Tag Archives: Digital Devices

School Cyber Safety, Who’s Responsibility Is It?

School Cyber Safety, Who’s Responsibility Is It?

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Not mentioning any names….but I had a conversation last week with a school teacher who informed me that the material kids bring to school on their laptops is the responsibility of the parents….eh???

In my day…(sounding ancient), if a child brought a comic, or a playboy mag to school, the school had to deal with it…yes they contacted the parents but they had definite rules and consequences about these things?

This conversation was as a result of a client of mine being phoned by another parent at her sons school to say that my clients little 11yr old darling had brought pornographic pictures to school on their laptop and shown them around. From a non-legal stand point I would say its the schools has to get involved. But the teacher disagreed.

The Rudd Government Laptops In Schools Finishes end of 2012

This whole nasty can of worms will be more and more prominent when the Rudd Gov “Laptop for every school child” disappears after 2012…Those Rudd Govt laptops were especially designed for School environments and had restrictions on them. And as a result of that initiative Schools have definitely integrated laptops into their education model now, but many have not properly thought out how on earth they are going to prevent undesirable material from showing up in their schools, not to mention game playing and other material that is not dependent on the School Wi Fi that is usually and thankfully firewalled.

If parents are now to provide the laptops for their children to bring to school how are they going to set it up, so “little Johnny” doesn’t bring pictures of nekid ladies to school?

And if your child is the one exposed to this X rated material in the classroom, will you accept the teachers disclaimer of…oh its not our responsibility ..its the parents! …I ….think….NOT!

I’ts Up To The Parents?

Again the onus is on the parents to get up to date with computing and online behaviour. I just set an 11yr old up with a parental controlled account for taking his laptop to school, he will be the ONLY child in a population of a few hundred with this, this was done because he showed nude pics that he had downloaded at home, at school. The parents were informed by another parent…NOT the school that he was showing them around in the school yard. Kids really need a separate computer for school work with restrictions on it, but thats such a huge expense for most families.

This is NOT like Mobile Phones In Schools

I see a minefield of trouble with this approach. With mobile phones, its a whole different scenario, they are largely allowed at schools, but with most schools its a punishable offence if they are used at school, only for emergencies and to and from school. Now with a computer, that is being used at School for schoolwork..thats a whole different proposition.

Parent/Teacher controlled accounts

You can set up a Parental/Teacher controlled account as I did for this one family. The child doesn’t know the log in of his other account…so he is only allowed on it under his parents strict supervision. He only has open access to his restricted account. No downloading porn or other stuff on that one. This is the safest option at this point for a child who uses the same computer for school as he does at home for play and social interaction. Mind you with a USB stick he could still transfer naughty files to his school account and show them around.

My question is? when the Rudd Govt computers are no more…who will be setting up the school computers to be safe? Will the parents have to do it? A lot of parents I’ve met, can’t even set up their own computers for privacy and safety let alone their kids.

Kids Responsibility?

All of this needs to planned by the education department before the Rudd Govt computer scheme finishes. I guess you could say its no different from when I was at school if you brought in a girly mag to school you would be suspended…but most of us didn’t have to do our school work on that sort of platform…its a bit different.

The horse has bolted…we cannot close the barn door!

Sure …..kids need to learn NOT to bring undesirable material to school thats a given, but lets make it a little easier to control.

Am I the only one concerned about this issue?

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