Greenbrier situation another lesson in fofeited privacy

March 27, 2013 

Which is the greater indiscretion? Disrespecting yourself and your team by consuming alcohol as a minor on a school-sponsored road trip? Or blabbing about it on social media?

For students at Greenbrier High School in Evans, the question is more than an exercise in responsibility and common sense.

According to the Augusta Chronicle, 18 members of the Greenbrier boys soccer team were suspended for drinking alcohol (and in at least two cases, smoking synthetic marijuana) during a tournament weekend on Jekyll Island March 14-16. School district administrators first learned of the incident after reading Twitter posts from some of the involved students.

So much for the Wolfpack’s legitimate shot at winning a state championship. More importantly, the violators stand to be kicked out of school. Seniors might be denied the opportunity to walk with their class at graduation.

Some of these children still don’t get it. The Augusta Chronicle published a tweet from one of the suspended players Friday.

“All these ‘anonymous’ parents need to get a ... life and stop commenting on the articles. Big deal we went to an island and had fun.”

Dude. Shut up.

This incident -- and a far more serious one involving rape in Steubenville, Ohio -- provides more evidence of a topic broached in this space last June. As a society, we’re giving privacy away. And our teenagers are leading the charge.

Don’t misunderstand. It’s good that these crimes came to light. It was no act of conscience that led to their discovery, however. It was braggadocio.

Used with a little discretion, social media is a great thing. At the disposal of teenagers desperate for attention, it is a loaded weapon with the safety feature off. Each otherwise innocent depression of a return key ruins reputations.

Kids, we don’t care how wasted you were. We don’t care that you’re having relationship problems. We don’t care that you think so-and-so is a such-and-such.

Well, actually we do care. But we want you to tell us -- not the world.

In the meantime, if it’s attention you wanted, you got it.

Contact Chris Deighan at cdeighan@cox.net

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