A post with three observations.
Gloria Gadsden, a sociology professor at East Stroudsburg University decided to vent her frustrations with some students on her Facebook. At one point she asked: “Does anyone know where to find a very discreet hitman? Yes, it’s been that kind of day …” Another post: “had a good day today, DIDN’T want to kill even one student. Now Friday was a different story.” (Full article)
Most of us know there is no privacy on the Web. Whispers amplify into roars. Secrets evaporate upon “send” contact. A closed circle leaks like a broken dam.
Of course the statements got back to the kids targeted. ESU investigated and put Gadsden on paid administrative leave. The story made the rounds on the Web and wound up in the national media, including USA Today.
Observation one: No secrets on Web.
Observation two: Don’t believe everything you read, even in the respected traditional national media.
Because the Chronicle of Higher Education also ran a story on the incident, but it exposed a few more complications. First, the professor is black and had written a piece for the Chronicle last year that she said proved to be controversial. She felt this influenced the university’s action.
The USA Today piece didn’t include this information even though the Chronicle article came out before the USA Today story. Did they intentionally leave it out? Did they not do even the most cursory research?
Finally, I have a suggestion. Every post-graduate program should create a course that’s been needed in higher education for centuries. It must to be a requirement so that when people earn their PhD they’ve at least been exposed to three credits worth of Common Sense.
More thoughts later.