According to Teen People, a Catholic school in NJ is threatening to suspend students for blogging!
Effective immediately, students at a Catholic school in Sparta, New Jersey face suspension if they keep personal pages or blogs on popular websites like MySpace.com. Reverend Kieran McHugh, the principal of Pope John XIII Regional High School, shocked 900 students when he made the announcement during an assembly two weeks ago, according to Sparta’s Daily Record.
The new rule is meant to protect students from online predators, the principal said, adding that these websites — where students blog about their lives and feelings about their teachers and schools — are fertile ground for sexual predators to gather information about children. “I don’t see this as censorship,” McHugh said this week. “I believe we are teaching common civility, courtesy and respect.”
Students were also told to dismantle existing accounts on MySpace.com and similar sites with personal pages or blogs. It’s not uncommon for public and private schools to block access to these types of sites from school computers, but the rule at Pope John extends to personal computers, reaching into students’ homes and private lives.
According to the paper, students, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the majority of the student body protested the new rule. They tried to argue that they have the freedom of speech and the school should not control what they do at home.
“If this protects one child from being near-abducted or harassed or preyed upon, I make no apologies for this stance,” McHugh said.
OK, but these kids can be abducted, harassed or preyed upon any time they walk out of their house! This is pushing the censorship envelope big time…