Culture

by Timothy Geigner


Filed Under:
shaming, social media



UK Teacher Shows Student's Swimsuit Photo From Facebook To Class Assembly To Teach Her A Lesson

from the shame-the-shamers dept

I would imagine that if a teacher wanted to convince children that the internet -- which is not especially dangerous for kids -- actually is especially dangerous for kids, there must be a myriad of ways to go about it. One could, for instance, simply assign a Law & Order SVU marathon for homework. What the teacher probably shouldn't do is call a class assembly on the subject and then blast a bikini picture from one of the attending students' Facebook accounts to everyone attending.
A 15-year-old says she was humiliated by a teacher who showed an enlarged picture of her in a bikini to more than 100 other students during a school assembly. Children at Eggbuckland Community College in Plymouth, Devon, were shown the photograph taken from her Facebook profile to illustrate the pitfalls of posting private images online. Unknown to the schoolgirl, who has not been named, staff had taken her swimwear photo off the internet. It was blown up and added to a portfolio of other pictures then shown during a packed school assembly.
What's crazy is that this isn't the first time this exact sort of thing has occurred. We had an almost identical story in the States roughly a year ago. There is simply so much lunacy in this to unpack, it's difficult to know where to begin. Let's begin with the entire premise that a fifteen-year-old girl wearing a bikini is an appropriate target for slut-shaming. I wasn't aware that a fifteen-year-old girl was supposed to be so ashamed of her own body that she should not be pictured wearing what all kinds of fifteen-year-olds wear at public beaches all over the place. What the hell?

Add to that the trauma she must have experienced having this photo sprung on her in an assembly of her peers and used in a way to suggest she should be ashamed. It seems like the chief lesson about online safety being taught is to be exceptionally careful of the teachers at their school. A useful conversation could have been had with the students about how to use Facebook's privacy features to keep certain images from being publicly viewed and so forth, but instead the entire focus is on one girl wearing a swimsuit. Anyone actually think that the discussion the kids were having coming out of that assembly was actually focused on their own safety?

And the response on behalf of the school, while apologetic to the mother of the young girl, is hysterical.
A Plymouth City Council spokesperson said on behalf of the school, whose motto is 'Learning, caring, achieving': 'We cannot comment on the incident itself. 'The advice given to children and parents is that it is very difficult to ensure any picture is completely private and it is important to positively manage their online identity and profile and think carefully before sharing personal content.'
It sure didn't seem like a whole lot of thought went into sharing the young girl's personal content, so maybe it's time to review your own lessons?

Reader Comments

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 1:42am

    Perhaps the mother needs to raise the very serious question of why an adult is trolling childrens pictures online.
    Why one in a swimsuit was selected, perhaps one should investigate if this was done on school owned computers, and do any of the images qualify as child porn.
    They wouldn't want to be the school that enabled a pedophile would they?

    Lesson - No matter how much power you think you have, there are ways to take you down by turning your own methods against you.

    Perhaps next time they should consider if the zeal to teach a lesson doesn't go far over the line and teach a much different lesson about those with power abusing that power over someone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Stuart, 10 Oct 2014 @ 8:04am

      Re:

      Look. Schools are run by notoriously stupid people. But either that photo was one she was ok with the world seeing or it was not.
      If she is embarrassed by it maybe she will think much more about what she put on the internet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re:

        "But either that photo was one she was ok with the world seeing or it was not."

        This statement completely avoids addressing the problem with the school's action here. The reason she was humiliated was not because everyone saw the picture. It's because the picture was used to publicly humiliate her. Context is everything.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 10:35pm

        Re: Re:

        You were perfectly okay with using your credit card to purchase things online, why are you mad someone else is using it now?

        Perhaps she never intended an adult to see the picture, let alone decide to turn her into an example.

        Perhaps she needs to find who took the picture, if it wasn't a selfie, and file a copyright lawsuit. This image was taken and used without any consent and the person who did so was paid for doing it. The school should have to answer for why they provided a platform for this infringement and why they do not have a DMCA agent to accept service of the notice.

        Stupid should hurt, because sometimes that is the only way to make sure the lesson is learned.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 1:49am

    I think the teacher has a point here, evidenced by the students reaction.

    If there is any sort of "humiliation" from this picture then it's due to the picture being somehow more public. As far as I can see the student OK'd it for every one of her friends and teachers to see when she uploaded it.

    tl:dr if you are not happy for an image to be seen by anyone and everyone don't publish it on the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Goyo (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 4:14am

      Re:

      If there is any sort of "humiliation" from this picture then it's due to the picture being somehow more public.
      Or maybe it's due to the picture being used "to illustrate the pitfalls of posting private images online" and "to suggest she should be ashamed", not just "the picture being somehow more public".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 4:43am

        Re: Re:

        I agree that schools should be educating students about internet privacy and safety issues.

        But public humiliation, especially of a 15 yo kid under these (apparent) circumstances, is abuse.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:35am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, what she'd done was used as an example of why uploading stuff you don't want everyone to see is a bad idea. No, The only person who brought shame into this is Tim, you're mixing up source and opinion.

        At the end of the day if this stops those students from uploading pictures they'll later regret then the lesson was well taught.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's not a picture she would have latter regretted. It was a picture of her at the beach. The embarrassment came from an authority figure slut shaming her. I don't care what any teenager says, the opinions of someone in authority changes what they think.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:38am

      Re:

      I think the teacher is an idiot here, evidenced by their stupid idea(s).

      If there is any humiliation here it is the entirety of society that should feel humiliated by this person.

      tl:dr victim blaming is stupid.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:54am

        Re: Re:

        And there is no victim blaming going on here.

        Maybe I'm just not keen to hate on educators but honestly, pulling up a slightly embarrassing photo and pressing the point home that actually the entire world has access to this pic is a very valuable lesson.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          AJ, 10 Oct 2014 @ 6:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "pulling up a slightly embarrassing photo and pressing the point home that actually the entire world has access to this pic is a very valuable lesson."

          A valuable lesson no doubt, but the method of instruction was absolutely horrible and demonstrated a complete lack of judgement by the teacher, and over-site by the administrators. They could have easily shown a non-embarrassing photo and achieved the same goal.

          "This was an error of judgement: the member of staff had not intended to cause any embarrassment'."

          Even the school admits that it was "an error of judgement".

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I suppose it is a valuable lesson. And that lesson is that you can't trust authority figures.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:22am

      Re:

      She's a 15 year old child , we as adults should be guiding children , not putting them down and singling them out In public view, there's no excuse for it ,none .

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Spaceboy (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:44am

      Re:

      Maybe the student was comfortable with the image and herself until a teacher decided that she didn't fit in and there was something wrong with her. When the teacher selected her picture she passed judgement on the girl.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:48am

      Re:

      WRONG - you would never expect to have your photos shown in such a manner (using it as an example of being shameful IN FRONT OF YOUR PEERS). It was literally a personal attack. She has to see these people on a daily basis - you dont think that will cause stress?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    G Thompson (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 1:57am

    I for one recommend giving the Eggbuckland Community College's teachers & staff details as well as the Plymouth Council members details to 4chan to see what 'private' pictures they can find not just on Facebook but from anywhere.

    These pictures should then be given to the world so they too can decide if they want there personal photos shown in an ABSOLUTE public and niche forum too.

    As for those who think it's ok for the picture to be shown to a WHOLE school full of the image owners peers, then they should also consider the copyright and defamatory actions that could also be commenced against the school. No fair use in the UK, Privacy laws are highly specific especially when related to minors, and unless they got specific permission to show the picture in this way then they have no authority, whether the picture was available as world viewable on facebook or not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 2:44am

    It is a pity that at this age one usually have a lot of insecurities and surely isn't mature enough to deal with such an incident in an epic way. Bragging about how hot she is and that the old hags (aka: teachers) in school were just jealous (the women) or pedos (the men) would have been epic. Sure she should sue for the 'shaming' even in this case but it would be twice as epic.

    If you could have your older-self experience in your teenage body things would get pretty epic around Earth (though truth be said each age range has its own awesomeness).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 3:40am

    Child pornography

    This is likely child pornography and a serious crime.

    Otherwise, UK is famous for having arcaic criminal prohibitions the teacher may have violated.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    DS, 10 Oct 2014 @ 3:54am

    "Let's begin with the entire premise that a fifteen-year-old girl wearing a bikini is an appropriate target for slut-shaming. "

    That's what you get out of this? Oh dear, has TechDirt fallen down the SJW hole as well?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:08am

      Re:

      Oh dear, has TechDirt fallen down the SJW hole as well?

      Perhaps you could explain what that is.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:14am

        Re: Re:

        SJW: Social Justice Warrior. Usually considered a bad thing as they tend to go far over the top and do more damage to the cause.

        What DS is saying is that taking a picture of a 15 year old and calling her a slut for posting it isn't a bad thing.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        The Groove Tiger (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 8:30am

        Re: Re:

        He's basically shaming Tim for using "feminist lingo". It's like calling him socialist for using words like "healthcare". Basically, he's "SJW-shaming" him.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      OK, so are you saying that it is an appropriate target for slut-shaming, or that this wasn't slut-shaming?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 3:59am

    given that facebook dosn't allow for minors pictures to be posted publically, unless she lied about her age on her accout, the picture wasnt actually "public" and one of her "friends" explicitly betrayed that trust. if anyone should be shamed it is the teacher, especially given that they weren't even entierly correct.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 4:47am

    The real problem is that human bodies are seen as embarrassing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:11am

      Re:

      Apparently she was not embarrassed of her picture otherwise she would not have posted it in the first place.

      She is embarrassed because an adult used that picture as an example of something you should not do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:14am

    FUCK THAT TEACHER

    Its none of her goddamned business. She should not be allowed around school kids and should be fired immediately. What in the fuck is the matter with people? I just found my beautiful cat IZZY dead with a pellet shot in her gut. What the fuck? She never hurt a flea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:17am

      Re: FUCK THAT TEACHER

      Also, (I'mnot done yet) If I were that girl's parent, I would sue that teacher for everything she has and everything she will ever have and sue the school without hesitation because that teacher was stalking her on tyhe internet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:29am

        Re: Re: FUCK THAT TEACHER

        Also (I'm Not Done Yet) That girl should come to school dressed in the very bikini that teacher tried to shame her of and walk into the school with her lawyers.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    LduN (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:15am

    So in other words, with some simple logical extraction, cops in the US are educating the public about how dangerous criminals can be... be being criminal themselves? Genius!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Cressman, 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:32am

    Hmm...

    So... let me get this straight... in copyright maximalist terms ... the school took a private pictures - to which the student or parents most likely had copyright assuming the laws are similar in the UK to the US - and used it WITHOUT permission in a public presentation.

    What do we do? SUE! SUE! SUE!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AJ, 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:34am

    FIRE THEM ALL

    My moral compass just exploded. Not only does this teacher need to be fired, everyone involved that didn't speak out should be fires as well. Teachers are in a position of power. They are partially responsible, along with parents, for the education and emotional development of these children. Public shaming of a child (not that being in a bathing suit is shameful) under ANY circumstance should never be allowed, much less condoned. WTF were they thinking??!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    None Of Your Business, 10 Oct 2014 @ 6:43am

    UK Swimsuit Kerfuffle

    It's not "child pornography!" This was at a junior college and the assumption can be made that the vast majority of students are of legal age.

    Also, if you have a problem posting a comment without using profanities, you have more serious issues!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:48am

      Re: UK Swimsuit Kerfuffle

      Read the article, the girl is 15, that is under the legal age of consent.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re: UK Swimsuit Kerfuffle

        Read the article, the girl is 15, that is under the legal age of consent.

        It doesn't matter how old she was, the photo is not pornographic. Without sexual content or at the very least nudity*, it's not child porn.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 11:52am

          Re: Re: Re: UK Swimsuit Kerfuffle

          That very much depends on who is defining what is child porn. Some of those people driving the law making seem to think that any photograph of a child, and especially any of 'partly clothed' children, is of interest to a pedophile, and therefore pornographic.
          The UK nanny state has become somewhat extreme on child protection, to the extent that making any physical contact with a child for whom you do not have responsibility, or photographing kids in public, puts people in danger of the police taking action against them.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 12:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: UK Swimsuit Kerfuffle

          "Without sexual content or at the very least nudity*, it's not child porn."

          I don't know about the UK law on this, but in the US, this is not true. What makes something "child porn" has a large subjective component -- if the intention is to cause sexual arousal, it's child porn. Whether the actual content is overtly sexual or involves nudity is not necessarily important.

          Even so, the intention in using the particular picture involved in this story is clear, and it's clearly not child porn.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 12:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: UK Swimsuit Kerfuffle

            Even so, the intention in using the particular picture involved in this story is clear, and it's clearly not child porn.

            The nature of the picture, and not its use, is what determines whether it is porn. Further its use in this case can be considered as using it as an example of a pornographic picture, i.e. do not post picture like this because ...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 4:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: UK Swimsuit Kerfuffle

            What makes something "child porn" has a large subjective component -- if the intention is to cause sexual arousal, it's child porn. Whether the actual content is overtly sexual or involves nudity is not necessarily important.

            "Section 2256 of Title 18, United States Code, defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age)."

            http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/citizensguide/citizensguide_porn.html

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 2:49pm

      Re: UK Swimsuit Kerfuffle

      The school is the sorta equivalent of a US middle/high school - the OLDEST students in there are 18, the youngest 12. The picture was of a 15 year old. And BTW, it wasn't a bikini- it was cutoffs and a bikini top.

      This is also a coed school.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Marak, 10 Oct 2014 @ 6:46am

    I dobt really underatand this one. Publicly available image, nob pornographic. Umm. What?

    Its available publicly online without circumventing anything and were telling them off for it.

    I cant see the problem here. Unless the image is restricted for some reason, in which case perhaps we should attack the uploader photographer too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 6:54am

    An Object Lesson.

    "So class, we should all be very careful of what we put online, as it may be taken advantage of in a way what violates our feelings and rights. Like I've just done with Samantha. ...Right, Samantha?"
    [child sobbing on corner]
    "Next on the list is bullying. Timmy, you look like a dweeb. Go put your head in the toilet and flush it twice. Micheal, give me your lunch money and stand right here so I can punch you in the stomach."
    [whimpering, a punch, and a child falling to the floor]
    "Very good. So what have we learned today class?"
    [Unison:] "Don't mess with Miss Wormwood or she'll mess with you."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:03am

    There's no lawsuit here

    While the teacher's actions were stupid and arrogant, they were not:
    (a) child pornography - there is clearly no sexual intent involved. Screaming "child porn" at every photo of a kid under 16 is not a healthy reaction.
    (b) copyright infringement - copying an image for educational purposes is permitted and dumb though the instruction was, the exception applies to bad educational instruction as well as to good.
    (c) otherwise actionable - this kid isn't going to sue anyone over this. Even if she had a cause of action, her damages would be trivial and pursuing the claim would cost more than its value.

    The only way this teacher is going to be punished for through the ridicule of the public and their colleagues. Which is rather ironic...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:10am

    given that facebook dosn't allow for minors pictures to be posted publically, unless she lied about her age on her accout, the picture wasnt actually "public" and one of her "friends" explicitly betrayed that trust. if anyone should be shamed it is the teacher, especially given that they weren't even entierly correct.

    Learning that "friends" can betray your trust is an especially important lesson to learn. Some of those "friends" may have power over you in a "real life" setting. Say, your boss. Or your government.

    Or if you must insist on a villain in this piece, a teacher. "Slut shaming"? Hyperbole. Will the 15 year old forget this incident? No. Will it "scar her for life"? Unless she's a particularly sensitive snowflake, no. ... unless your definition of "scarring" includes "reacting to future situations with a memory of past trauma".

    I don't particularly approve of the event, but not because of the trauma to the one girl. I'm not approving of it because it singles out the one (or the several). It could be watered down to show "generic dumpy girl in swimsuit", or made better "we've pixelated this sexting picture we 'fond on facebook' because otherwise it would be pornography". You bet they'd pay attention to the picture. And then you say "we forwarded the original of this picture to the parents of the poster. Was this picture yours?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 12:09pm

      Re:

      "given that facebook dosn't allow for minors pictures to be posted publically"

      They don't? Then literally every single parent I know who is on Facebook is in violation. This must be the least-enforced rule that Facebook has.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:30am

    One is in no position to teach morals, when not exorcizing those same morals themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:32am

    Image is probably copyrighted. And the UK copyright laws seem pretty draconian. Seems an intentional infringement claim would be an option.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tqk (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 7:46am

    Brits.

    I think all this says to me is (many?) Brits are continuing their penchant for being insufferable prudes, in public.

    There must be more to this story than I'm seeing. I suppose it has something with being "singled out" for whatever reason, but I can't see any reason why the kid should feel ashamed for posting a swimsuit photo. I wish the kid had just stood up and demanded of the teacher what exactly was so bad about what she'd done. What was it that the teacher was saying was so worth calling the kid out on?

    This reminds me of that multi-year fiasco the US had over Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction." The complainers are saying a lot more about their prudishness than the target of their disdain should take away from it all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 8:12am

      Re: Brits.

      I suppose it has something with being "singled out" for whatever reason, but I can't see any reason why the kid should feel ashamed for posting a swimsuit photo.

      She was embarrassed because the teacher showed a photo of her as an example of something that the students shouldn't do.

      I wish the kid had just stood up and demanded of the teacher what exactly was so bad about what she'd done.

      That's easy to say from the perspective of an adult, but it's not so easy for most kids to publicly challenge authority figures like that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 9:36am

        Re: Re: Brits.

        "That's easy to say from the perspective of an adult"

        And even for adults, it's not so easy. The vast majority of adults would never have the balls to do that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 8:10am

    If a student had done that the school would have suspended them called the police on them for harassment and the poor kid would have been charged with probably a few things.

    Nice way to send the message "once your in power you can do whatever you want, laws are for the little people"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re:

    The lesson is important but they shouldn't bully/shame a student to get their point across. Kids are cruel enough at that age. I can only image what happened in the halls after that assembly.

    School slut-shames teen, teen commits suicide.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 11:45am

    Hey now guys, are we sure that this isn't some poor girl's nightmare that somehow transposed itself onto the mortal plane? Did anyone's teeth fall out? Did she get a test that she didn't study for? Because that would more fucking since than a teacher in this day and age bullying a student over a picture.

    I have a beautiful 14 year old daughter with self-image issues, and can't imagine anything like this happening to her.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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