Sunday, April 10, 2011

An Unfortunate Digital Footprint

I've been following the unfortunate story of Alexandra Wallace.  If you haven't heard about it, here is a quick summary:

Miss Wallace, a student at UCLA, posted a video rant on the internet complaining about Asian students talking on their cell phones in the library.  In the video, Miss Wallace mocks the Asian students' speech and makes other racially insensitive remarks.  The video went viral - people were outraged - Miss Wallace received all sorts of scorn in various forms from parody videos (the one below with over 3 million views) to death threats.  She then apologized and withdrew from UCLA.

In her apology, Miss Wallace said,

"I could write apology letters all day and night, but I know they wouldn’t erase the video from your memory, nor would they act to reverse my inappropriate action."

She is correct, and that is precisely the lesson we should be reminding and reinforcing with our students - it is difficult, if not impossible , to take something back that you post on the internet.