Friday, May 01, 2009

Multiple Choice Parenting

May 1, 2009

Hypothetically, let's say your 11-year-old son figures out how to google images and uses this newly found talent at his elementary school's computer lab. (Googling Images is where you go to, search for something and click on Images. Try it some time, it's fun!)

Let's say, hypothetically again, that this same 11-year-old knows how to clear his screen fast. When the teacher (equipped with a computer that displays all student activity in the lab) is away helping another student, he can run amuck and restore his screen super-hero fast when the teacher gets back to her desk.

Suppose (all this is hypothetical of course) that your son typed in a word of question, say "lesbo" then took a gawking gander at all the fun images. Maybe there's a substitute there that day, maybe not. He calls 9 other boys over to join in - even had some type "lesbo" on their own computers. One of those 9 boys recognizes the inappropriateness of the situation and blows the whistle. Maybe the police are called and maybe two of the ring-leaders are charged with distribution of pornography.

Was this the first time? Not likely. (Hypothetically however, there's a viewable history on the child's computer which might hypothetically answer that question for us.)

What do you do? (Here's the multiple choice part of the post)

A) Acknowledge that your child knew better, establish a natural consequence of serious relativity and require that your child apologize profusely.

B) Beat him to a pulp.

C) Teach 'em more tricks for finding porn on the internet.

D) Call the KSL Doug Wright show and blame the school for not having "filters".

Let's talk about filters for a minute, shall we? This hypothetical mom claims the child typed a few words that "didn't work" but was able to type "lesbian". She didn't hypothetically elaborate on what words didn't work. According to a hypothetical source in the classroom however, the word was "lesbo" not "lesbian". Hypothetically, one can conclude that "lesbian" was being filtered but "lesbo" was not.

My full name (first middle maiden) is the same as a popular porn star. Image google my full maiden name and you'll get a suprise. See - I'm saving you from yourself at this very moment by not telling you what my first middle and maiden are. Saving you. 'Cause porn is that hard to find.

At this point friends, I challenge you to list all forms or references to "lesbian". We can add them to the list of unusable words at the school.

This will save the poor hypothetical child from finding porn ever again.


tom lindsey said...

There is an additional choice for this poor mother:
E) Recognize that with time that your son will get better at hiding his activities restoring the piece-of-mind wrought by willful ignorance.

I can only hope that the whistle-blower is identified and the appropriate hormone therapy administered. I am pulling for you buddy-- get well soon


Doggie B said...

I'm just glad this is all hypothetical and would never really happen!

Winder said...

Well, I know my son would NEVER do anything like that. If somehow his computer mysteriously ended up with filthy images, it would definitely be the fault of some other horrible child. :)
(sound like any parents we know?)

Anonymous said...

Hypothetically speaking I wouldn't assume if my son and a policeman were in the same room together, I wouldn't assume it's for my son. I also wouldn't assume it was for something simple like stealing or beating the crap out of somebody.

Hypothetically, I don't think she's been around when her son has gotten around her 'free' filter at home either because it sounds like he knew all the right words to try.

And how about the mother hypothetically use the right word for what her little angel may or may not have done. He did not 'show' the pages to his friend, he 'exposed' other students to something 11 year olds should never see...

And hypothetically, I'm glad that Doug Wright, protector of all that is good and sane, is on the case. If anyone can save us from ourselves (and those darn filters), it's Doug. He'll stay on top of this story, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Of course, since mother developed early, maybe she has big 'uns and will get her son out of this mess...

The MacMizzles said...

I choose A!

Brett said...

So the first problem is that the hypothetical school (like most schools) has a bunch of slack jawed mouth breathers in their IT department that ended up working for the school system because their lack of skills/intelligence/competence made it so they couldn't cut it in the corporate sector. Teachers might put up for the lower salaries of teaching so that they can make a difference. IT guys in school systems, for the most part, are just bad at what they do.

There are a host of internet filters that rely on categorizing web sites at the proxy so that an inappropriate web site will never be served to the user. They can enforce safe search on search engines and categorize sites in real time and don't rely on guessing every possible term a kid can search for to find boobs.

if you choose options A or B, and you want to protect your rabid rug rat from lesbos at your own house, install K9 Web Protection. it's a free home internet filter and will use the above techniques to keep your kiddies eyes safe

rjmatheson said...

Gee, sad I missed this post. We were having our own little experience with this last May. Neighbor down the street with kid the age of my youngest calls to inform my wife that her kid will no longer play with ours.
She found him looking at naked pics on her computer, when she "got to the bottom of it" her little angel fingered our kids. Apparently mine taught her's at our house on our computers. It couldn't happen at her house, because she has that "one friend over at a time" rule, which is really irratating to me as the parent of twins. (Sorry Billy, it's Bobby's turn to play today. Run along home...) So the twins don't go over there to play.

I investigated because if we have a problem we want to know about it and deal with it. I attempt to load exactly what she saw on her computer. No go, because K9 caught it on the box, and if it hadn't, there was enough ick in the URL it would have been snagged and notified by the firewall filter I put in place. Next, I checked our history (which is intact for weeks and checked by me the robocop almost daily) and find nothing. Not in Firefox, IE, Safari, K9's logs, or the router's log. I checked the logs because K9is good, but not perfect, and the firewall filter is just a primitive word search. (I have all this stuff because I have 5 boys who will probably look someday...)

I ask my neighbor if she has checked any of the above items on her network. No. She doesn't have filters or such stuff because she doesn't need that stuff because her boys don't look for nasty pictures on the internet.

So, no steps to protect her family on that front, but you should see how fast she hops in her minivan and rushes up the street to snag her kid if he lingers too long in front of my house on the walk home from the bus.