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View Full Version : OT: Question for the Mods **Answered**


OffJumpsJack
06-22-2009, 04:33 PM
Apropos of Nothing, I received the following note in my Ravelry message box. I was wondering about this KH as an alternative.

Positive Role Model
Sent at 6:32 AM Today

Hi, Jack. Just saw your profile. Hope you donít mind me adding you to my friends. I am a grade 3 teacher in Saudi Arabia, and I just taught my class to crochet. Three of my boys are here on Rav and I am always looking for GUYS that are crocheting to provide good role models for them! No prejudice on my part, but since these are YOUNG boys, I am looking, obviously, for STRAIGHT men who crochet! The main Raveler, is [student name or pseudonym]. [a Ravelry membername] If you can help him out with patterns or how toís or just encouragement, that would be great!
Thanks!


Random and unexpected. Would anyone here recommend Ravelry for grade 3 students? (I presume they are under age 10) I don't believe there are any 'parental' controls to Ravelry, are there? I was surprised by some Ravelry project pictures that I happened across, ones I would NOT want my own children to see. (Tag was "Naughty"; 'Nuf said?)

I considered a reply suggesting this KH forum because the mods here do such a good job addressing post that may cause issues with the sites stated "policy" (can't think of the exact wording used here).

Does KH have a questions for the Mods section/thread for post of this nature?

:shrug:

Jan in CA
06-22-2009, 04:39 PM
We have a private forum for discussions, but nothing public.

I'm not sure that kids that age should be in ANY forum or social networking site to be honest. IMO it's just not appropriate. We have a few young people in KH, but have had problems with them from time to time. If they are already on Ravelry there isn't much we can do and it's really up to the parents in these situations.

I also don't like the way she worded that message to you. I know what she means, but it comes across as somewhat intolerant..or something. Not sure how to say what I'm thinking..:??

OffJumpsJack
06-22-2009, 05:05 PM
Jan, To me it almost sounded leading.. almost like a reverse psychology ploy. The stereotype is that a male who knits or crochets is also, erm, of a marginalized sexual preference.

Although the emphasis could simply be a reflection of the cultural view in Saudi Arabia.

Thanks for you comment.

knitasha
06-22-2009, 09:00 PM
"The main Raveler, is [student name or pseudonym]. [a Ravelry membername] If you can help him out with patterns or how to’s or just encouragement, that would be great!"

Pardon my cynicism, but this smells as fishy as three-week-old bait. You say the message was random and unexpected. I wonder how many other men on Ravelry received it. I wonder if the "teacher" is really a teacher or someone looking for friendship (or something else) in a roundabout and rather creepy way. I wonder if the message-sender is male or female and really is in Saudi Arabia.

I agree with everybody who says that third graders should not be on social networking sites (assuming that third grade means about 8 years old, as it does in the US). But the bottom line is: are you interested in mentoring a kid you don't know and "helping out with patterns or how to's or just enouragement?" If not, just say so politely and leave it at that. You are also under no obligation ot respond to an unsolicited message; just ignore it and it will go away.

However, I think the responsible thing would be to forward the message to Casey at Ravelry. If young kids are participating in the groups and forums, he should be aware of it. By the way, have you checked the profile of the membername you were sent? Just click on "People" and type it in. The results might be interesting.

knitasha
06-22-2009, 10:30 PM
Okay -- I checked further. And I am relieved to say that this seems legit. I went to the "People" tab on Ravelry and clicked on "By Country." I then clicked "Saudi Arabia" and found all the groups there. Bingo! One is called "How Like to Krochet Group" and it was apparently founded in March, 2009, without the teacher's knowledge by an 8-year-old. His name and profile are on Ravelry. The teacher's name is Miss Hunter and she is encouraging more kids to join Rav. It is an international coed school, by the way, so it is probably more liberal than most Saudi schools.

Still, Ravelry was not designed for kids and has no parental controls. One of the children belongs to 289 Ravelry groups! To your concern, Jack, some of these groups may include adult content. (Groups that show naughty pictures or use bad language have warnings at top of the page, but that's not going to stop a curious child from checking them out.) Perhaps someone should mention this to Miss Hunter. And I still think it would be a good idea to contact Casey. It really is not a place for children.

ETA. How does Miss Hunter know whether the guys she is inviting to mentor her boys and girls are good souls like Jack?

auntcrafty
06-23-2009, 01:27 AM
Yikes!

I would never ever as someone who works with children approach a stranger to be a mentor with my children!

Also, I'm not comfortable with a lot of places on Rav and certainly wouldn't like my children to go on there without supervision.

Good advice to let Casey know!

AngieLanigan
06-23-2009, 10:55 AM
I would definately let Casey know. What a strange situation all around. I don't remember specifically from signing up at Ravelry, but I know that every vBulletin site I've ever signed up with, I've had to confirm that I was over 13 years of age. If Ravelry doesn't have the same legal agreement, they probably should. I agree that it's not really an appropriate place for a bunch of 3rd graders to be hanging out. And to be honest, I think it's really strange for a teacher to not only be encouraging it, but to be actively assisting them.

Jack, please don't take this the wrong way, but as an adult in today's society, I would never befriend an unknown child over the internet, especially if I were a man. It shouldn't be this way, but unfortunately there are so many ways it can be seen in the wrong light, I personally wouldn't put myself in that situation, regardless of how innocent my intentions were.

It just blows my mind how naive this teacher is, that she would encourage a minor under her care to develop any kind of relationship with an adult stranger over the internet. Does she have no idea how many perverted, twisted people there are out there? This whole thing is very disturbing to me :(

AngieLanigan
06-23-2009, 11:38 AM
I did check Ravelry's Terms of Use, and they include this:

You may not use the Services and may not accept the Terms if:

1. You are not of legal age to form a binding contract

I imagine that 8yrs old is not legal age.

knitgal
06-23-2009, 12:07 PM
Not that this has anything to do with the situation, but I don't like the way that the teacher worded the message either. Like Jan said, it sounds intolerant which puts me off the whole situation.

Why does someone's sexuality have to play into this at all? Are gay men not allowed to be mentors to little boys? What is she afraid will happen? So strange to me.

OffJumpsJack
06-23-2009, 12:28 PM
Being still new on rav, I';m having a hard time finding where or how to get this to the right people over there. Now that I know Casey and Jess are the founders I know how to proceed.. If they have a forward button or icon?... :think:

I'm still looking and learning over there. Thanks for all the comments and support. I just didn't know where to discuss it over there. ;)

Yeah, the Internet is a like a wilderness, there are some wild animals and predators just outside the civilized outposts (like moderated forums). :sad:

Thanks to the Amy, Sheldon, and all the Mods here that keep us safe. (an also to all members who help just like a community watch).

Is there any issue with suggesting KH forums to this teacher as a safer, more responsive (timely) help forum?

Either way, I would think adult supervision is required (isn't it always required for any Internet accessible site?).

OffJumpsJack
06-23-2009, 12:39 PM
Not that this has anything to do with the situation, but I don't like the way that the teacher worded the message either. Like Jan said, it sounds intolerant which puts me off the whole situation.

Why does someone's sexuality have to play into this at all? Are gay men not allowed to be mentors to little boys? What is she afraid will happen? So strange to me.

I not sure but I seem to remember a teacher (an American citizen?) being imprisoned for violating Muslim law. There's another item to Google (or Bing).

My mistake, it was a British citizen, here is a clipping from Fox New (more : www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,314401,00.html)
British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons, an unimposing woman of 54, was found guilty of "inciting religious hatred" and sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation by a court in Sudan’s Khartoum after allowing her 7-year-old students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad.”

The only point is there could be legal issues for the teacher if she doesn't screen the contacts.

Jan in CA
06-23-2009, 01:08 PM
I am certainly glad that I'm not the only one who sees this as a problem for various reasons. :hug:

Jack, did you find Casey's username so you can forward that? If not I can find it and send it to you. I'm not putting here in a public forum.

AngieLanigan
06-23-2009, 01:35 PM
Being still new on rav, I';m having a hard time finding where or how to get this to the right people over there. Now that I know Casey and Jess are the founders I know how to proceed.. If they have a forward button or icon?... :think:

Also from the TOS at Ravelry:

If you become aware of any unauthorized use of your password or of your account, or of any other breach of security you agree to notify Ravelry immediately at abuse@ravelry.com.

I would think that shouls be a good address to contact Casey and share your concerns. I think he'll be glad to know they've got a large influx of minors accessing the site.

OffJumpsJack
06-23-2009, 02:55 PM
I am certainly glad that I'm not the only one who sees this as a problem for various reasons. :hug:

Jack, did you find Casey's username so you can forward that? If not I can find it and send it to you. I'm not putting here in a public forum.

Also from the TOS at Ravelry:

I would think that shouls be a good address to contact Casey and share your concerns. I think he'll be glad to know they've got a large influx of minors accessing the site.

:doh:
There is a "contact us" link at the bottom of each Rav page!

I used that form (after having sent a message through the Rav message box to Casey which sounds like it is equivalent to a KH private message.)

Now what I was really wanting to ask here was ...

Would young member be welcomed here?

Would KH be a better alternative for supervised students?

suzeeq
06-23-2009, 06:26 PM
Would young member be welcomed here?
Would KH be a better alternative for supervised students?

Ummm, not that young. We have had a few about 11 or 12 and that's about the youngest age I think we allow. If they're under 16 or 18, I think they have to provide a parent/guardian contact and we get permission from them.

knitasha
06-23-2009, 07:39 PM
The American Library Association publishes a huge list of websites directly targeted to children.
http://www.ala.org/gwstemplate.cfm?section=greatwebsites&template=/cfapps/gws/default.cfm

KH is a nice site -- no bad language, little or no snark, good mods. That still doesn't make it appropriate for 8-year-olds, even if they do knit or crochet.

Mike
06-24-2009, 12:12 AM
For those worried about intolerance, hang out on the "Men Who Knit" forum for a while and you would see it's justified.
Some of those guys can't seem to take a thread over 5 posts without turning the talk to gay sex. I suspect those types are the whole reason "Straight Men Also Crochet and Knit" was started. It wasn't about intolerance because many of the gay men from MWK also go there.
For some reason MWK seems to get more women asking about teaching young boys than SMACK does.
I imagine that's where this one went and she had a rude awakening and Jack was a welcome sight.

As far as gay men mentoring little boys, it's not really going to convince the boys that it's OK for them to be doing a "girl's hobby" when the men you provide them for roll models are gay.
That would have the opposite effect.

OffJumpsJack
06-24-2009, 10:02 AM
The American Library Association publishes a huge list of websites directly targeted to children.
http://www.ala.org/gwstemplate.cfm?section=greatwebsites&template=/cfapps/gws/default.cfm

KH is a nice site -- no bad language, little or no snark, good mods. That still doesn't make it appropriate for 8-year-olds, even if they do knit or crochet.

Thank you Knitasha, that is a good link to bookmark but their own search for keyword "crochet" or "knit" found nothing. I struck out.

Mike, Thanks for the 'scout' report on MWK. I think I'll stay at SMACK then.

I have to admit the only other forum in which I participate is a Harry Potter forum associated with the Harry Potter Lexicon. They are a child friendly operations.

There is very little out there for children learning to crochet or knit. I haven't found anything yet. :nails:

Mike
06-25-2009, 12:04 AM
MWK isn't bad, it's more active than SMACK. I've just learned to lose interest in topics before they drag on too long.

Knitting_Guy
06-30-2009, 10:06 PM
Strikes me as a bit....odd. The "STRAIGHT" thing seems a bit offensive if nothing else. Being a straight guy, I would take this as an insult suggesting that if you knit you are probably gay, but if I were a gay person I would take this especially insulting.

Why would this person bring up the gay/straight thing at all? What does it have to do with knitting?

suzeeq
06-30-2009, 11:13 PM
Unfortunately, a lot of people think that if a man does things like knit and crochet, which are seen as women's hobbies, then he must be gay.

iwouldratherbeknitting
07-04-2009, 08:17 AM
US school teacher here.. teaching in a foreign country (Germany) my students are the children of the US military-- and we have very specific computer use guidelines. I'm surprised that she is able to use a school computer to access a forum site.

I know that our students have to sign computer usage agreements and I would think that the school that this teacher is teaching in/at.. would have something similiar? Also, it sounds like she might be teaching at an 'International School' and that many of her students could be from other foreign countries- along w/ Saudi Arabia?

As a teacher, I wouldn't want to encourage any student of mine (and I've taught 3rd graders too) to befriend any stranger on the internet.. especially an adult stranger.

What ever happened to having your students be letter writing penpals to another school in another state or country.. in the same grade?

ArtLady1981
07-07-2009, 02:19 PM
I would definately let Casey know. What a strange situation all around. I don't remember specifically from signing up at Ravelry, but I know that every vBulletin site I've ever signed up with, I've had to confirm that I was over 13 years of age. If Ravelry doesn't have the same legal agreement, they probably should. I agree that it's not really an appropriate place for a bunch of 3rd graders to be hanging out. And to be honest, I think it's really strange for a teacher to not only be encouraging it, but to be actively assisting them.

Jack, please don't take this the wrong way, but as an adult in today's society, I would never befriend an unknown child over the internet, especially if I were a man. It shouldn't be this way, but unfortunately there are so many ways it can be seen in the wrong light, I personally wouldn't put myself in that situation, regardless of how innocent my intentions were.

It just blows my mind how naive this teacher is, that she would encourage a minor under her care to develop any kind of relationship with an adult stranger over the internet. Does she have no idea how many perverted, twisted people there are out there? This whole thing is very disturbing to me :(

AMEN! Well said, Angie!

knitasha
07-07-2009, 06:31 PM
ArtLady--
I was also disturbed by the naivete and thoughtlessness of this teacher, and I did email Casey at the contact address more than a week ago. This was a strongly worded message which mentioned not only how the kids could be harmed, but how Ravelry could possibly be held liable if something bad happened.

As of today, I have not received a response. The group still exists, but there are only three posts on it, and the last one was more than a month ago. So it seems to have fizzled as a classroom activity, but I still think the teacher needs a lesson.

OffJumpsJack
07-13-2009, 02:10 PM
I would definately let Casey know. What a strange situation all around. I don't remember specifically from signing up at Ravelry, but I know that every vBulletin site I've ever signed up with, I've had to confirm that I was over 13 years of age. If Ravelry doesn't have the same legal agreement, they probably should. I agree that it's not really an appropriate place for a bunch of 3rd graders to be hanging out. And to be honest, I think it's really strange for a teacher to not only be encouraging it, but to be actively assisting them.

Jack, please don't take this the wrong way, but as an adult in today's society, I would never befriend an unknown child over the internet, especially if I were a man. It shouldn't be this way, but unfortunately there are so many ways it can be seen in the wrong light, I personally wouldn't put myself in that situation, regardless of how innocent my intentions were.

It just blows my mind how naive this teacher is, that she would encourage a minor under her care to develop any kind of relationship with an adult stranger over the internet. Does she have no idea how many perverted, twisted people there are out there? This whole thing is very disturbing to me :(

AMEN! Well said, Angie!

ArtLady--
I was also disturbed by the naivete and thoughtlessness of this teacher, and I did email Casey at the contact address more than a week ago. This was a strongly worded message which mentioned not only how the kids could be harmed, but how Ravelry could possibly be held liable if something bad happened.

As of today, I have not received a response. The group still exists, but there are only three posts on it, and the last one was more than a month ago. So it seems to have fizzled as a classroom activity, but I still think the teacher needs a lesson.


I did sent two messages about this to Ravelry contacts: one to Casey directly and one to the general rav. help email. No reply to me either.


US school teacher here.. teaching in a foreign country (Germany) my students are the children of the US military-- and we have very specific computer use guidelines. I'm surprised that she is able to use a school computer to access a forum site.

I know that our students have to sign computer usage agreements and I would think that the school that this teacher is teaching in/at.. would have something similiar? Also, it sounds like she might be teaching at an 'International School' and that many of her students could be from other foreign countries- along w/ Saudi Arabia?

As a teacher, I wouldn't want to encourage any student of mine (and I've taught 3rd graders too) to befriend any stranger on the internet.. especially an adult stranger.

What ever happened to having your students be letter writing penpals to another school in another state or country.. in the same grade?

Strikes me as a bit....odd. The "STRAIGHT" thing seems a bit offensive if nothing else. Being a straight guy, I would take this as an insult suggesting that if you knit you are probably gay, but if I were a gay person I would take this especially insulting.

Why would this person bring up the gay/straight thing at all? What does it have to do with knitting?


Odd is exactly what I though about it and I also found the message to be offensive. :nails:

-Jack