Having grown up in Connecticut, I can say from experience that it’s a “divided” state. I’m not talking about politics or religion, but rather, sports. You see, depending on which side of the imaginary line that you lived on, your family was either a Red Sox fan or a Yankee fan. I lived very near that imaginary line. While certainly not as profound as the division of the North and South during the Civil War, this sports rivalry was also known to pit brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor. I was fortunate in that my immediate family members were (and still are) die-hard Sox fans (sorry, but it’s difficult to hide my bias). Fast forward and it’s not a surprise that I chose to attend college in the Boston area and eventually, to make it my home.
Certainly every Red Sox fan over the age of 15 remembers the 2004 World Series where their victory over St. Louis erased the “Curse of the Bambino.” Memories of Curt Schilling's pitching finesse as well as his infamous “bloody sock” will forever remain in our hearts as we reminisce about that magical season.Fast forward again; this time to March 2015. Curt Schilling is back in the headlines and is once again, “my hero.” This time, Mr. Schilling finds himself protecting his daughter against a few "men" that were saying extremely inappropriate things about her on social media. Mr. Schilling, not one to sidestep a challenge or controversy, made it his mission to expose these “men” for their misguided actions. As a result, several of these “men” were fired from their jobs and another found that his college acceptance offer had been rescinded. (See Mr. Schilling's blog for additional details.) I’m sorry that the Schilling family (especially his daughter) were the victims of cyberbullying. If it is of any comfort to them, I hope they know that their experience is being used as a “teachable moment” by many parents and educators as well. I incorporated this story in my social media class where my students reflect on the importance of building a positive digital footprint and developing a “personal brand” that truly represents who they are and one that they can proudly share on social media.