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August  24

The Glen Ridge Diaries

The not-so-secret lives of Glen Ridge students detailed in online journals makes news again in the Star Ledger.

"Students are posting personal information and pictures which clearly show these students involved in various inappropriate and occasionally illegal activities," the letter signed by the Glen Ridge schools' administrative team said. "There are many references to alcohol and drug use, as well as strong sexual content."

Daniel Fishbein, who as school superintendent signed off on a letter to parents on the dangers of online journals, or blogs, has reaffirmed the need for the mailing.

"Hopefully, other districts will do the same," Fishbein said at Monday night's school-board meeting.

The letter also said the detailed web journals open the children to unwanted contacts from internet predators.

Remember being a kid and being afraid to keep a journal for fear your parents would read it and discover what you were actually doing? Maybe that was just me. Meanwhile, the letter recommends more parental oversight. From anonymous e-mails directing us to some of the more picture-heavy journals, we're guessing that train left the station already.

August 24, 2005 in Those Crazy Kids | Permalink


BLOGs have become a way of life in our high-tech cyberspace society.

Yes we've come a long way from keeping personal diaries.

While parents should be aware of this new form of personal communications it is a reality.

Perhaps - besides notifying parents - school systems should inform students of the positive and negative aspects of blogging.

It's a new form of self-expression.

In the meantime BARISTA readers might want to start their own blogs - it can be educuational, informative and therapuetic.

To get started check out:


Blog on!

Posted by: Franklin | Aug 24, 2005 11:24:21 AM

Any references to 'rainbow bracelet' parties? My sister has a daughter in 7th grade and the sexual stories are a bit much even for this 'ex child of the 60s'

Posted by: Frosty | Aug 24, 2005 11:25:04 AM

Calling all sneaky parents!!

Myspace.com is the latest on-line rage. My son accidentially ran across his sister's page and I asked for the link. Since, I've periodically monitored her internet goings on and even registered a simple account so I could dig deeper if/when necessary. At an 8th grade grad lunch with her friends and their moms...the subject came up and the moms were oblivious. Not me. I'm internet savvy. :)

She knows I'm reading and considers me "a loser" but, hey ~ a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. I don't believe in 'turning a blind eye'. After I became an adult, MY mother admitted to watching me from the attic window with binoculars...LOL! At least I'm not that bad!

Posted by: Surrounded | Aug 24, 2005 11:45:53 AM

Cyber-stalking your kids is pathetic.

Maybe you should try talking to them.

Posted by: Joe | Aug 24, 2005 12:51:37 PM

Got any kids, Joe?

I'd call it cyber-supervising, a necessary 'parental evil' nowadays. Other parents prefer watching over their child's shoulder. And it's not so much about what my kid says necessarily. Via this vehicle, I can get a feel for her friends/acquaintances as well in a voyeuristic sort of way, I suppose you could say.

Some parents feel the need to listen in on phone calls or go through dresser drawers. I have done neither because she and I do, in fact, talk. And, so far, she hasn't led me to believe that she's doing (or even thinking) anything that my husband, nor I, would disapprove of. So he and I must be doing something right. Parents need to KNOW that.

Posted by: Surrounded | Aug 24, 2005 1:14:03 PM

Its a supreme form of naiveness for teenagers to write their innermost thoughts on a blog. Everyone knows that internet sites are a form of publishing, and thanks to search engine sites everything is cataloged and available to anyone in the world. And yet they feel this "diary" is only being shared with their small circle of friends (buddy list?!).

Don't even think what they are doing with camera phones ...

Posted by: Jim | Aug 24, 2005 2:22:38 PM

my kids are 4 and 19 months, so it's been interesting reading this thread. i do think it's funny how clueless adolescents are (i was one; i remember)re: blogs being so readily available to any- and everyone. it just illustrates the point that, no matter how intelligent they think they are, they just don't have it all upstairs yet. i absolutely think parents have the right and the responsibility to not only TALK to their kids, but also to find out what's really going on. i plan to snoop to some extent with my kids, though i also very much believe in every family members' right to personal space and privacy...i adhere to that even now with both my "babies". (for instance, we allow our son to close the door to his room and sulk or do whatever he wants when he feels like, as long as we are nearby.) but they need to be helped and watched, too. and still will ten years from now.

Posted by: my sweet peas | Aug 24, 2005 3:02:26 PM

listen, i'm sorry, but this is soo stupid. Glen Ridge is just looking for another thing to do, becuase the board of ed is bored. Yes they may be looking out, but don't snoop around they're own things. Any smart person wouldn't give away their information or meet up with anyone from myspace! I had a myspace and it got deleted and i am upset b/c myspace was MY LIFE! but i am to lazy to make another one, it doesn't mean that i am going to forget about internet blogs though, i am going to make another myspace soon.

Posted by: dazed and confused | Aug 24, 2005 6:10:35 PM

its is not journeling-journeling is a private practice-for private self exploration and revelation-

this is fishing-fishing for friends

-dazed and confused intresting name-"i am upset b/c myspace was MY LIFE"-frightening-

also numerous pedophiles lives as well-

if myspace is your life-you need to find more face to face social interaction--balance is everything in life-- maybe then you'll be clearandaware...

the dangers of drugs are taught thru "dare programs" and as well as numerous others from k-to senior high in some schools-yet herion usage is at a high-

-how many times do you have to tell kids don't run with scissors-

cyberspace is not life but just another vehicle to assist ones life--not a void in which to reside.

Posted by: cstarling | Aug 24, 2005 7:58:27 PM

The blogs are the internet's evolution of usual teenage things like slam books, and phone party lines (remember those!).

Posted by: hrhppg | Aug 25, 2005 8:57:35 AM

um no

Posted by: cstarling | Aug 25, 2005 9:27:02 AM

Oh man HRHPPG, are you showing your age! We didn't have a "party line" but my Grandma did. However, "slam books" were very popular in my neighborhood!

Posted by: Surrounded | Aug 25, 2005 10:51:01 AM

lol, my age? I'm in my early 30's.

Party lines were a phone in version of a chat room. At every sleepover you and your friends would call into the room, hoping to flirt with cute boys.

Usually the cute boys were perverted old men - like chat rooms of today. Unlike today we gave out phoney names, and had phoney personalities to go with them. We weren't about to give out our real information or where to find us.

I remeber doing it at my friend Joanna's house a lot because her mom never complained to us about the phone bills.

Posted by: hrhppg | Aug 25, 2005 11:15:59 AM

oh well then...LOL...I guess **I'm** showing MY age because that ain't the kinda party line that Grandma had!! :)

Posted by: Surrounded | Aug 25, 2005 11:25:47 AM

glen ridge is just a fancy town where the kids have way to much time on there hands. They should come up to montclair if they really want a taste of the hood life.

Posted by: jose | Oct 26, 2005 9:35:25 PM

Folks like Joe who want to be "cool" and "in" with kids rather than watch them closely are weenies. Parents don't need to be friends with their kids. They need to be parents.

Stalk your kid if that's what it takes to help keep them out of trouble.

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