TULSA, Okla. - A Tulsa teacher is trying to teach her students a tough life lesson about Facebook in the classroom, so they don't have to endure the consquences later in life.
Melissa Bour told FOX23 her students only learned a few days ago what you post online can and likely will live forever on the Internet.
"I had students respond with ‘It’s no big deal’ and 'nobody really cares', and I care. I care very much about their reputations," said the Emerson Elementary 6th grade teacher.
She is describing a recent incident in which she received a friend request from one of her students. Though Bour didn't accept the request she was still able to browse that students friend list and noticed many students in her class were posing and posting selfies on Facebook. Bour said many were wearing skimpy clothing and also flipping the middle finger toward the camera.
After failing to convince her class verbally of the dangers of posting revealing photos of yourself online, Bour took to social media with a letter:
Bour told FOX23 she didn't do it to shame the students, but she wanted to use it as a teaching moment about the dangers of Facebook.
"My generation was the one that kind of made Facebook big, and we have a tendency to overshare," she said. "These students are just falling into that. You have to remind them that just because everyone else is sharing doesn’t mean you have to share."
Bour's letter went viral quickly, and not only has it appeared in nearly every state, it has also begun to pop up in foreign countries like Saudi Arabia, Germany and Australia.
"My sheet of paper with the green writing on it made it around the world," she said. "So what do you think is going to happen to students who have inappropriate things up, and how far is that going to reach?"
She told FOX23 Tulsa Public Schools curriculum allowed her to make the post because the district encourages students to learn about how to be a good digital citizen. Bour hopes students will learn their lesson now in the classroom before making a mistake as an adult where the consquences and price to pay could be harsher.
Bour's letter was originally online for only 8 hours, but so many shares and copies had been made of the original image, it continues to spread online. FOX23 posted a copy of the letter on our Facebook page, and within two hours, the photo had thousands of likes.