[LINK] Survey Finds Support for School Filters (USA)
Tue, 24 Oct 2000 14:08:26 +1000
On Tue, 24 Oct 2000 00:27:51 +1000 stephen loosley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> .. The fact that some schools manage fine without [filtering] suggests
>> it's not necessary ..
>I *would* like to know of such schools, if you can pass along this information.
Well, I don't know for sure what Somerset College, Gold Coast is doing
these days, but their policy suggests they still don't think filtering's a
To Filter or not to Filter? A Policy for the Internet
"According to Bill Taylor, Somerset has taken an enlightened and
philosophical approach to this perceived problem. Bill, quoted verbatim,
says,"The best policy is to have no policy", and he does not say this in a
facetious manner. To the school's way of thinking, "Computers must be
recognised and treated as just one of the many 'pieces' of educational
furniture at the school, and after all, we do not have a policy for the use
of calculators, or for that matter, for the use of text books or novels".
Bill would like to see computers in general, and the internet in
particular, be accepted as just another facet - albeit an important one -
of the cornucopia of educational resources on offer at Somerset. To vet the
internet, or to put filters on it, or even to create an intranet - a school
based microcosm of the internet where staff download selected and
'suitable' sites for student access, would be counterproductive and futile.
Filtering the internet at school as part of policy, would in addition, be
an insult to the intelligence of our students. As Bill puts it, in his own
inimitable way, "Self-discipline is meaningless in the absence of
temptation", and "so as not to limit the fundamental right of freedom of
speech by the specific duty of care of schools to protect minors, the
school advocates 'carbon filtering' as opposed to 'silicon filtering' ".
That is, the school seeks to instil in students a sense of responsibility,
self-discipline and self regulation in their approach to the temptations of
the Big Wide World and indeed, the World Wide Web. As Bill says, "Although
we have a duty to protect children, we also have a fundamental duty to
educate them and more so, total protection is just as undesirable as
totally guided education (aka indoctrination) and education is ineffective
without exposure to experience".