Censorship In Libraries And Schools Essay

1071 words - 4 pages

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 that I would freak out if I walked into the room and saw my little sister looking at something that was inappropriate. I would be willing to give up some information about myself to help protect the young children in our country.

Since there has not been a ruling in this case, the supporters of the censorship laws had to try and find a way to get the internet censored to children. So in the year 2000, Congress passed the Children's Internet Protection Act, which is aimed at the computers in the schools and libraries that the children would have access to. This law was limited to "only the schools and libraries that participated in certain federal programs such as, receiving federal money for technology". The schools and libraries that received this money were required to "install filtering software on all internet terminals to block access to sites with child pornography, obscene material, and material that is harmful to minors". My opinion on this law is that it is even better than the firs one. They are very similar, as you can tell from their names, there is very little changed in the names of the laws. I think that the sites that a minor can look at should be filtered. This way they cannot look at things that...

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