A tragedy just occurred in a town not far from here. Two 12-year-old girls played out a terrible fantasy based on a website they often visited that resulted in them luring their 12-year-old friend into the woods and stabbing her: she survived but is clinging to life.
The owner of the website denies that it’s anything but a literature site. But according to the two girls, it propelled them to do something very evil.
Some people are going to say that the website should be shut down. Others will say that it was never meant for children in the first place.
But the bottom line is that these girls had access to the site. Their parents may not have even known about the site, because thanks to today’s technology, anyone can have easy and private access to anything on the Web.
It seems so long ago that we had a computer set up in our dining room, where we could supervise Internet surfing and thus allowed our children limited access to the Internet. As they grew older, they could afford their own computers in their own rooms. At that point, we could no longer see what they were accessing, but they were nearly adults by then and we had to trust them.
Now, young children have total access to the Internet, and to the many good and bad things available on it. Kids are being bullied on Facebook and other social sites. Some have committed suicide because of that.
Once, it was considered entirely reasonable for parents to strictly limit their children’s intake of all forms of media, and even of books they considered inappropriate. But since the ascent of the Internet, it seems that most kids are allowed free access to anything they can find. And now we’re seeing the sad results of that policy.
The upcoming bride in our house is designing a guestbook for her wedding using engagement photos and Snapfish. She’s very good at making books there and I know the guestbook is going to be wonderful.
But there are all sorts of uses for these books that are so easily made using your own photos. Like this ABC book you make for a child using his or her own toys. How cool is that?
Every morning when my alarm goes off, and whenever I’m in the car, I listen to Chicago radio. It’s a lifetime habit I can’t break, even though I left Illinois several years ago.
Chicago radio is overloaded with ads. Some of them are played over and over, so they must be successful. I assume whatever’s being advertised on Chicago radio is something that’s probably popular with a lot of people, since a big city usually has a good cross-section of the population.
Lately I’m hearing a lot of radio ads for a DVD series that teaches children to do math. If you knew nothing about public education today, you might wonder why advertisers think there’s a market for such a thing. But as the public schools continue their downward trajectory, more parents are seeing a need for math help for their kids. A DVD is something they can put in front of their children without getting too involved themselves, or so they hope.
Technology is slowly changing the face of education. Today’s kids have access to so much educational material on DVDs and the Internet, via tablets and laptops. More and more parents are realizing that their children can have a good education at home, without the distractions of the classroom, or the dangers.
Think I’m exaggerating about that last part? I wish I was, but it scares me to think about how easily and quickly I came up with these stories from just this month:
Teacher with child porn on FBI Most-Wanted List
Iowa teacher admits to sex with four of her students.
Utah teacher charged with raping student.
Illinois teacher pleads guilty to sex with student.
California teacher pleas “no contest” to sex with 14-year-old student.
Maryland teacher arrested with child porn.
California special-ed teacher fired for running porn sites on school computer.
Two married female NY teachers investigated for “inappropriate relationships” with student athletes.
Florida teacher’s assistant charged with aggravated child abuse.
NY teacher fired for kissing student, exchanging 1400 texts.
Texas teacher fired for molestation denies it, saying she doesn’t even like touching black children on the hand.
OK, that’s enough or I’ll lose my lunch. I find it especially depressing that most of the perpetrator teachers listed above are women. Ugh. Bottom line: today’s schools are definitely dangerous places for children.