Tonight: Join us to celebrate Education Week’s 2021 Leaders To Learn From. Register to attend the gala.
Federal Federal File

Anti-Social Networking

By Andrew Trotter — May 23, 2006 1 min read
Michael Fitzpatrick

A new bill in Congress would regulate children’s access to the popular social-networking Web sites, such as MySpace.com and Facebook.com, from U.S. public schools and libraries.

The proposed Deleting Online Predators Act, introduced May 9 by House Republicans, would require that most schools and libraries that receive federal E-rate funds install technology on their computers to bar students from commercial social-networking sites where they can “easily access … obscene or indecent material.”

The bill follows a rash of news stories about young people who have created Web pages on the social-networking sites, where some have published personal information and risque images of themselves, and about adult sexual predators who have sought out minors through the sites. (“Social-Networking Web Sites Pose Growing Challenge for Educators,” Feb. 15, 2006.)

“[This] new technology has become a feeding ground for child predators that use these sites as just another way to do our children harm,” the bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., says in a statement on his Web site.

Most school districts are banning social networks already, said Keith R. Krueger, the executive director of the Consortium for School Networking, a Washington-based group that represents school district technology officials.

The group has not taken a position on Rep. Fitzpatrick’s bill, but “in general we think that decisionmaking should be at the local level, and are alarmed at efforts to make a national solution,” Mr. Krueger said.

Under the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000, schools and libraries receiving E-rate funds must install technology to block or filter “offensive content” from Internet-connected computers accessible to children. An “authorized person” may disable the filtering when an adult uses the computer for a lawful purpose.

The bill, which arrives just in time for upcoming congressional elections, was highlighted by the newly formed House Republican Suburban Caucus as a practical move on a “pro-community and pro-family” issue.

“Every election year, these laws suddenly seem to appear which are an attempt to legislate safety,” Mr. Krueger said.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 24, 2006 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Biden Taps Ex-Obama Aide Roberto Rodriguez for Key Education Department Job
Rodriguez served as a top education staffer to President Barack Obama and currently leads a teacher-advocacy organization.
3 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Getty
Federal Biden Pitches Plan to Expand Universal Pre-K, Free School Meal Programs, Teacher Training
The president's $1.8 trillion American Families Plan faces strong headwinds as Congress considers other costly administration proposals.
8 min read
President Joe Biden addresses Congress from the House chamber. Behind him are Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, as Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., applaud.<br/>
Chip Somodevilla/AP
Federal Education Department Kicks Off Summer Learning Collaborative
The Summer Learning and Enrichment Collaborative will boost programs for students acutely affected by COVID-19 in 46 states.
2 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, left, talks with Fort LeBoeuf Middle School teacher Laura Friedman during a discussion on safely returning to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic on March 3, 2021.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, left, talks with Fort LeBoeuf Middle School teacher Laura Friedman during a discussion on safely returning to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via TNS
Federal As 100-Day Mark Approaches, Has Biden Met His School Reopening Goal? And What Comes Next?
President Joe Biden faces a self-imposed deadline of having most K-8 schools open for in-person learning by his hundredth day in office.
6 min read
First Lady Jill Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona tour Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, in Meriden, Ct., on March 3, 2021.
First lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona tour Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, in Meriden, Ct., in March.
Mandel Ngan/AP