Donnerstag, September 29, 2005

Go Back to School, Xiaxue!

('cos it looks like your education has taught you nothing)

"Childish. I look down on you, you fucking loser school. Get a freaking life, wimp. Wooo you cannot insult me! You say I fat! I cry! I commit suicide! Abusing your fucking power, isn't it? Oh, I speak some opinion about you, you go suspend me. Just because you have the fucking power to. What kind of reasoning is that?"

Great way to get your point across, girl. Now that our readers have an idea how this enfant terrible writes, I'll move on.

For those who aren't sure what the fuss is about, it involves a recent incident whereby five junior college students got suspended for posting derogatory remarks about their teachers and vice-principal on their blogs.

Empowered by new technologies--and the false sense of invulnerability the Internet offers--young bloggers are posting just about anything and everything, including the said remarks about their educators (one teacher was labelled a "frustrated old spinster").

Call it the exuberance of youth, but these young people could very well be blogging their way into a libel suit--even if the teachers aren't named.

"As long as someone is able to identify the teacher, and it is an untrue statement that affects his reputation or livelihood, then the student is liable," lawyer Doris Chia of Harry Elias and Partners said in The Straits Times.

So, where does Wendy come in?

Well, rather than using her influence to talk some sense into these youngsters--or at least, try not to throw more sh*t at the fan--Wendy took it upon herself to speak on behalf of our aggrieved young, and in an expletive-laden diatribe that sounded every bit like an angsty and "frustrated old teenager", she launched a verbal assault on Singapore's oppressive school system.

She even invited students to blog/flog freely on HER site:

"What have your school done to students who blogged bad stuff about them? Say it loudly here, because we all want to know. Though, please do not mention school names - I also don't wanna get sued, for something I cannot even verify."

Nice disclaimer there, Wendy, but please refer to Ms Doris Chia's comment above.

Not that Wendy herself bother to leave names out of her own nasty experience back in school:

"Get this: Back in RV, Mrs Look even warned my classmates not to get close to me, because she told them I was a bad influence. Wow, targetting my friends and my social circle in school? Under the fucking white RV school belt, that is. If you want to get me to change, you don't threaten me with my friends, ok? (In case you are interested my friends hack-cared her)"

I've no idea who Mrs Look from RV is (but I sure know what RV is, with that "fucking white RV school belt"). However, someone who left a comment on her blog certainly did, so there you have it. And as if that wasn't enough, Wendy has to throw in a snapshot of her "diary" from her school days--and hence dragging innocent third-parties into the picture (including an "ex-boyfriend" who must already rue the day he met her).

Wendy then offers her two-cents on what teachers should do instead:

"Wanna fight back? You fucking fight like a man, and go set up your own blog and defend yourself."

In a language you, Wendy, will understand: "si beh bo liao".

Teachers are up to their neck with work; they don't need to degrade themselves and resort to such childish behaviour to get their views across. It's students themselves who should know that life doesn't revolve around a blog.

"What is with this "suspending" and commanding people to close down their blogs? What gives you the rights to threaten people like that? It is clearly an abuse of the power you have...
Don't you crazy-ass people know that the fucking studying environment is very stifling?
You close down this little outlet of venting for our teens, and may they, because they didn't siphon out their pains in the form of writing a harmless blog entry, burn your fucking school down in a fit of anger. Ha. How worth it."


And why can't schools punish THEIR students for breaking THEIR rules? What's next? Parents don't have the right to punish their kids for posting nasty stuff about their own family members? People are put in authority for a purpose, and while I don't condone anyone abusing their power, students too have to learn what respect and discipline mean, lest it's a "demobracy" not a democracy you want to live in.

Sure, our education system is stifling, school life sucks, and no one's going to stop them from writing about it if it's really that cathartic. So long as you don't make your thoughts public, like on an open blog.

"You are a principal. You are older, wiser, more mature, and more rational then your feather-brained students. Why abuse your power to attack these kids? Lowering yourself to their positions, isn't it? Aren't you supposed to be just a tad more magnanimous?
If you don't like what they wrote, you bloody go confront them, and clear things up - like what normal people do.


Don't fucking abuse your position and power.

Sure, students shouldn't write defamatory (by defamatory I mean untrue) things about schools. That surely is wrong. It is a civil case, so go sue the student! Why are you ruining his whole education by taking away his chance to study? He paid for your fucking teachers to fucking teach him, ok? If he fails his As because he missed that few weeks of lessons, who is going to compensate him, and his future? Who?"

By "lowering yourself to their positions", I take it as setting up their own blogs and defending themselves. Tit-for-tat. So, I don't think the principals have done anything that insults their profession. In any case, I'm sure they've already "confronted the students".

It's called "taking action". =)

Read. Defamatory -- doing harm by writing bad or false things about people. Anyway, if someone calls you a " flabby, cross-eyed midget", how would you feel? Based on how you appear to him or her, that may not be entirely baseless, even if it's spiteful and uncalled for. And why get so worked up about the school taking away the students' "chance to study", about them failing their 'A's when they're suspended for, what? Three days??

Yes, teachers are paid to "fucking" teach students, and that doesn't mean just providing them with knowledge, but also instilling in them the right attitudes in life. If an education system has no right to do that, then who does? Parents? Heck, didn't they pay the school (and the government) to do that?

"(Just a tip to students. When your school ask you to close your blog, you set up another blog account [with a new, anonymous email of course], and you copy the entire contents inside. Email the blog link to the school's biggest gossiper. When the school asks you why your blog is still around, you say bua bodoh and say, I dunno leh, I delete already, someone copied the contents and put it in that website, and I cannot remove it coz I am not the author mah!)"

Bravo! All the Xiaxue fans out there flaming us for slagging her behind a cloak of anonymity, and lo and behold, their goddess tries to encourage students to fight back under *gasp* a cloak of anonymity....not to mention throwing accountability out of the window....

"I don't wonder why our kids are all aiming for an overseas education. Can you imagine Harvard threatening to sue a student because he said "Frustrated old spinster. Can't stand to see attractive girls"?"

No, because most Harvard undergrads are matured enough not to make these sort of remarks. But it does make me wonder what's wrong with our education system here, when our JC students still don't know better.

"About this blog entry, it is not about whether students should, or should not blog about their schools. That's their freedom of choice, and it has also been discussed to DEATH. My point is simply that schools should not ABUSE their position of authority to punish students for something personal. ABUSE OF POWER. THAT IS NOT FAIR PLAY. Geddit?"

For the last time, how "personal" is a blog that can be read by just about anyone on Earth with Internet connection? If you want personal, stick to your good old diary, or password protect your blog. It's ridiculous to expect others to come in and read your web log and still claim that it's "personal".


The way I see it, why stir up a storm in a little teacup? If you want examples of teachers really abusing their positions, go read up on what goes on in some rural schools in China. And if you--or anyone--still think that we are being too hard on our kids, here's some food for thought, from another Asian country:

In Japan, teachers have noted that they'd get in trouble with the administration if they send too many students out of the classroom for disciplinary reasons; suspension and expulsions are also "taboo" which makes things worse when there are students with serious behaviourial problems in class. Corporal punishment, however mild, is frowned upon, and kids grow up not fearing authority. So what do we get? Headlines like these:

"GRADE-SCHOOL VIOLENCE UP IN 2004 - Educators are alarmed at a surge in violence toward teachers by children as young as 6 and no older than 12. Violence against teachers in publicly run elementary schools has become endemic, according to a government survey that shows a 33 percent increase in such behavior in the 2004 academic year over the year before. " -- Asahi Shimbun

Mind you, the things I hear from Japanese teachers I know or have spoken to don't paint a rosier picture either.

"It annoys me that people don't get my point all of the freaking time! "

Wendy, try to open your eyes before you open your mouth, and maybe, just maybe, people will start to take you more seriously. =)

25 Comments:

  • At Freitag, September 30, 2005 12:17:00 vorm., Blogger The NS Man said…

    Woohoo! Sock it to her. She's getting a bit too uptight and sounds like a really spoilt record.

    But then I guess some people will do anything for exposure.

    Or maybe its that time of the month for her?

    BTW, nice pic on Maxim. Woohoo!

     
  • At Freitag, September 30, 2005 1:13:00 nachm., Anonymous insens said…

    good post.

     
  • At Freitag, September 30, 2005 2:48:00 nachm., Anonymous alicia said…

    hey i agree. im fourteen and EVEN I think shes really irresponsible to encourage such wayward behavoir.

     
  • At Freitag, September 30, 2005 6:40:00 nachm., Blogger A.Ball.of.Yarn said…

    site design looks oh-so-familiar, but the voice is totally different. great to see a different view from here.

     
  • At Samstag, Oktober 01, 2005 6:33:00 vorm., Anonymous gesundheit said…

    Superb! Damn good dissection (and putting down) of the most recent example of XX's sheer stupidity. Honestly, when will she EVER learn to grow up and filter words through her minuscule brain before committing them to her blog?

    Great job, SimpleSandra. :)

     
  • At Samstag, Oktober 01, 2005 4:27:00 nachm., Blogger Robin said…

    xx? who she?

     
  • At Samstag, Oktober 01, 2005 7:11:00 nachm., Anonymous Anonym said…

    nice write-up!

     
  • At Samstag, Oktober 01, 2005 11:13:00 nachm., Anonymous Anonym said…

    Well said. You deserve a bigger blog audience though. :)

     
  • At Sonntag, Oktober 02, 2005 2:10:00 vorm., Blogger Emilie said…

    after reading your post, i would say that there are some things that i agree with you and there are some things that i agree with her.

    i certainly don't agree that teachers should stoop down to such a level of immaturity and i don't agree that students should go on insulting their teachers because they were told not to do so

    but it is in my own opinion that punishing someone for publishing their opinion is not the way out.

    take for example if a teacher really does play favourtism, then one student blogging about his/her bad attibutes won't be his/her only problem, if the said bad remarks were true then there will certainly be many more bad remarks to come, after all, singapore, i believe, practices democracy and freedom of speech. therefore the best way out for the said teacher is to change for the better, that would be the more mature thing to do. but if the remarks were not true then why even bother to entertain them?

    fighting back, throwing law suits and making it a very big deal with newspaper headlines and all is really just as immature as a student bad-mouting or defaming, if you prefer, the teacher.

    and btw, harvard encourages open disscusions of all forms, the good and the bad whereby they even opnely ask their students to state what they absolutely hate about the particular educational institution, the staff, the food, the lectures, the system, anything and everything, and from there they improve, wouldn't that be a much better way?

    rather than to sue a 15/16 year old and think that everything is settled for?

     
  • At Sonntag, Oktober 02, 2005 12:52:00 nachm., Blogger simplesandra said…

    Emily wrote: "fighting back, throwing law suits and making it a very big deal with newspaper headlines and all is really just as immature as a student bad-mouting or defaming, if you prefer, the teacher."

    Agree, which might explain why none of these defamation suits have so far materialised. To sue a student for something this trivial will only make the teacher look petty and vindictive.

    That's why it's more sensible for the school to mete out the appropriate punishment to get their message through and then move on. Contrary to what Xiaxue feels, a three-day suspension for the few JC students isn't going to ruin their future.

    Other parties may not be that forgiving, and students are better off knowing early in their lives that there are consequences to writing irresponsibly; better this than learning it the hard way later on.

    Whether teachers actually abuse their power is not the issue. Power is always there to be abused--it isn't fair, but that's part of life. If students think that sucks, then they're in for a surprise because it's even more rampant out there in the working environment.

    Knowing when to "turn the other cheek" is just as crucial as learning to fight for one's rights.

    "and btw, harvard encourages open disscusions of all forms..."

    Yes, but we're talking about constructive feedback here; there nothing "constructive" about what Xiaxue thinks students should do.

    In fact, she isn't promoting freedom of speech and expression, she's getting youngsters to abuse it.

     
  • At Montag, Oktober 03, 2005 6:30:00 nachm., Anonymous Jac said…

    Well said. A 3-day suspension is a tip of the iceberg compared to what working adults do. It's a JC punishment for a JC student. If an employee were to defame his supervisor, he would definitely get more than a 3-day suspension, more like a blak-list spot in his field. I really hope teen-influences, unfortunately, XX, dun encourage such unethical behaviour.

     
  • At Dienstag, Oktober 04, 2005 2:22:00 nachm., Anonymous Anonym said…

    sad man u..
    your life dedicated to following up XX's post and taking the time to write your detailed thoughts to every single word she says..
    you're just sad

     
  • At Freitag, Oktober 07, 2005 6:01:00 nachm., Blogger Singaportsguy said…

    i can't believe u try to disect what XX mumbles in her post...

    hope you don't get a headache..
    she doesn't write much and is full of vulgarities...

    she can say what she wants to say but i do agree with you that mos of the time she goes overboard...

    i sometimes visit her site but when i do..i go straight away to the comments section..

    thats where the fun things start...

    have nice day..

     
  • At Montag, Oktober 10, 2005 2:08:00 vorm., Anonymous Anonym said…

    you are damn boliao

     
  • At Sonntag, Oktober 16, 2005 4:49:00 vorm., Blogger -ben said…

    NOT taking Wendy's side (even for a moment--I'm no fan of hers) or to furnish her tribe with any more ammunition, but students do not need to create their own blogs if they desire to exercise judgement on their teachers. They can simply go to:

    http://www.ratemyteachers.com/

    and start an entry with the teacher's full name. Since the website is hosted out of Singapore, and protected under the First Amendment in USA, threats or coercion from some law firm in a tropical-island-city-state is extremely unlikely to have any effect.

    That said, I believe the contents posted by the 5 students will probably be deemed inappropriate for ratemyteachers.com and deleted. Check out their posted rules:


    Rating Rules

    By using this site you agree to rate and comment ONLY on teachers, administrators (principals, vice principals), counselors or other school professionals who affect a student's education. Do not include secretaries, lunch ladies, janitors or security people. They will not be accepted. You may rate each teacher (or other professional) only once.

    Keep your comments appropriate. Do not state something as a fact if it is your opinion. For example, stating "Mrs. Jones doesn't have a college degree" will be deleted. Please rate your teachers based on your opinion of their TEACHING ability. Please try to provide us with an insight into what is happening in the classroom.

    * contain vulgar or profane words

    * are sexual in nature - including 'Sexy' or 'Hot'

    * have to do with personal appearance (cute, short, fat, bad clothes, etc.)

    * have to do with physical disabilities (stutters, limps, wears a hearing aid, etc.)

    * are name-calling in nature (Jerk, Creep, etc.)

    * reference mental/alcohol/drug use

    * reference problems with the law

    * reference race, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, age

    * include names or initials of other students or the rater or any email addresses

    * reference the teacher's personal life including family members (Just got married, Don't like her son, Wife is pretty, How did he afford that car? etc.)

    * contain advertising (Buy your yearbooks today! Danny for Class President!)

    * are not in English. (Exceptions may be made if the screener is fluent in a specific language and it is the language of the area.)

    WILL BE DELETED.



    With regards to a certain pink blog (present blog excluded), I believe the following saying is most appropriate:

    Some people are like Slinkies: not really good for anything but to bring a smile to others when they tumble down the stairs.


    * Graduates and undergraduates have their own rating website:

    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/index.jsp


    In case anyone thinks I'm blowing smoke out of my posterior, read the following:

    From the FAQ (of the 2nd link):


    I'm a teacher. How do I get my name removed from your site?

    The short answer is, you don't. The longer answer is that this site is for students and they are rating you every day, whether or not you are listed on this site. Think of this site as an opportunity to hear what your students normally keep secret from you.

    How about I sue your website?

    Before you do, consider this information we received from the Electronic Frontier Foundation [ http://www.eff.org/ ]:
    It sounds as though you're familiar with 47 USC Section 230, the federal law that permits many entities to "host" other people's content without being liable for defamation/libel etc. "By its plain language, § 230 creates a federal immunity to any cause of action that would make service providers liable for information originating with a third-party user of the service." Zeran v. AOL, 129 F.3d 327, 330 (4th Cir. 1997) [ http://tinyurl.com/cjxp6 ].

    You ask -- does this change when we delete inappropriate comments?

    NO. You are still protected as long as you do so in good faith. Under 230(c)(2)(A) [http://tinyurl.com/ctvrr],
    ``(2) Civil liability.--No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of-- ``(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected;

    Further: The Supreme Court of the United States has held that anonymity of speech is protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution (see McIntyre v. Ohio, 514 U.S. at 337; Talley v. State of California, 362 U.S. 60) [ http://tinyurl.com/7txfb ]. United States courts also have consistently recognized that the right to speak anonymously extends to speech on the Internet.

    A few more links you should probably check out before trying to sue:

    Anti-SLAPP Law:
    http://tinyurl.com/4mldu

    Court punishes school for punishing student:
    http://tinyurl.com/cs4lt

    Profs get hit with anti-SLAPP payments for suing website:
    http://tinyurl.com/9waay

    Source of article:
    http://tinyurl.com/adtoz


    More than anyone would want to know about the issue, I guess. It is not irrelevant though. There is very little a Singapore court can do to coerce the release of records and IP addresses from a web host based in America.

     
  • At Sonntag, Oktober 16, 2005 3:58:00 nachm., Blogger simplesandra said…

    ben wrote: "There is very little a Singapore court can do to coerce the release of records and IP addresses from a web host based in America."

    True, very true. Even if it can, there's still the immense resources needed to go through the data. It's almost futile to try to regulate technology, which is why more attention should be paid to the people using it.

    The best solution here is to get students and educators to work out their problems in a level-headed manner, rather than worsen the situation by stoking the flames, so to speak. =)

     
  • At Sonntag, Oktober 16, 2005 5:18:00 nachm., Blogger AUDREY said…

    NICE. That was a nice post. =)

     
  • At Montag, Oktober 17, 2005 10:32:00 vorm., Blogger Nig said…

    Der Kommentar wurde von einem Blog-Administrator entfernt.

     
  • At Montag, Oktober 17, 2005 2:56:00 nachm., Anonymous Anonym said…

    You have good points of view but I think you're an idiot for arguing with XX because she's just 21, and she's at an age where she's hot headed, and she has views which will change as she matures. Haven't we all been rebellious before? Don't you think your thoughts will mature in the next 5 years?

    Let's celebrate diversity, i'm sure we don't want all students to be obedient and uniform. I mean, if XX were a policy maker and she has such opinions, I would worry, but otherwise, she's speaking in her capacity as a young adult, and I see no sense in setting up a site to attack her.

     
  • At Montag, Oktober 17, 2005 11:35:00 nachm., Anonymous Anonym said…

    You have good points of view but I think you're an idiot for arguing with XX because she's just 21, and she's at an age where she's hot headed, and she has views which will change as she matures. Haven't we all been rebellious before? Don't you think your thoughts will mature in the next 5 years?

    She hasn't change much in the past 3 years. I doubt she will change as there are many idiots who cheer her on and encouraged her to "stay as she are". Yeah, we all have been rebellious before but not at the age of 21. She rebels at a really late age.

     
  • At Montag, Oktober 17, 2005 11:37:00 nachm., Anonymous Anonym said…

    Hi there,
    I believe Xiaxue's latest entry might require some serious refutation.

    To anonymous: 21 should be the age of adulthood and maturity. That's why it's Singapore's voting age.

    Lis

     
  • At Montag, Oktober 17, 2005 11:37:00 nachm., Anonymous Anonym said…

    to add on..

    Many teenagers' blog I came acrossed have a more in-depth and mature views than your young hot-headed self-centered xiaxue.

     
  • At Montag, Oktober 17, 2005 11:40:00 nachm., Anonymous Anonym said…

    I believe Xiaxue's latest entry might require some serious refutation.

    Which of her entries that go beyond her own life don't? She will be wiser if she sticks to blogging about the events/parties she went and stops talking about issues that are too controversial for her to handle. She simple lack the depth and substance to tackle such issues.

     
  • At Dienstag, Oktober 18, 2005 12:40:00 vorm., Blogger -ben said…

    anonymous said...
    Let's celebrate diversity, i'm sure we don't want all students to be obedient and uniform.


    I strongly disagree. The banner of "diversity" should never be used as a defence for flawed or essentially dangerous points of view. With freedom of speech and expression comes responsibility. It is not a "Get out of jail. Free." card. I am not talking about OB markers here (Gawd, how I hate that term), but as long as an individual resides within society, he or she owes a responsibility to it--in the sense that he or she does not engage or encourage acts that threaten the stability of society, or encourage anarchy.

    Over here, the liberals employ the word, "diversity," as a blanket term to justify an entire slew of questionable behaviors and acts, however morally repusive, even criminally culpable. In San Francisco, gays routinely engage in public sex acts in a certain park. Anyone who complains against it or tries to bring the authorities' attention to it is heckled, picketed, and harassed as being "haters" and against "diversity."

    The ACLU ( http://aclu.org/ )sucessfully defended the existence and website of NAMBLA, or the North American / Man, Boy Love Association ( http://nambla.org ) on the basis of tolerating, if not encouraging, "diversity." What kind of diversity is that? To have an organization that exists for the sole purpose of teaching male pedophiles how to prey on young boys? But, oh, that's not important. Instead, we must look at the larger picture of allowing "diversity" to florish. What hogwash. That is not freedom; that is organized pedophilia.

    Moral relativism is dangerous. Not all cultures are created equal. Not all cultures have evolved at the same pace. Not all behaviors should be tolerated. To enable morally questionable (or, morally heinous) practices under the guise of cultivating "diversity" is an untenable proposition.

     
  • At Samstag, November 05, 2005 4:16:00 nachm., Anonymous Anonym said…

    online, free of charge! It doesn’t matter if your enterprise is a purely online or offline venture,

     

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