It was reported this week that Harvard rescinded 10 college acceptances in its new freshman class due to offensive memes in a private group chat. You can read more about it in this article by Samantha Schmidt of the Washington Post.
As a mom of two teens who are getting ever-so-close to college application days, I can only see this news as a warning to my own boys and all of our children (and ourselves).
Sure, I could address the offensive views and jokes which were claimed to be posted and talk about kindness and being respectful of others, or assert my opinion on what was posted and all that. Or I could talk about how offensive jokes are really hate speech.
Instead, I’ve got another message:
Please think things through before posting anything.
What will it do for those who read it?
What will it do for you?
What else might happen?
You never know who might see anything you post.
I remember a friend telling me her mom once told her not to write anything down she didn’t want her grandmother to see. I think it might be wise to apply that to social media, and then include prospective employers, schools and potential mother and fathers in law, too.
Those kids just lost a great opportunity. Their mistakes could teach the rest of our kids, and us, a lesson.