TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites

Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites

Gary Novosielski (
Tue, 07 Jun 2005 03:29:34 GMT

Fred Atkinson wrote:

> Sorry to come down on you this hard, but limiting student access to
> information simply because we think they don't 'need' access to it is
> a pretty short sighted opinion for an educator to take.

You're presuming that it's educators who are in favor of blocking
technology, but I think that's jumping to an unsupported conclusion.

Educators and, to an even greater extent, librarians are mostly
opposed to arbitrary blocking software and other automated solutions
to this "problem". But the religious fundamentalists now in control
of the federal government have forced local schools to install
blocking software, ignoring all the facts and figures (and plain old
first-hand experience) that show it's useless, just so they can say
they're "protecting the children".

Sometimes, local school boards will get pressure to "do something"
from parent groups who have been panicked by some sensationalized
story in the press about child molesters and porno pushers on the Net.
Blocking access lets them say they've acted to solve the "problem",
which is a whole lot easier than educating parents on the real dangers
and the remedies that really work.

As a result, students who try to do a report on breast cancer will
usually be unable to access any information on the subject because
"breast" is on the list of evil keywords.

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