My district, like so many other public school systems has internet filters in place. They are supposed to protect the youth from seeing sights unfit for innocent eyes and prevent the employees from shopping on E-bay or indulging in on betting when they should be working.
Our IT department switched to what was supposed to be a new and better filtering system than the one we used the prior school year. Our IT department is always switching to something that is supposed to be new and better. A year later, they decide it isn’t really new and better and switch to something else. It’s their version of The Search for the Holy Grail.
For some reason this years new and better version blocks access to author’s websites and any number of other sites I want to use to illustrate a lesson, yet lets the most prurient of e-mails sail right on in. We’re bombarded daily with offers to increase the size of a specific male organ. Considering that, the majority of elementary school teachers are women these aren’t of any particular interest to anyone.
Today, one of our students, a second grader who is one of the Assistant Principal’s frequent flyers managed to pull up a very graphic porn site in the lab. He did it deliberately, he knew exactly what he was doing and it was obvious he knew the URL and was familiar with the contents of the site.
Of course the first thing that came to mind was “how did he get through the filters?”. It turned out that while the child is bi-lingual Net Nannie isn’t. Child typed in the URL for a Spanish Porn Site. Wanting to prove it, I made sure the library was empty and while my assistant guarded the door I typed in the the only inappropriate Spanish term I knew. Up popped some sites that had no educational or moral value at all. It was apparent that they were frequented by people who had great interest in a certain male organ.
Once we figured that out, the next thought that came to mind is, who is showing the child this site and just what is going on at home? Scary, isnt’ it? The counselor is investigating.
The last month of school is always a trial but this year appears to be starting out at a new low.