High School Internet Censorship Essay

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High School Internet Censorship

The common image that comes to mind on the topic of censorship is that of book burning. Dating back to ancient times, the easiest way to deal with unwanted writings has been to get rid of them, usually by heaping them into a blazing pyre. In his most famous science fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury warns of a futuristic society where all literature is destroyed under a kerosene flame and the citizens' freedoms are kept in check by the lack of written information. In fear of this kind of totalitarianism, many bibliophiles have fought against all manners of censorship, wielding the first amendment and the rights recognized by our fore-fathers. But with the technological advances of this the …show more content…

While elementary and middle schools have obvious needs for restrictions, Internet access at the high school level isn't as black and white. High school students are sensitive to their given rights, yet are officially minors under the law; teenagers are ever nearing adulthood, but are sometimes viewed as immature. So, high school administrators are challenged with designing an Internet policy that meets the educational needs of the students and the moral demands of society. Although software is being designed to "censor" the content of the Internet, student trust and responsibility might be a more reasonable route.

One of the two main technical solutions to the content problem is monitoring. Students may be informally monitored by teachers or administrators in the area of the computer. However, teachers cannot be continually "policing" computer labs or libraries with their previous classroom commitment. Also, too much of this type of "looking over the shoulder" can turn to questions of an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. Most web browsers keep a short list of sites that have been accessed, allowing a quick inventory for violations. The biggest problem with this kind of monitoring is that it shows what was viewed and when, but not who did the viewing, making disciplinary actions almost impossible. Certain software can actually monitor every action on a given computer, including programs

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