The House of Representatives has passed legislation that would require school districts to restrict their students’ access at school to the many “social networking” Web sites, such as MySpace.com.
Millions of teenagers use the sites, which allow them to create and share online portfolios of their photographs, music clips, and written musings. Many parents have been alarmed by the minimal supervision most of the sites provide, and by incidents in which adults have preyed upon minors they contacted through the sites.
Many schools already block access to the sites from school computers, though some educators are exploring the educational uses of the sites.
The bill, which passed the House on July 26 by a vote of 410-15, would take away school districts’ federal E-rate money for telecommunications if they did not block students’ access to the sites, as well as to online chat rooms. The bill is pending in the Senate.
A version of this article appeared in the August 09, 2006 edition of Education Week