A Tale of Tweets and Twerps

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Gail Goodwin famously said, “Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.” I can’t help but wonder how Goodwin would describe the antics of the recent mob infiltrating the BOE.

For those of us not in the know, something “naughty” was liked by the superintendent’s Twitter account. How shocking. But wait! The alleged incident happened in 2015, which makes it all the more interesting. I wasn’t aware of it until the BOE meeting and many of the details haven’t been disclosed, but I’ll base my post on what I’ve been told and my own observations and opinions.

When you visit a Twitter user’s profile, the tweets and retweets are the first thing you see. Likes are something you have to go searching for, especially something that happened years ago. In MP’s defense, he claims his Twitter account was hacked. That explanation wasn’t enough for some brilliant minds, though.

Who would want to hack MP?

According to TechCrunch, 32 million Twitter login credentials were sold in 2016 on the dark web. Hacked and stolen Twitter accounts serve two purposes. First, the hackers can blast the followers with links to suspect websites. The users who clicked on MP’s link fell for it. The Internet porn industry generates $3 billion annually in the US; thanks for contributing. Second, users often recycle the same login information across multiple platforms. If you are able to hack a person’s Twitter account, you can probably hack their other accounts, such as online banking.

But porn is so awful! It’s “very disturbing and illegal”- (angry parent)

Whether you’re into granny porn or big booty hoes, I don’t care as long as it doesn’t cross the kiddie line. I’ve been repairing computers in Calhoun County for 17 years. Saying I’ve seen a crap ton of porn is an understatement. I do my job and don’t judge… because if I had to start detailing the types and the users, the community wouldn’t be too happy to have their spank bank secrets revealed.

It’s incredibly naïve to think that a random Twitter like would corrupt the youth. Porn is out there and it’s not going away any time soon. According to Covenant Eyes:

  • 9 out of 10 boys are exposed to porn before the age of 18
  • 71% of teens hide their online behavior from their parents
  • 24% of smart phone owners admit to having porn on their devices

As a mother and a retired IT professional, I have no problems restricting what my children see. There are numerous web filtering products like K9, Covenant Eyes, and Net Nanny available. If you believe your child is too immature to look away or close the browser window, I recommend a filtering product. Our schools use one, so it’s easy to assume that any viewing of the link would’ve happened on personal devices using cell phone data or home Internet.

Enter the Lynch Mob

What happened at the board meeting wasn’t approached with discretion and resembled a public lynching more than concerned citizens with three minutes. It was torches and pitch forks from the get go. I’ve witnessed a group of parents and educators in our community openly discuss their desire for specific members of the administration to be terminated. This meeting played much the same.

The tweet was reported to the teachers and supposedly the teachers feared retaliation from the superintendent through the investigation. From my interpretation of the meeting, the teachers were presented as thinking only of themselves and how it “affected their good name and character.” Nonetheless, it was acceptable to try and slander MP’s good name and character.

Following the meeting, concerned citizens took to social media—between their incessant self-promotion that reads like a cheesy cover letter—claiming to support our educators. However, I must question if these toxic concerned citizens are intentionally fostering an environment that encourages our educators to fear retaliation and demand attorneys and executive sessions. Rather than working out issues or filing grievances, they jump to demanding heads and wanting lawsuits as acceptable solutions.

I don’t blame the kids who reported it to the teachers. I blame the parents and “concerned citizens” that allowed a simple mistake to snowball out of control. Instead of approaching it professionally and with discretion, they took to a public forum to insult the good name and character of a school administrator.

We Support the BOE

I feel the lynching backfired this time. While these individuals have now publicly attacked me because I question their method and motives, the BOE is garnering more support than ever and that’s terrific.

We love our children. Ensuring they receive the best education possible is my concern. Not politics. Not who works at JSU or what church they attend. The sooner the lynch mob’s true motives are revealed, the better. In the meantime, I continue to stand by our administration and I wish them the best.

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Emily is the person to blame behind Surviving Alabama. She is a nerd, a mother, and sometimes pretends to be a writer (although there was that one legit writing job for a few years...). When she isn't writing, repairing computers, or designing websites, Emily is happily raising three children with her very understanding husband.