High School Blocks Blogging Website

Posted on March 30, 2005

An article in the Rutland Herald (Rutland, Vermont) reports that Proctor Jr.-Sr. High School students have been banned from using a blogging website with school computers. Principal Chris Sousa said the website was blocked because blogging is not an educational use of school computers. The Rutland Herald also reports that Principal Sousa also warned parents about blogging and photo websites:

"It's not so much a school concern as it is an issue for students and parents," he said. "This site particularly was getting a lot of hits. It's a blog site but they also post pictures and biographical information and then send each other notes." He added, "My concern is less as a principal and more as a dad." Sousa said he found the prospect of students putting information on the Internet, potentially available to predators, was a serious concern. "As soon as someone has a name and a general geographic location, it can take an Internet predator 20 minutes to find their address and directions to their house," he said. "Any time a teen puts their own photo or biographical information on a Web site, it's something that parents at least need to know about."
This article also relates to the problem of cyberbullying we blogged about last week. However, blocking access to a blogging website here and there probably isn't going to curtail blogging by teenagers. Teenagers can just as easily blog from a home computer and blogging can also be done with IM's, cell phones and probably eventually through devices like the PSP. If parents truly want to limit blogging by teenagers they would have to get the major blog hosting providers to quit offering free blogging services to teenagers. Blog hosts are unlikely to want to do this considering the large volumes of traffic they receive from teen bloggers. Plus, this would be stifling the creativity of young people just when blogging was getting kids writing again.