The Washington Post featured a front page article about school email lists this morning. I thought I’d find it more interesting than it really was because of my long history with managing school email lists, first Bradleynet, then Pylenet; and because I now belong to a list that is mentioned in the article (and remember the discussion it describes very well as I am friends two of the debaters).
I’ve been a member of too many email lists to count, and they are pretty much all the same. You have people who think it should not be moderated. You have people who think it needs to be moderated more than it is. You have the entire spectrum of political correctness/incorrectness. You have people who threaten to unsubscribe if certain things are posted and those who get upset if certain things are not posted. At least the school lists don’t have the grammar police.
The article mentions a PTSA (past?) president who thinks the email list belongs to her and not the school. While I think she is very wrong, I know how protective I felt about Bradleynet. I had a hard time letting it go. So if that is the reason the woman in question thinks the list belongs to her, I’ll have to admit that I understand it, but somehow I don’t think that was the reason.
I don’t envy those names mentioned in this article. I think that this is one area that does not need news coverage. Email list managers have enough with which to deal without their schools and lists mentioned in the Washington Post.
The comments are almost more interesting than the article, and, in a way, mirror exactly what the article mentions. That with a few keystrokes a person can add to (or detract from) a discussion. It has nothing to do with elitism or unenlightened generations. It has to do with common sense and self-restraint.