Who's to blame when students violate Internet protocol agreements and wander into supposedly banned Internet sites? This is a question being explored in one Texas school district when an 11-year old was suspended after looking at a site called "Sexy Dress-up," a virtual paper doll which allowed the dolls clothing to be removed completely but for a few well-placed Band-Aids.
Reports the Texarcana Gazette, the kid's parents assert there was limited supervision while the student was on the Internet, and the student shouldn't be punished. The district has strict policies regarding computer use. And the parents signed an Internet use policy at the beginning of the year. The teacher happened to be a substitute but was trained in the computer-use policies of the district.
"The best (Internet) filter is the teacher's eyes," says Rick Patrick, Pleasant Grove Independent School District technology director. "There is no substitute for a teacher."
But some teachers are critical of the how the policy is implemented by teachers.
"I can't believe the computer teacher had students exploring that site," said a TISD elementary school teacher who asked not to be identified. "I've never directed my students to a site I haven't thoroughly examined," she said.
Hmm, let's take preadolescent kids with a natural interest in their developing bodies, give them the Internet, and when they look at "Sexy Dress-Up," ... suspend them! You have to wonder if this district has sex ed classes.