| "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
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
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
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
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
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.