Wednesday, March 14, 2018

[Part One: Wednesday 04/16] The Illegal Instagram DM


A mysterious early morning knock on Roger's door activated his sympathetic nervous system. He was forced to choose between fighting or "flighting". He did not escape down the rear fire escape, but he followed the investigators to their car.

The investigator behind the steering wheel asked Roger for his DOE file number, if he played basketball, if he coached basketball, if he knew the star of the girls’ basketball team, and how he got into contact with the student-athlete.

Roger gave him his six-digit file number, he informed him that he graduated from a (minor) division 1 school, but that he had never played in a single game, because the menisci in his knees tore during the second practice of his first year. He shared that he co-coached the boys’ varsity basketball team. “I’m really the assistant coach, but the head coach is charming in that regard.” And he told the investigators that he had sent the coed the information about the landmark Nike girl's basketball camp via an Instagram direct message (DM).


The investigator behind the steering wheel miraculously showed Roger a printout of the DM. “How in the hell did he get that?” Roger thought. 

To Roger’s relief, he was assured that he would (probably) be exonerated. The investigator in the driver’s seat opined that “they”, meaning the Department of Education, wants teachers to be involved in their student’s lives, but that they, meaning the Department of Education, are fickle about what “involved” means.

The investigator behind the steering wheel said that another problem with student-teacher (platonic) relationships is that the rules about social media are very vague. He shared that the biggest culprits are new teachers who get too involved with their students and produce transcripts with over fifty, sent and received, text messages.

Roger wasn’t told what he had allegedly done to be sent to teacher jail. Ironically, the investigator shared that the star of the basketball team did not accuse Roger of any wrongdoing and that she had “no problems” with him; thus, Roger was forced to use his imagination.

Roger imagined that the star of the basketball team had enthusiastically shared with her teammates that he had sent her a DM, but failed to mention that the DM was about a basketball camp, which caused someone, a (jealous) student or (jealous) teacher, to report the DM to the principal, which caused the principal to call the student into her office and ask her about the DM call the DOE.

Roger was eager to share the good news. Instead of making a left to his cubicle, he made a right to the supervisor’s cubicle. He told her about the positive visit from the investigators. 

“They went to your house? I’ve never heard of that before.” She said. 
Roger shared, "Being a man of color in America awards one with special privileges. I've even had the privilege of being visited by two detectives over a simple summons."

Nevertheless, she was so happy that Roger had been somewhat vindicated that she shed fake tears.

Before Roger commenced copying and pasting, he had a quest to learn more about the DOE’s social media guidelines. The last time he attended a staff meeting on the topic, the principal advised the teachers to avoid befriending students on Facebook. 

“The DOE can’t tell me who I can be friends with!” a history teacher exclaimed. 

Thus, Roger was shocked to read in the updated guidelines that it was forbidden for teachers to contact students via social media. However, inexplicably, emails and text messages were permissible. 

“Gasp. If I would have sent her the information about the basketball camp via email I wouldn't be here!”

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