Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The Cafe The Cafe

What conversations have you had with your teen about what they post online?

Posted by on Jul. 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM
  • 4 Replies

Prep School Student 'Mocks' White Kids in 'Racist' Instagram Photos

by Maressa Brown

social media apps on a smartphoneA teen who became the first black female student president at a Lawrenceville, New Jersey prep school had to resign after administrators discovered she had mocked "typical white classmates" in photos posted online. In the images posted to Instagram back in March, Maya Peterson posed with a hockey stick, wearing L.L.Bean duck boots and a Yale sweatshirt. The accompanying hashtags read: "#romney2016," "#confederate," and "#peakedinhighschool," and she also joked that she was representative of a typical "Lawrenceville boi."

Here's one of the pics:

Maya Peterson

Peterson, who was told that the photos were "offensive," had no choice but to step down from her post as president or else face serious disciplinary action. Still, she says she's not exactly repentant, explaining to BuzzFeed, "I’m not saying what I did was right. But it wasn’t racist. I was just calling those guys exactly what they are. And Lawrenceville is the type of place where those kids are idolized.”

While Peterson may stand by her actions, there are surely plenty of kids who would be upset to have to give up their student presidency -- or any other honor like it -- as a result of pics posted online.

This case only serves to underline how imperative it is for parents to stress to their kids that what they share online can have serious consequences -- in the near and distant future. Perhaps Peterson doesn't have any regrets about it right now, but what about when she's out in the world, looking for a job, a date, entrée to college or grad school?

Given that everything we post online could be subject to intense scrutiny at any time, it seems as though we can't drill it into our teens' heads enough that they need to think before they post anything! Even if they think it is perfectly innocent, satirical, or justified, if it could be misconstrued or used against them at some point, they might want to think twice about hitting "share."

Since the controversy, Peterson has graduated from Lawrenceville School. No matter how strong her convictions now, should be interesting to see how she feels about it all in a few months or years ... After all, what she and other teens post online isn't something they'll ever be able to wish away easily.

What conversations have you had with your teen about what they post online?

 

Image via Jason Howie/Flickr & Instagram

by on Jul. 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-4):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Jul. 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM

What an idiot and I am sure she is pretty smart as study body presidents usually are.  Sounds like she was jealous to post stupid pics like that. 

What you share on line is there FOREVER.  It can impact you getting jobs and getting into colleges etc. 

NDADanceMom
by on Jul. 3, 2014 at 11:47 AM
I caught my teen catfishing yesterday. I first off told every person she was talking to that she is in middle school and the hot blonde in a bikini is not her. I then smashed her iPod with a hammer (her only source to do social media on). She can not babysit in homes with computers and I will ask the parents.
She has a 1 year break from all social media but may use my phone for calling and texting. My texts are automatically saved in the cloud and she knows it.
She was rather dumb about thinking she would get away with it. My husband and I are helicopter parents when it comes to the internet. She was catfishing less than 24 hours and sent 6 messages total. Sucks to be her. A year of no social media over 6 messages.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Jul. 6, 2014 at 5:09 AM

If someone had posted pictures of Black students dipicted as gangsta thugs everyone would be crying racist. How is dipicting the white student body as preppy any different. When you play into sterotypes, you are being prejudiced.

The hashtags say it all.  Without them it might be an amusing parody. WITH them it sinks to prejudice..

christi34
by Christi on Jul. 6, 2014 at 7:51 AM

I guess I really don't get what the problem is. I don't see what she did wrong. All I see is she was representing he class as of she was part of the "white" class. What makes them any better?

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)