A few weeks ago I ranted about how school administrators in the Indianapolis area were implementing policies to penalize students and teachers for inappropriate material posted to web outside of school.
Another district in that area has voted for such a policy.
The policy informs students and teachers that they will be held legally responsible for anything posted online, including material deemed defamatory, obscene, proprietary or legally libelous.
Aren’t all those things already covered under current laws? And who gets to decide what is or is not covered?
But, of course, the school district administration is not trying to stifle free speech.
“We tried to make it clear that we, as a district, were not trying to censor you. It’s to ensure student safety and security,” said White [the director of technology], who wrote the policy.
Threatening to punish a student for material they might post outside of school certainly sounds like censorship.
The bottom line, however, is that once again we have educators trying to use heavy handed rules to try and change student (and teacher) behavior.
A solution more suited to a real education system would be to teach everyone how to responsibly publish to the web.