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Re: [K12OSN] CIPA and xxxGUARD
- From: Donald J Christensen <djc cisco com>
- To: k12osn redhat com
- Subject: Re: [K12OSN] CIPA and xxxGUARD
- Date: Tue Jun 11 15:31:02 2002
This is becoming a p*ssing contest, but I'm just too irritated to let
it drop. This will be my last message on this subject in a public
forum. It retrospect, I made a mistake in using Julius's name in
my last message, that isn't my usual style. I apologize to members
of the list who might find this kind of argument distasteful.
Julius Szelagiewicz wrote:
Well, guys, it seems that many took reading lessons, but skipped the
First, the whole discussion is careering toward "censorship is
good" versus "censorship is bad", so i promise to keep quiet after this
I certainly did not indicate in any way that I think censorship is
good. Quite the contrary, I provided examples of why censorship is
bad. (I could comment on comprehension here, but I want to avoid
Second, it is entirely possible that US Patent Office is staffed
by people like Don here and would issue me a patent on ridiculous
argument that censoring material available to teachers amounts to free
speech infringment. after all they issued patents on token ring and
routinely issue patents for software concepts.
I don't understand what you are trying to say, here. Perhaps I am
too dense to feret out your intention. I see now in my original
post that I perhaps mistakenly used the term "free speech rights"
when you only said "rights" in your message to Caleb. Sorry if
this confused you.
Third, teachers are NOT employees like any others in private
companies, and if they really are, the children in your schools are being
cheated out of decent education. Teachers' work is supposed to involve
Hmmm. Last I checked, teachers applied for a position, were interviewed,
accepted an offered position, signed an empoyment contract, and were
paid a salary. Regardless of why they chose to be teachers, they are
employed. You could argue that employment by a public institution is
somehow different that employment by a private company is somehow
different, but that would be a rather thin argument.
And why would this cheat the children out of a decent education?
Are the teachers in "your" schools so dedicated that they teach for
free, without a contract?
My work involves continuing education, and I am not a teacher, nor do
I work in a school. In fact, continuing education is a factor on my
I see Don walking home at night to spend an hour or
two on his dial-up connect to look up information on Nortel switches
because his employer, Cisco, blocked the access at work. And to anticipate
the argument here: *everything* might be of value to teaching.
If Cisco (nonsensically) chose to block access to information on
Nortel switches, they would be completely within their rights. Just
like they could block access to pornographic websites.
The argument is not what might be of value to a teacher. The
argument, which you started, is about what rights teachers have
to unfiltered internet access while using school resources.
To quote you:
the free speech rights you are happily trampling are those of the
faculty as well - you know, speech is nice when there are people
listening, otherwise it is whistling in the wind.
(I take back my earlier apology, you first used the term "free speech rights.")
Fourth, the argument that "it isn't censorship because we could
just withold internet access" is downright silly. Next step wuld be to say
that censoring newspapers before they reach school is fine, because we
could ban them in the teachers' lodge.
You claimed that filtering the internet access at a school "happily tramples"
the rights of the teachers. So, by reasonable extension, a school that
knowingly decides not to have a connection to the internet is to an even
further extent depriving teachers of these supposed rights.
I don't know that I would want a British newspaper with a "Page 3 Girl"
freely available in the library at the elementary school, or one with a
front page picture of dead soldiers being dragged through streets in
Somalia, either (*I* was disturbed by those images, I shudder to think
about the young kids exposed to them.) I don't care if teachers have
them, as long as they aren't accessible to young children.
Fifth, should we raise the administrators' renumeration now that
they are supposed to be the filter guardians? Do we really want them to be
The federal government has mandated filters. I don't know if the
government is providing additional funding to support it or not. It
really isn't relevant to this argument.
my last 2 cents (almost literally, the taxes went up to pay for
more schools and school administrators)
p.s. in the interest of full disclosure: i am not a teacher and i don't
have children. my only contacts with educational establishment is the
insane nj property tax and this list, on the other hand i don't have
another planet, so i'll be stuck living with the products of our schools.
and believe me, it ain't pretty when you interview those products.
I generally don't like the idea of enforced filtering, but only because
it doesn't work very well. I was very glad to hear about the court's
decision regarding public libraries. But, as a parent, I would rather
see less-than-perfect filtering in school than none at all. If my
daughter is doing a report on an issue that might trip the filters,
such as breast cancer or human sexuality, she can do that research
at home. Perhaps by the time she might do such a report (she's
going into first grade now), the filtering technology will be
better at letting legitimate content through.
I am not opposed to teachers having full access to the internet, but
my point is that they don't have some inalienable constitutional right
to unfiltered internet access while at work. If the school network
can be set up such that teachers get full access while students don't,
great, as long as it is guaranteed that students can't access the
teachers' accounts and subvert the filters.
On Mon, 10 Jun 2002, Donald J Christensen wrote:
The argument by Julius Szelagiewicz that filters on a school's internet
access are infringing on the teachers' free speech rights are just
patently ridiculous. Would the teachers' rights be infringed if the
school did not have an internet connection at all? I don't think so.
The teacher's are employees, just like anyone in a private company.
The school administration has every right to block whatever they
want. Teachers can use their own links at home to look at whatever
they want (or, they could go to a public library.)
Actually, a school administration probably cannot block anything
they want. Specifically, they cannot apply filtering rules that
are discriminatory, or at least they should not be allowed to. For
example, it would be a very bad thing if a school in a heavily
Christian area blocked Jewish sites, or one in a predominantly
white area blocked minority oriented sites. But this is getting
Don Christensen Senior Software Development Engineer
djc cisco com Cisco Systems, Santa Cruz, CA
"It was a new day yesterday, but it's an old day now."
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