Censorship in Libraries and Schools

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Censorship in Libraries and Schools

What would you do if you went to your child's school and saw that they were looking at inappropriate material on the internet? Would you react the same way if they were in a public library? Who decides what is okay for your children to view? Who decides where they can view it? What can you do about them being able to view these things? Are there any laws that can prevent this from happening? What are some schools and libraries doing to help prevent children form looking at such material? These are all issues that will be discussed in the next few paragraphs, along with my opinions on the matter.


In 1998 there was a law passed, called the Child Online Protection Act, which "made it a federal crime for commercial Web sites to make available to minors materials that are harmful to minors, as judged by community standards". The sites that were considered harmful to minors had to get proof of age from the visitor of the site. This law, like the rest, caused uproar with the First Amendment supporters. The supporters "argued that the law was too broad and would threaten are, news, and health sites". The federal court agreed with the supporters and declared that this law was unconstitutional, because the "Web is accessible everywhere, the community-standards would restrict the entire country to the standards of the most conservative community". This ruling was made in 2000, in 2001 the Supreme Court heard an appeal from the government, but has not yet ruled. In my opinion, I think that this would be a good idea. Yeah, it would take away some of the people's privacy, but that is a small price to pay to keep the children in our nation from seeing things that can be harmful to them. I know...

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As a parent you really cannot do anything about what your child views while at the library or while at school. You could tell them that they are not allowed to look at those sites, but sometimes those sites just pop up, or we all know that when we tell a child that they cannot so something it makes them want to do it even more. You can keep them from viewing certain things at home but other than that there is not much that you can do. Sorry, but it is true. There are people out there that are trying to change this, and we see this by the laws that are continuing to be made and changing. As I said earlier filters cannot be perfect, there will always be problems with them, but we just have to deal with them the way that they are. That is just life.

Works Cited:

Baase, Sara (2003). A Gift of Fire (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.

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