Teenagers do dumb things. Just look at what happened to a girls basketball team in Maine whose members decided to pose on Facebook while giving a Nazi salute.
We've all joked about things that are not politically correct. However, the difference with teens today are that they have ways to memorialize their dumb acts forever, and for everyone to see.
When word of the photo got back to the high school principal, he took immediate disciplinary action against the students, reports The Bangor Daily News. The discipline may have come down especially swift, given that this is the second time this school year that the Cumberland-North Yarmouth school district has dealt with anti-Semitic actions.
The photo that caused this controversy is actually not that controversial. Two members of the Greely High School girls basketball are facing a third member while giving a Nazi salute. The third team member in the middle is flashing the peace sign, writes the Daily News. All of them are wearing their basketball uniforms.
It's reported that one of the team members is nicknamed "Hitler" by the team. It's not clear if that team member is any of the three team members in the photo or if the nickname is meant as an insult.
Nevertheless, the high school and school district may want to consider adopting some social media rules that many universities and colleges have adopted to protect student-athletes from themselves.
Like it or not, athletes attract undue attention to their own actions. So the things they tweet and post on Facebook may be scrutinized more than others.
Some universities' social media policies simply provide guidance for students to not post offensive pictures or comments and to never post emotionally.
But other social media policies take a harder line, such as requiring student-athletes to turn over their passwords to university administrators and prohibiting the use of social media platforms like Twitter. After the Nazi salute photo incident on Facebook, grade schools may want to consider doing the same.
- 'Heil Hitler' photo lands Greely girls in hot water (Portland Press Herald)
- Olympic Athletes Free to Tweet, Facebook Away (Sort of) (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Twitter Rant Costs Man Job, Unemployment Benefits (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)