Cyber Police

How much authority should school authorities have when students use the internet outside of the school setting? In my opinion, very little.

I tend to agree with an editorial that schools should not be used as internet police. In my opinion, the only reason a school official should have any say over a student’s internet use outside of school is if that use causes a disruption to learning in the school. Otherwise, cyber-activities are a matter of parents and police.

To be completely forthright, I am also against any type of internet filter in high schools as well. I know people fear students accessing sites which are inappropriate, but I feel that responsibility is two-fold: 1) supervisors need to supervise their charges in school, and 2) teachers and other school supervisors need to teach students how to use the internet responsibly if they allow students to access the internet.

I tire of leadership banning sites and other internet uses simply because they do not want to take the time (and it will take time) to teach responsible use. Many students have never been taught how to access cyberspace responsibly, and we can do it. I may be in the minority, but I definitely feel that I have a responsibility to not only monitor my students while on the internet, but also to teach students how not to repeat mistakes when using the internet.

Maybe this relates to my not having classroom rules.

7 thoughts on “Cyber Police

  1. mrschili

    Here’s Mrs. Chili, standing right next to you in the minority section.

    Here’s the thing; if we ban this or that and never talk about its responsible use (hello? Sex ed?) then what happens when the student is in an environment where those bans are lifted? We can’t watch them always and forever; at some point, they’re going to have to navigate this stuff on their own.

    I agree with you that (part of) the responsibility lies with the teachers. Banning or blocking certain internet sites doesn’t do anything but cause the students more curiosity.

  2. Betty

    I am a big believer in teaching kids to be responsible. Since computers play a major part in our society, kids need to know how to use them wisely.

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  4. Matt Johnston

    Here is the problem with your position “my opinion, the only reason a school official should have any say over a student’s internet use outside of school is if that use causes a disruption to learning in the school.”

    Define disruption for me. Is it simply what the administration says it is? That is far too loose a standard. A rumor about a teacher, whether true or not, could fall under that standard.

    Threats of violence I can see. But the threat needs to be specific, imminent and real. By that I mean the threat maker has to have the means and opportunity to carry out the threat.

    See, the threshold of disruption of the school is not only too loose, but almost impossible to prove with any specificity, which is why adminstrators love it. The fact of the matter is, I want to the school to be able to prove, with clear and convincing evidence that the student’s outside of school internet behavior actually disrupts the educational mission. Then and only then should they be able to put a stop to it.

  5. Mz. Algebra

    That’s crazy if you ask me. Students should be taught how to use the internet but any use outside of school should not be monitored like at school. Besides, they will always find a way to beat the system. It’s up to the adults to teach them responsibility and to let them know the ins and outs about the internet.


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