Internet Dangers

  Parent's  Rules ‘N Tools™

  Youth Safety Guide

  Safety Tools

  Harms of Porn

  Child Sexual Abuse

  Report a Cybercrime

  Big Cheese Sites

  Donna Rice Hughes

  Kids Online

       Chapter 1

       Chapter 2

       Chapter 3

       Chapter 4

       Chapter 5

       Chapter 6

       Chapter 7

       Chapter 8

       Appendix A

       Appendix B

       Appendix C

       Appendix D

       Appendix E

       Appendix F

       Appendix G

       Appendix H

       Appendix I

       Book Reviews

       Letter from Author

  Public Policy Updates

  MouseClick Maze (home)

Kids Online: Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace
Chapter 7

"Donna Rice Hughes challenges parents to take charge of their children's Internet use and bridge the technogeneration gap. Parents, librarians, and teachers, regardless of their Internet knowledge, will find this book to be a positive, important resource."
Ernie Allen, President,
National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children

What's an acceptable-use policy?
What is the role of my child's school in providing safe, educational Internet access?
What can I do to protect my child on the Internet while at school? at the public library?

Expanding Your Child's Safety Net

Just as we want to ensure the safety of our children's online experiences at home, we need to be concerned about our children's safety outside the home, particularly at school and the public library. If the safety measures discussed in previous chapters are not implemented in the classroom and in the library, our children are at risk. After all, 70 percent of children's Internet access occurs away from home. In this chapter, I want to help you understand the issues surrounding school and library access to the Internet while equipping you to work with these institutions in order to implement policies and software solutions. This will help to ensure that your child's Internet access is just as safe at school and the library as it is at home.

Statistics on Internet Access in Schools and Libraries

Statistics on Pornography Access in Schools and Libraries:
In a 1997 GRIP survey of students who have unintentionally downloaded pornography while surfing the Net:

  • 22 percent downloaded it at their school Internet connection
  • 25 percent downloaded it at their public library Internet connection

The percentage of students who have intentionally downloaded pornography while surfing the Net were:
  • 16 percent at their school Internet connection
  • 11 percent at their public library connection

Strategies for Schools and Libraries:
Many of the strategies for protecting our children when they're online at home can also be used to protect their online experiences at school and the library. There is currently no consensus on the precise role of schools and libraries in structuring children's Internet access, nor is there consensus on the methods that should be employed.

A computer with access to the Internet should be located in a classroom or library where the supervising adult has the best chance of viewing the screen.

"Hold Harmless" Agreements
Parents can use the Sample Letter Requesting Safe Internet Access included in this chapter as a response to hold-harmless agreements.

Acceptable-Use Policies
Examples of Internet acceptable-use policies are included in this chapter.

Software Solutions for Schools and Libraries

Success Story of Filtering in Public Schools:
An April 1998 article from the Associated Press said that it has been documented through the Utah Education Network (UEN) that public school students tried to access pictures of naked women or other prohibited material 275,000 times in just one month. In February students tried more than 250,000 times to access Internet sites that were sexual in nature or dealt with sexuality. The filters used by UEN were successful in blocking most of the inappropriate sites, although it is impossible to block all unwanted material because new sites are added daily.

ALA and ACLU on Filtering
American Civil Liberties Union Policy #4: Censorship of Obscenity, Pornography and Indecency

Evaluating Software Solutions for Schools and Libraries:
This section includes valuable information to assist schools and libraries in the selection of protective software.

Choosing Software Solutions for School and Library Settings
School Software Solutions: This section includes a listing of software solutions designed specifically for the school market.

The Effectiveness of Software Solutions
Get Involved: The home/school connection is our opportunity as parents to become more involved in our children's education in all areas, not just with regard to Internet access.

Ways you can support the use of technology at your child's school

Seven Questions to Ask Your Librarian
Find out where your library stands on Internet access. If your library is providing unrestricted access to the Internet, they are providing a way for children to access illegal material.

We must develop an awareness of what is needed and what actions we should take to ensure that our children have what they need for a safe, educational, and entertaining experience on the Internet. The information provided in this chapter will empower and equip parents, educators and librarians to protect children online while at school and at the library.


© 2001 by Donna Rice Hughes. Request permission if you wish to reprint or post.