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Re^4: Proposed US ban on school/library access to 'social networking sites'

by eric256 (Parson)
on Aug 01, 2006 at 15:17 UTC ( #565021=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^3: Proposed US ban on school/library access to 'social networking sites'
in thread Proposed US ban on school/library access to 'social networking sites'

My opposition is more to the idea of the government censoring sites and parents thinking that the government is responsible for keeping their children safe. The Internet is much different than in person, a child has to go onto the Internet and give out info to get in trouble. Banning such sites is simply ignoring the bigger issue and censorship, which I oppose. If they wanted to help they would teach children how to be safe. You don't tell your child not to go out in public, you teach them how to go out safely.

As for your last point your absolutely right and I plan to write a letter to my congressmen. Assuming that because the government passed it, it must represent the majority view is hardly a true. Don't even get me started on how the current voting system in the US is flawed ;).

Bottom line though, Iím tired of parents thinking the government should be sheltering there children, instead of the parents teaching children how to be safe, and I never ever ever like the idea of the government choosing what people can see. Also note that the bill isn't limited to school but extends to any publicly funded organization.

Updated: fixed spelling errors


___________
Eric Hodges
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Re^5: Proposed US ban on school/library access to 'social networking sites'
by Errto (Vicar) on Aug 01, 2006 at 17:32 UTC
    You don't tell your child not to go out in public, you teach them how to go out safely.

    I think this particular argument actually illustrates what I think is the more serious problem with such laws: not that the government can't regulate what children are allowed to do in school, but that the regulation paints with too large a brush. The thing about your analogy is that it's true only past a certain age. Below a certain age, I would most certainly tell my child (assuming I have one some day) not to go out in public. Above a certain age, such a blanket rule is no longer appropriate.

    The solution as I see it is to let local school districts craft acceptable use policies, and enforce them, with age-appropriate terms for the different school levels. I remember doing this in my high school ten years ago and it worked reasonably well. The policies would be publicly posted and parents could raise concerns via the school board if needed.

      We are certianly on the same page there. I have no issue with schools controling what is done on their computers. As long as it is something decided with the cooperation of the parents and students involved then it makes sense. It is when these become blanket regulations that it becomes censorship and bad.


      ___________
      Eric Hodges
Re^5: Proposed US ban on school/library access to 'social networking sites'
by ptum (Priest) on Aug 01, 2006 at 15:34 UTC

    I upvoted your node because I like the way you argue -- I appreciate your calm, reasoned approach. So many times these kind of discussions reach a least-common denominator darn quickly. :)

    Believe me when I tell you that I am deeply concerned about parenting issues. I have five children, ages 4-12, and I am currently facilitating a parenting study through our local church. There are many, many people out there who have only the foggiest idea as to how to raise their children and how to keep them safe.

    On some parts of my commute, there are no shoulders on the highway, and the tiniest inattention of a driver can result in an accident that brings the whole road to a halt. In other areas, there are wider lanes and wide shoulders, which are more forgiving areas. Without falling too much in love with my analogy, I think that the internet has pretty narrow 'safe' lanes and pretty small shoulders -- even a small amount of curiosity or naivete on the part of a child can result in them arriving at an obscene website or in contact with a predator. If they build bad roads, people get killed -- in the same way, I think that the government ought to try to protect children, even if parents don't.

    Personally, I teach my children how to be safe, and I (mostly) don't let my little children out of my sight. None of my kids go to malls without me (or my wife) within eyesight, and none of them use the internet without one of us being in the same room. I don't see the government's involvment in this area as pre-empting my parental role -- I appreciate it the way I would appreciate a wider lane on the highway.


    No good deed goes unpunished. -- (attributed to) Oscar Wilde

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