30 April 2006

i don't necesarily object to this../

San Jose Mercury News - District takes control of Net access at schools - April 30, 2006

On Wednesday, March 15, 2006, the Palo Alto Unified School District began filtering its Internet access in all its school campuses after concerns from parents. This is pretty late, given that most school distrcts nationwide have been filtering their Internets since the dawn of the millenium. So far, it has generated few complaints among it's students. There have been several requests to unblock sites. One was to unblock a site that contained a picture of the character Dutch Schaffer - played by Arnold Schwarzenegger! - from the action movie Predator that a student needed for his foreign policy project. Out of the 100 requests that the school distrit received within the past month, 40 passed, but 60 denied because they were for pornographic sites. As I read the article, I laughed myself to death after reading THIS:

"Sunnyvale middle schoolers using school computers were going to MySpace at least 100 times a day, and an elementary principal discovered fourth-graders who had put profiles on the site. Although users need to be 14, anyone can invent an age and post information."

WTF...FOURTH-GRADERS using MySpace?! That is SO insane! Look, there is a good reason why MySpace has a minnimum age...if you've been following the news lately and seen how teens have been doing bad stuff on MySpace and how sexual predators catch kids on the site, then you know why. Legally, they shouldn't use the site either, because the COPPA prohibits websites from obtaining personal info from people under 13 without parents permission. So if you know anyone under 14 using MySpace, tell them there's a good reason why not. In fact, on an episode of Dateline NBC aired back on April 9, when they visited Middleton, Conn. to do an episode on MySpace, the reporter was interviewing a parent who was mad because her 11-year-old son had established a MySpace without her knowlege.

Personally, I feel that Internet filters on school campuses are not a bad thing; they are so that the school cannot be held liable if the student gets exposed to inappropriate content from a school computer's internet with parental objection. In fact, I've had to live with filtered Internet on school campus since third grade, and I've learned to tolerate it. For example, EVHS has banned MySpace since Dec. 2005 due to students getting in mischif on the site, they do not want to be held liable if students get in trouble or are harrassed on MySpace. In addition, they are so that students do not use the computers to do illegal activity or look up porno...think of it as the PATRIOT Act. For example, the website of the KKK, Al-Qaida, you name it might be banned. So just accept that there are rules on campus and people tend to get in trouble online, and accept the filters.

No comments: