, just not with their teachers, than we must also teach our boys the same thing.

    And there is no victim mentality, I am willing to step up and say treat me as an equal. Men get so mad if they sleep around and you call them a man-whore. If we can take the stereotypes, so can you guys.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 1:39pm

    You can always go against nature, but that usually doesn't work out all that well.

    And personally, I don't think bad of sluts, unless of course they are fat or ugly. This world needs more hot sluts.

     

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  36.  
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    TheDock22, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 2:10pm

    Re:

    And personally, I don't think bad of sluts, unless of course they are fat or ugly. This world needs more hot sluts.

    LoL, that's awesome.

     

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  37.  
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    You never know, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    And the bickering and back biting goes on, and on.... Subject for the most part is completely missed. It's no damn wonder kids today are so screwed up...

     

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  38.  
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    Paul, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 3:36pm

    More of Mike's BS

    I'm pretty sure Mike writes most of his garbage hoping that no one actually reads the article he is talking about, because often enough he overly exaggerates or derives a conclusion hardly related to the article at all.

    The basis of the article is not saying that cell phones are evil, but that due to technology today it is harder to tell if a teacher is having a perverted relationship with their students because they do not have to show any outward or physical signs of interest.

    Before all this technology the only way for a teacher to seduce a student was the old fashioned way, a lot of in-person contact. When you see a student and a teacher hanging out ALL the time then you are bound to suspect that something is up. Even with traditional voice calling it may be obvious for someone to overhear a portion of it and realize who the person is talking to.

    Now with email, chat rooms, instant messengers and text messengers there is much more privacy in the way communication is conducted and unfortunately this means that people can take advantage of this and do bad sneaky things.


    But go ahead Mike, don't let facts and truth get in the way of your sensationalist garbage

     

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  39.  
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    John Farrelly, Jan 15th, 2008 @ 3:08am

    Every few months, I read a post that starts with the words "Every few months."

    Honestly, it'd be really nice if someone just kept a running tally on these sort of stories.

     

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  40.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Jan 15th, 2008 @ 8:56am

    Re: More of Mike's BS

    Just read the article. The second paragraph said "The same cell phones that parents buy as safety devices for their children are the gadgets that pedophiles and predators use to prep kids for sexual encounters, experts and police say." Doesn't sound like Mike is taking anything out of context just that you didn't read the article your complaining about Mike not reading.

    If the linked to article was properly summarized and worded, it would not be an issue, but, because of that one paragraph, the article leads the reader down the "evil cell phone" path. This is a text book example of "the pen is mightier than the sword."

     

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  41.  
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    Nanotick, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    You are a warped individual and I pray that your son denounces you as a Father soon.

     

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