Law To Ban Social Networks, Blogs And IM From Schools Dead This Time Around

from the only-a-matter-of-time dept

During the summer, as politicians were gearing up for election season, there was suddenly a flurry of activity from folks in Congress to put forth new legislation to “protect the children.” Of course, you should probably be pretty skeptical any time you hear that phrase, because usually the laws are designed more to protect a politician’s job, and will do little (if anything) to protect children. That was the case of the DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act), which was introduced in May and quickly rushed through the House. It picked on an easy target: social networks. MySpace and some of the other social networks had been receiving a ton of negative press coverage over how they could be used by predators preying on children, that they seemed like an easy call for politicians. Of course, the legislation was overly broad, and threw out the baby, the bathwater and the entire damn bathtub. It banned any kind of site that stored a profile from schools and libraries that take federal money. Sure, that includes MySpace and Facebook, but it could also include, Blogger, Yahoo and other sites as well. And, it’s not as if kids would stop using these things. Instead, they’d just use them secretly, without any supervision or without any guidance in how to use them safely. That doesn’t seem like a good recipe for making kids safer.

However, with the new Congress taking their seats this week, a few people noticed that DOPA never went anywhere as some folks in the Senate realized how bad it was and moved the bill to the backburner. It also doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s political agenda just yet. The Representatives who sponsored it were all voted out in the last election (suggesting their ploy didn’t work very well). Of course, things could change pretty rapidly if there are another series of stories about predators on these sites. However, we’d expect that 2007 will probably be a semi-quiet year on that front, as politicians will store up the next batch of “for the children” legislation for the 2008 election cycle.

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Comments on “Law To Ban Social Networks, Blogs And IM From Schools Dead This Time Around”

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ScytheNoire (profile) says:

i should run for President...

I have a brilliant idea…


i mean, think of all the problems we could solve. no more child porn. no more social networks. no more copyright infringement. no more piracy. no more hacking. we’d all be safe from all the horrible things that computers cause. then we can all go and live in our log cabins and sing folk songs around the fireplace. all will be right with the world once again.

Rico J. Halo (user link) says:

Tip of the iceberg

I expect that as soon as we get past the flurry of pent up energy the Democrats, now in control of the House and Senate, will revert to their typical overbearing over protective “lets save the children” ways and try to dumb down everything they can.

The mindset of the average liberal is always that they are the smartest person in the room and know whats best for us.

Mark my words on this, we will see much legislation trying to further control the internet by the Democrats. They will go at it the same way they do, oh lets say tobacco. They wont confront it head on theyll go at it from the sides.

Sanguine Dream says:

Re: Tip of the iceberg

Mark my words on this, we will see much legislation trying to further control the internet by the Democrats. They will go at it the same way they do, oh lets say tobacco. They wont confront it head on theyll go at it from the sides.

That sounds like every politician under the sun, Dem., Rep., or otherwise.

Wolff000 says:

Re: Tip of the iceberg

People like you are why this country is screwed up. I’m not kidding and I don’t apologize for it. If you think the idiotic Republicans are any better than the dumbass Democrats you must have had your head up your ass your whole life. Have you not noticed that both parties could careless about anyone but themselves. Believing one party is inherently better is just as bad as not voting if not worse. Neither party gives a damn about making this country better, they just want control. These people have no interests but money and power. There may be a few that care but 90% are only after power/money. People like you that divide things into black and white, democrat and republican should be pulled from society and pushed off to some little island where you can’t harm anyone but yourself. As far as the ban goes this is just more do nothing regulation that even if it passes won’t be enforced.

EdB (user link) says:

Re: Re: Tip of the iceberg

That’s why I always vote to throw out the incumbents and promote gridlock. Noobs don’t have a well-tuned machine, and as long as no party has a significant majority nothing too extreme will make it through.

We should do away with elections and make public office be like the draft: if you’re name gets pulled from a hat you have to go serve, and if you suck at it you’ll do time.

Charles Griswold (user link) says:

Re: Tip of the iceberg

The mindset of the average liberal is always that they are the smartest person in the room and know whats best for us.

Substitute “politician” for “liberal” and you’ll be closer to the truth. Besides, I’ve known many conservatives that were similar to how you describe the “average liberal” and several liberals that were fairly humble and open-minded.

And before you ask or make assumptions or accusations: No, I’m not a “Liberal”, I just dislike it when people make blanket statements like that.

Remember kids, All Generalizations Are False. 😛

Laura (user link) says:

Re: i totally forgot...

MY GOD, SHUT UP!!!!!!!! banning video games, rock, and god, tv? ur out of ur FUCKING MIND!!!!!! that is the most ridiculous bunch of shit i have ever heard, and believe me, im 14, ive heard alot of it. they r not the source of the problem here, people r. so dont star ur ranting about “this non-christian stuff needs to die”. Bullshit. u need 2 die. i hope u get hit by a bus

MrTitleist says:

Quit your crying

As as net admin at a school district, I can honestly say I’m glad a bill like this is going through. There’s absolutely NO need for MySpace, Facebook, Blogger, etc in a school. School is for LEARNING not screwing around on the internet looking for new “online” friends. Our filters are already set to block this nonsense. Quit crying about the “government trying to control everything” and shut up and learn in school.

A Real IT person says:

Re: Quit your crying

School maybe be for learning, but when does that ever happen? Between poorly written text books, and standardized tests, can you except the children to learn anything? If these kids were actually learning anything they would know, your thought on removing social networks is a violation of their 1st amendment right. Also this logic implies that learning only occurs in schools. Which is completely false, and since learning occurs outside of schools as well, what are you doing on a site like this posting messages? There is NO need for it correct? Learn to do your job and quit looking for an easy way out.

Caramel says:

Re: Re: Quit your crying

I agree. It over rules our 1st amendment right and there’s no point in blocking it. Blocking sites like these gives school districts the right to suspend students for these activities. School districts can’t even handle fights or students who set fires so what is the point of banning site like these. Will it better the schools? School staff members can’t even manage their schools to be a safe enviornment for children to be in, why would you think banning little things like this will benefit these children or any other individual. It will just get them angry and start violence. Is that what we honestly need?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Quit your crying

You disproved your own point…

Over-broad laws will prohibit legitimate web sites, like Wikipedia, just as quickly as they’ll prohibit the “bad” ones.

As a network administrator, you’re smart enough to block the web sites that are actually causing the problems, and you will do a better job than any law passed by a politician.

Esther Schindler (user link) says:

Re: We may not object to the blocking -- just to the l

I can’t speak for anybody else in this, but in my personal opinion, it’s perfectly okay for you as net admin to block these sites from schoolchildren’s eyes (at least when they’re in your school). Deciding what information is appropriate and relevant to what kids learn is exactly the role of a school and the people who work for it.

However, I don’t think that it is the role of government to make these decisions for the kids… or for you. I’d rather trust *your* judgement about what sites the kids should see, rather than any politician’s opinion.

Lewis Salem says:

Walled off education.


I feel that collaboration is an important part of education. By walling off students you are failing to education them on how to deal with others. I pray you are not an educator as your post expresses the lack of technical knowledge that we on this forum discuss.

The problem is more complex than simply telling kids to “shut up.” Social websites are simply the digital “jungle gym at recess.” You don’t ban recess because somebody skinned their knee, you monitor the playground.


WhoaNow says:

Re: Walled off education.????

Walled off? What about the hundreds (and in some schools, thousands) of other kids “inside” those walls? That’s how you learn to deal with others – by talking (not chatting) with them and playing (not surfing) with them at recess. Not by sitting next to someone in a computer lab and typing, completely ignoring the social interaction that is sitting 3 feet from you.

I completely agree with MrTitleist – if you need social interaction, talk to the kid sitting next to you – not someone else through a monitor. Otherwise, shut up and learn something.

Save Myspace for when you get home… on your own time and on your own PC.

Lewis Salem says:

Re: Re: Walled off education.????


You make a good point. To some certain extent, our reliance on digital communication isolates us at a local level. However, if a kid wants to fart around in the library, they’re going to do it, computer or not. You can not shove education down a child’s throat.

I just feel that the benefits of open communications exceeds the costs of control on this subject.

Richard O. Langley says:

School and Computers

I am not worried about predetors as much as what the kids are putting up on these sights.When high school kids start putting up photos of fellow students taken in the showers,who do our kids really need protection from?This actually happened in my local.In the local high school the students have been given laptops to do their school work on,teachers make their assignments through a LAN and the student logs on to get it and do it all on the laptop.This is bad!Writing and penmanship is totally out the door,teachers,this is not teaching,math skills are non existant because the computer doe’s it for them.Where do we stop this downward spiral of education?When kids no longer go to school?They just login at home??Well there just went the skills needed to function in society.

safusa says:


It should be left up to the schools, and the districts to set the rules for what happens on the schools computer. It should not be controlled by the government. I don’t think it should be allowed in the schools but I sure don’t want the government to tell me that. The next step will be them telling you what you can watch on your own TV, etc.

The schools should have qualified employees that can monitor and control access to the sites the school doesn’t approve of.

I know my daughter has a teacher that uses my space to receive asignments, and post comments about books students have read, in hope that other students would be interested in reading the book. If used correctly sites like these can have value, but would need monitoring.

Just like with anything else there are good ways it can be used and bad ways. If we teach our kids to be safe on the internet, then we would be better off.

Witty Nickname says:

Lets not criticize IT people for blocking stupid websites, politicians sure, but individual companies and school districts can do what they want.

I work at a bank as a network admin. I block myspace, facebook, yahoo personals, ebay, and all that other crap that helps no one do their job while they are at work. (Except Techdirt, that doesn’t get blocked, wonder how that happened….)

MrTitleist, thank you for doing your job, block anything that isnt related to research and education. It is a school for God’s sake.

Max says:

Let the teacher decide

I teach computer science and one of the assignments I have my students do is create a blog on blogger and create two posts each week on a news story relating to science, technology or computers. Students post a link to the article, some text from the article, and their thoughts on the article. Despite what you hear, many of these students have never created any kind of website and so this is an exciting, fun and valuable assignment. I used to give all my students a pop3 email and show them how to use pop3 email, but now smtp is blocked by my district. Students can’t use any form of file hosting website, which I used to use when we made websites in class. I cover topics about web2.0 and discuss how the internet makes collaboration online possible, and I discuss how tools like these can be used in a modern office to communicate and organize work. Every day I wonder when they’ll cut off the next site and force me to shrink my class, and teach more out of the textbook. My space is blocked, but you know what- the kids can access and all that other junk, and I have to police the classroom myself anyway. It’s not as if the filters really keep the kids on task anyway- that’s my job as a teacher. Instead of hiding behind filters I wish the people upstairs would actually come to my classroom and fix computers once in a while instead, so I don’t have kids sharing computers because I have broken PC’s for months at a time!

A Real IT person says:

Point of view

First off, Witty and MrTitleist, I assumed you both went to school, and I apologize for not realizing you both are wunderkind. I do encourage you to read a government book issued to the children you want to encourage to learn. I guarantee you will find this passage in it.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

I do agree with the comment made about children needing to socialize with the student next to them; however, this implies that once they are exposed to a social network site they will never want to speak verbally again. Children are already forced to go to “school”. Where as in the job market, people are suppose to be paid for their time. If they are expected to learn, they must feel that school is more then a place they must go to everyday, even then you can not expect every student to act exactly the same way. The blanket method of teaching is not longer a viable method for passing knowledge.

The comment about using myspace as an arena for discussing books, makes myspace related to education, therefore by blocking myspace, something RELATED to research and education is being blocked.

As a side note, when I was in school, not all that long ago,(currently pursuing a masters) this was not an issue, while myspace was not around, chatting was, and I interacted with my fellow students as well as students in other countries. So before you consider blocking social networks from schools, I would like to know how many languages you speak, besides english and binary.

Dave says:

Not this again....

Why does someone inevitably bring up the 1st Amendment in these types of discussions? No one is infringing on their Constitutional rights by restricting their access to specific websites. After all, they’re on school time using school equipment. If they’ve got something to say, print, or organize they are free to do so on their own time.

frankthetank says:

i can see the save the childre, and the betterment for education side.

however, technology, just like anything else, can be used for good and bad. it just so happens that if anything bad happens, any good becomes negated.

yes, the dems want to ban videogames and whatnot. but they advocate personal privacey. how can that be? republicans want moral convictions, but let violent games fly by. how can that be? as it turns out, any party will do whatever it can to stay in power. it’s not aboout helping the people, it’s about staying in power so your agenda can be pushed through. sure both the dems and repubs have good intentions on how the country should be governed. not saying one is better than the other. where one party fails, the other shines…

next. the state of our education system is in sad affiars.
under/over paid teachers who care less about teaching and more about thier next paycheck. (my school distric, many teachers have over 1 school year of vaction time and are paid out the butt, the next district over, they struggle to replace old teaches because lack of funding) lack of proper/up to date classroom materials. (seriously, about 6 years ago when i was in HS we had history books claiming that the cold war would never end, the berlin wall will stand like the great wall of china) so, before any school should worry about internet and what not, they should be worried about the physical components of their education. get the teachers paid approprately. get the proper text books in the classrooms.

there is so much wrong with education. and i hate to quote fiction, but from an episode of the west wing “schools should be palaces. they should be very expensive to run, teachers should be paid a quality salary and it should all be free to the populus” but when we spend billions on weapon systems that don’t work, and billions of paying people not to work, other programs will fail. you can’t get $1.25 in change from a $1 bill. it’s just all crazy

TEMBER says:

If people werent so scared to discipline their children, we probably wouldn’t have so many struggles with this kind of crap. Some won’t even correct their child for fear of being turned in.

It’s all about Backbones.

Social networking sites provide the way for the will. In no way are they educational. Recess is for ACTIVE play – not socializing with “shaniqua” 5,000 miles away.

ShadowSoldier says:

American Education

First off I have to say that I wish I had a computer teacher like you Max. Most computer teachers in my count teach you a few useful things, one of them being proper PowerPoint presentations (Which I still am thankful for today). THe rest of it is “typing” I can type better and more accurately (This is with my eyes closed) with my fingers floating rather than resting. I think one teacher actually said we wouldn’t graduate high school unless we could type the “proper” way. I have been to A LOT of schools, private and public, and except for the school I am in now most of them have been a disaster. Now I won’t say it isn’t partially my fault it is, but our education system is so intrinsically flawed that we have one of the highest drop out rates in the world (I read an article awhile back, I may be exaggerating because I don’t remember the exact figure). I go to an Alternative High School. The way it works is that if you aren’t doing well in your home school (town not actual home) then you can apply to be transferred here. It is very small, only 70-85 students, which works well because students recieve individual attention. Every student has a councellor who makes sure that they are doing well both in and out of school. he most unique part though is that you earn credits directly rather than completing a year or half year course. So for example I can do a research paper for my history teacher, but also get english credit, and other credits too depending on my subject. Once I do all the work and meet all the requirements i’ll recieve a credit, or I will fix any corrections I have to. A standard course at a normal school is 5 credits. This works really well because it lets the students work for themselves and it eliminates homework (yay). Plus it allows students to graduate much faster. It is possible for a Freshman to graduate highschool in one year if they work hard enough. THis is unlikely but still possible. The reason that my school is the only one left in NJ, out of the original 13 or so, is that it has absolutely zero tolerance. This means: No TOuching other students, No iPods, No Cell Phones, No Food or Drink (except gum), there are more rules but these are the ones that stand out most. If for example you get caught with a cell phone or iPod and refuse to give it to the teacher, they kick you out, its that easy.

A real IT person says:

the reason

Yes it is a violation of the 1st Amendment for schools. It may be school property, but taxes pay for that property, and a 16 year old with a job should not finace the ban of their rights. Also children are forced to go to school, while in the business world it is up to the individual to stay at any particular job. Also by that logic “they should do it at home”, why not make the entire bill of rights conditional to only being valid inside the home. Also would you not consider it a violation to restrict their access to specific books? Children should be taught how to be safe on the net, not ban it from them.

Anonymous Coward says:

don’t you love how the democrat commenters always blame the republicans for this stupidity and vice versa? when will you people realize that politicians on both sides of the aisle have been guilty of this stuff? until we get people in office that actually understand technology, this isn’t going to change, and Internet issues, such as net neutrality rarely make anyone’s platform.

Kyros (profile) says:

Banning computers or websites does nothing but show you don’t trust someone, or are too lazy to do your job. The teacher who I help out is a computer teacher, and while he does have some popular networking sites blocked, they aren’t impossible to get to, and he gives bonus points to whoever can get past the filters on the router. Point being, a law would be horrible, it needs to be left to the IT people in charge, and you really need to teach students, not just block everything.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

bonus points

I wish I had a teacher in high school that gave bonus points for getting around the schools security. we did it so many times. My friend had will over 200M of videos downloaded on a library PC that was locked down so tight that IE barley worked. If I remember correctly that was with windows 98.

I also believe that these sites should not be blocked from any computer. I also believe that the “Responsible Adult” should be responsible for taking care of the kid. The federal government has no say in affairs like that.

The founding fathers intentionally created a small government so it doesnt interfere like this. TV, Not the governments business. Radio, not the governments business. Even the Internet is not the governments business unless its an issue of national security. Somehow I doubt that My Space is. When I say national security I don’t mean Bush’s job I mean endangering the citizens lives.

If I ever become president I will pull the governments greedy fingers out of just about everything. Since no money will be going to the stupid little things that the federal government should have nothing to do with, it will be able to go to better things. Like getting body armor for our solders, or maybe lowering taxes. Or even getting NASA and other research institutions the money they really need. How long have we been looking for a cure for cancer, AIDS, and other stuff like that?

all these stupid laws are just more ways for politicians to grab for more power.

Sanguine Dream says:

Nice box there Pandora

I really don’t see anything but harm if the government starts trying to mandate what sites are deemed “safe” for students. Because we all know that mandates about what sites kids “should (or lose federal funding)” be visiting won’t be far behind. Give the government and they will take the mile.

The ways of learning and sharing new information are vastly different from even 10 years ago. To just start banning sites out of the blue could lead to a lot of useful sites getting blocked.

Witty Nickname says:

I wonder how many of these people posting about the first ammendment and such are doing so from a school.

I remember being in school and thinking “Free Speech” meant I could talk back to a teacher or go to whatever website I wanted (yes there was internet when I was in school.)

Kids, let me tall you something, you have no consitutional rights in school. Sorry. They can search yuor locker for any reason, they can restrict your web access.

And on a side note, I read the response about the 16 year old paying school taxes and I laughed. The only taxes a 16 year old is paying is Social security, he will get the rest back when he files.

At least here in Texas most of the money from education comes from property taxes. So kids living at home, ask your parents if they want THEIR tax money to give you access to MySpace.

Ted Bush says:

Senate's job: Ignoring Stupid Stuff

Gotta love when the Senate works as it’s spozed to.

The House is the ‘reactive’ arm of Congress; everytime Joe Blow gets annoyed by something and writes his member, a new bill gets introduced banning, for example, birds from pooping on freshly washed cars.

Then the Senate gets the bill and, rightly, ignores it, and life goes on.

Too bad this didn’ work with the *$#&^!@*(&#^% Patriot Act(s).

comment number 33 says:

1st admendment, politics, and IT people

Being an IT person who is ACTUALLY IN high school, unlike all of you people, these are my thoughts:

1. Blocking myspace, facebook, etc. IS a violation of the 1st admendment. The school is run by taxes, thus it must obey the law. That means that the 1st admendment, in this case freedom of speech, must be allowed, though, by blocking kids from speaking online, you are thus taking this right from them. (although, that is all my school blocks.)

2. Even if you block it, kids are gonna find a way around. Proxies are what the kids in my school use, becuase we use the Barracuda firewall, it’s fairly easy. Then the school blocked most of the proxies. is the one that isn’t blocked.

3. No one here is an IT person in a school, clearly. You are all just making it up. I almost believe “a real IT person” is one, but not quite. You all sound just too stupid to me.

4. BAN POLITICIANS!!!! There is no such thing as a good one. Well, let me correct myself. There is, but they won’t go any higher than the city level. Anyone above that is just looking for money and power.

5. Everyone here (including myself) needs to get a life and stop ranting. Go outside and enjoy the day. It’s 54 here in the middle of winter. (Central Indiana) So Stop yelling at other people and go do something fun.

And finally, I metioned I was from Central Indiana. THAT DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MAKE ME A FUCKING FARM BOY!!!!! I am tired of the Fucking stereotypers all over the fucking world. I do not care about agricultre whatsoever, i don’t even think I spelled it right. Noone in our school plants corn or soybeans, so stop sterotyping us all. dumbasses.

Ok, enough of my rant. I’m gonna go meet with some friends now and do something fun. I won’t be back on this article, so don’t even bother responding to me.

Witty Nickname says:

Wow, Comment 37 just floored me. I never realized how wrong I was about the constitution.

You ought to challenge your school’s in court. Of course, you won’t find a lawyer, even if you could afford one they would just laugh in your face.

You could represent yourself though, maybe all of those f-bombs will work as well on the judge as it did on us.

A real IT person says:

Re: ok, one more thing

Comment 37 may have trouble finding a lawyer, but other students may not. Universities have been challenged on dress codes(similar issue), and have lost a fair amount of cases. If you want the actual statistics, I’ll leave those for the interested to find, you shouldn’t have to take my word for it.

That is truly my last remark, it has been a pleasure having a civilized debate.

AC says:

Easy Solution

All you people are so worked up over free speech this and safety for our kids that. Kids – you have no rights until you graduate high school. Try pulling that free speech shit when you tell your principal to F*** Off? Not gonna happen.

Why dont we make it easier for everyone and just remove internet service from schools altogether? No free speech violation there and that might keep the keeps busy enough at home they will stay out of trouble. At least that was how it was in my school. Nobody had cellphones, laptops or ipods. The occasional handheld was confiscated and returned at the end of the day then the end of the year if you got caught again. Things seemed so much more simple then.

I am no IT guy but I do work for a school district. This bill is garbage because our district blocks all those sites via proxy anyways. Let the schools govern themselves and everyone will be happier.

I do agree with removing computers from primary and secondary school though. Theres really no use for them at that young an age.

Sanguine Dream says:

Re: Easy Solution

I do agree with removing computers from primary and secondary school though. Theres really no use for them at that young an age.

I don’t fully agree with you there. It’s best to teach people at a young age. Even without the internet there are still uses for them like learning how to type. Having PCs in primary and secondary school is fine with me but I do fell that introducing the internet is one of those things that should be held off for a few more years.

Anonymous Coward says:

I can see some people here are complete idiots.

No, students do not lose their rights to free speech or any other rights when they enter schools.

From the American Center for Law and Justice:

“The fact is, however, from the moment they step onto the public school campus to the moment they graduate, public school students enjoy substantial rights to free speech, free press, assembly and religion. The First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and the federal Equal Access Act confer important liberties on public school students that no school official may abridge unless the exercise of those rights materially and substantially interferes with school discipline.”

Furthermore, I have a book from the ACLU that details exactly which rights students have, and the ways they’ve been upheld. And the right to expression and freedom of speech are amongst them. You can get your own copy for free. Just contact the organization.

So, morons like AC and Witty Nickname and all… Here is a novel idea. Before you open your mouth to speak, know what your talking about. It’ll save you from looking like even more of an idiot than you already are.

Anonymous Coward says:

Being an IT admin in a middle school I can honestly say that comment 37 doesn’t have a clue.

Blocking websites in schools is not only legal, but does not violate all of these 1st amendment rights you guys speak of. In case you don’t know about CIPA, here’s a little preview of it. And this is why school districts are allowed to block websites.


The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law enacted by Congress in December 2000 to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. CIPA imposes certain types of requirements on any school or library that receives funding support for Internet access or internal connections from the “E-rate” program – a program that makes certain technology more affordable for eligible schools and libraries. In early 2001, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued rules implementing CIPA.

What CIPA Requires

* Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-Rate program unless they certify that they have an Internet safety policy and technology protection measures in place. An Internet safety policy must include technology protection measures to block or filter Internet access to pictures that: (a) are obscene, (b) are child pornography, or (c) are harmful to minors, for computers that are accessed by minors.

* Schools subject to CIPA are required to adopt and enforce a policy to monitor online activities of minors; and

* Schools and libraries subject to CIPA are required to adopt and implement a policy addressing: (a) access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet; (b) the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications; (c) unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online; (d) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and (e) restricting minors’ access to materials harmful to them.

Schools and libraries are required to certify that they have their safety policies and technology in place before receiving E-rate funding.

* CIPA does not affect E-rate funding for schools and libraries receiving discounts only for telecommunications, such as telephone service.

* An authorized person may disable the blocking or filtering measure during any use by an adult to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.

* CIPA does not require the tracking of Internet use by minors or adults.

This isn’t anything new, CIPA has been in place forever, and every school district in the United States complies with CIPA. Now, can anyone here HONESTLY tell me that MySpace, Facebook, etc are appropriate for middle school aged children to look at? No. Not at school anyways. That’s the school’s time, not the kid’s time.

Yes, kids can still get around all of these filters using various proxy sites, but I know that at my middle school (and the rest of our school district), we block proxy sites as soon as we catch them across the filter. AllAboutAbe is a known proxy and blocked by our school district. At least the proxy part of the page, the main page is still open for access because it does provide somewhat useful information.

Comment #7, they’re at school.. why do they need “digital social interaction”? They’re at a school, people do still socialize at these high schools. If you guys had any clue about teachers now days, you’d know they really don’t give a shit, they want a paycheck and nothing else. Teaching content to them has become a thing of the past now that they have computers and software to do it for them.

We use a filter called Lightspeed, which does the blocking of websites (from a remote database in CA), we add in what we feel necessary. Sometimes things get blocked that are legit, and in that case we unblock it. But things like Facebook, MySpace, blog websites are blocked. We block certain images (I caught a kid the other day searching for “poop” and another searching for “live toilet cams”), so yeah, filters have to be in place in schools. School has changed a lot since I graduated, it’s pretty much a mirror of its former self, so to speak. I can’t believe what happens in these places now. While the gov’t shouldn’t be making these kinds of laws, schools are certainly responsible for the content, and if that’s blocking MySpace, then so be it.

voice of reason says:

how completley idotic can this world be
teenagers are the majorirty of the people who use the computers and they(myself included) should common sense. my economics teacher said during a class once that people get what they deserve, and hes right if you are stupid enough to tell someone personal things about you through email, chat room, myspace, whatever, and if you dont know that person, then i hope you get fucking raped becasue thats just stupid!
and parents, if you don’t want your LITTLE kids to be prey for predetors then watch over them when they use the computer and moniter whwt they put it.
its as simple as that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I completely agree with you. We should allow those idiotic enough to threaten their own lives be erased from the gene pool. What’s with trying to protect stupid people? I mean seriously. Not all teenagers are dimwits that talk to child molesters, or use myspace to screw off. It’s not the site we should blame – either the parents for their ignorance in doing what they should for their children, or the children themselves for not having the common sense to avoid situations that compromise their safety. The less idiots around in the world, the better. Let the idiots kill the idiots.

ThE_pUbLiC_eXeCuTiOnEr (user link) says:

Ok, time 2 get back 2 reality

ok, ive been on this site for 15 minutes, and all u dickwads are PISSING ME OFF!!!!!! school isnt a “place 2 learn”, its a fucking prison!!! Anonymous Coward, ur my fucking hero. i have every FUCKING RIGHT 2 get on what i want at school. if i fail, hey, thats my fault, and i dont really give a flying horsefuck. I AM SICK OF ALL U MUTHERFUCKERS WHO THINK THAT TEENAGERS ARE THE CAUSE OF ALL UR PROBLEMS!!! u kno what? it IS a violation of the 1st amendment, and it IS wrong 2 cut into my freedoms!!! im gonna b 15 here in like 2 months, and the last thing i need is a bunch of hypocrite adults cutting me off from the few freedoms i have!!!! so go home, break that “how 2 be mature” CD in half, and slit ur wrists w/ the pieces. ok? good, i feel better now. look 4 me on myspace ppl!!!

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