Monday, October 02, 2006

An urgent message from Will

The following comment appeared under my post "potpourri." I thought you could all help out Will...

TIME OUT! TIME OUT! TIME OUT! TIME OUT! TIME OUT! TIME OUT!

Hope I got your attention, this is very IMPORTANT.

I have an URGENT message. Today in AP Gov, Meyer brought up a very interesting bill called the DELETING ONLINE PREDATORS BILL, despite the nice title, the bill will destroy what we and the Arapahoe High School staff have attempted to create. Please research this bill. The gist of the bill is that all access to chat rooms, BLOGS, myspace,and perhaps even simpler pages that might allow students to display any kind of personal information will be denied to students.

This bill will be extremely detrimental to the education, will destroy everything we have worked hard to establish, and eliminate the benefits to internet in the classroom that many of you enjoy. THIS BILL PASSED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BY A VOTE OF 410-15. Our time window is incredibly short to take any kind of action against this bill before it is passed by the Senate and it WILL be passed. We must take action now, IF THERE IS A WAY TO ORGANIZE A MEETING FOR CONCERNED STUDENTS I WOULD BE GRACIOUS FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO GET A ROOM AND ANNOUNCEMENTS.

Any strategies on how not to get this bill passed would be greatly appreciated, I have a few, but I would prefer one in which I don't have to be suspended or expelled :).

22 comments:

BenH said...

urgent is right. Thanks for the update, will. I had no idea it entailed stuff like blogs. I thought it was more stuff like enabling police to take interventive (if that is a word) action earlier. Stupid me. But I think a meeting would be great. If we dont have time to get a room (that sounds awkward) we could just do it on the lawn or something like that.

BenH said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BenH said...

Oh. It is the national bill. I think there is also some sort of state thingy going on about online predators that includes a microsoft workshop.

Here is a good link that describes the act.
Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006

ADRIANA G said...

Thanks for bringing that to our attention. I definitely think you are right that whatever our opinions on classroom internet access, this bill is bad for alll of us. Ms. Smith-do you think there is any possible way we could meet about this? I think we would all appreciate the help of a teacher. I will try to check back up on this blog to see if we can meet. If you need to reach me in a hurry, would you mind e-mailing me--agarties@comcast.net Thanks. I will try to find out more about the bill.

tomr said...

Don't they realise that even if they block such sites at school or libraries, then kids will just access them from home?

If there's a meeting, I'll definitely be in on it.

AleeA said...

Gosh, that would be really unfortunate if we couldn't do blogs and things that allow us to continue class outside of school! Mrs. Smith, I think that your classes should definitely meet about this and discuss it. I believe that we should get an idea of what the majority of students think of blogs. If what I have heard from other students is accurate, this would really upset them also because all the students I have talked to love blogging. If enough students were to express their positive feelings towards blogs in schools and education, I think that others might see how they aren't hurting our education, but helping it.

Hikingout said...

Thanks whoever set this up, it was done very quickly.

Mphair said...

Maybe we could "invite" some of the people advocating for/against this bill to visit our sites. We probably should go through and see if there is any spelling and such changes we can make before we do that, I don't even know if that can be done...but it might be worth a try...

Mphair said...

I highly suggest looking at the site that Benh suggested. For mor information, see his second posting.

BenH said...

I have to make the prediction that most of the debate around this bill will be centered around what is constituted as "adult supervision."
The presence of teacher moderators on the blogs may or may not count as supervision, which would make it ok. But that hugeuncertainty is where the greatest danger lies.

JoanneH said...

I posted this under 'the conversation continues' yesterday:

I don't want to sound pessimistic, but is it really so bad if this bill passes? After all, safety comes first. The government would rather keep us safe than give us opportunities and have a rash of killings like what happened at that high school last week (you know they were speculating that the killer got his list of names off an internet site like myspace). I think the view of the House is that they got on fine without these sorts of things, and if they are potentially hazardous, then why should they be allowed to continue?

Meyer said...

SO who have you contacted? Your Senators? Your representatives? Peers? Parents? The election cylce might give you some time, but...

Lane C. said...

Today in my history class we talked about this bill. Crosby brought up an interesting point: is blocking all these sites really going to stop kids from getting into dangerous places. Let's face it, we're teenagers, our greatest joy in life is defying authority. There are some who would just find other ways to get to certain sites. So basically kids would still have access to the "bad" sites and the good sites that like blogger that we use for school related purposes would be blocked.

Mphair said...

Lane C. Good point. I really like the connection to "challenging the system."

Does anyone have an idea on exactly WHEN this bill is supposed to be passed? Is it like within this month, or is it within a year? Five years?

JoanneH said...

Michelle: The link Ben set up said that the bill passed in the House last May, if that's any help.

BenH said...

Yes, the bill has already passed the house, which is why it is so urgent. It is expected to pass in the senate.

EmilyL said...

To throw this out there:
Does anyone think that this bill will be spurred into passing with the Mark Foley Scandal?

Mphair said...

I don't know...maybe...but look at the dates...

Any way...are we going to have a meeting? We might be able to have a meeting before or after school sometime...but after school is marching band...I don't know how many people are in that...

Thanks for up-dating me on the passing date thing...

ADRIANA G said...

In response to some comments about the bill making us safer--how exactly will it make us safer? I don't in any way mean disrespect to the schools where shootings occur, and I do want to keep safety in mind, but I really don't see how this bill will help. If it is to protect us from predators, they are going about it in the entirely wrong way. It's the personal blogs that could be considered dangerous(even though they're only dangerous in the hands of unresponsible kids). One of the things that really makes me mad is people using arguments, or, excuses, you might call them, that have nothing to do with the subjects. This happens so often after tragedies. Please understand, I'm not totally against all of you who believe in the bill, but if I could get a few people to explain their thoughts on how it is helpful that would be great. Thanks

Realistically, it will be very hard to arrange a meeting. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, I just want to point out an idea. If the bill is passed and it keeps us from blogging in class, I think we could all promise to keep the blogging going on our own. We can all start blogs about class, government, whatever we want. I personally, will try to do whatever it takes outside of school to blog if it is banned in school. We can do it at home, or in the public library. It wouldn't take much time. All I'm asking is that if our fears do come true, we try to keep up the discussions on our own, even if it's not assigned for homework. It's not that much of a commitment.

Hikingout said...

The bill will be passed, the trick is a "loophole" in the bill, we just have to convince Congress to define what sites will be banned according to certain definitions of what a "chat room" and other banned articles are. The loophole essentially says that within one-hundred-twenty days of the Bill's passage (definitely after the mid-terms) these articles must be defined. We cannot stop passage, the Bill is just too "nice" to vote against, but we can change the definitions.

I still need to know how to get a meeting set-up.

BenH said...

I agree, hikingout. Or get some sort of legal precedent on what "adult supervision." is. I am open to just about any time for a meeting. I can make room for something like this. Although it seems it has petered out.

ADRIANA G said...

Does anyone know WHEN the Senate votes on the bill?