Mother Superior: MySpace or school, your choice
We predict smaller class sizes
The principal at St Hugo of the Hills Catholic School in Bloomfield Hills has banned her students from having MySpace pages.
According to reports, Sister Margaret Van Velzen has sent out an edict instructing students to take down their pages or face suspension from school. Families are expected to support the school's policy, which it says is aimed at keeping the students safe.
MySpace has been linked to a number of assaults, some of them sexual, some less so. It does have a minimum age limit - no one younger than 14 is supposed to join- but verifying the ages of everyone on a social network as large as MySpace is next to impossible and, some would argue, not even desirable.
Nevertheless, Sister Margaret has asked various staff members to keep an eye on the MySpace network for anyone transgressing the new rule.
While the move will surely seem draconian and intrusive to the average Register reader, it does have the backing of local police. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says it removes peer pressure, which he described as "the biggest factor" in encouraging kids to have pages.
However, not everyone is convinced. Jerry Herron, Wayne State University professor of American Studies argues the move will just give everyone a sense of false security. "A predator who wants to violate children will find a way, electronically or otherwise," he added.
This is to say nothing of setting up a MySpace page under a nickname. But we wouldn't want to suggest anyone actually do that, of course.
The Register's resident grumpy old man, who we consult on occasions such as these, was heard to mumble into his pint: "Too right. Burning CDs? Burning in hell more like. In my day..." at which point we stopped listening. ®
"A predator who wants to violate children will find a way, electronically or otherwise"
Yup. And a thief will pinch your XBox anyway, so why not just go on holidays, leave the doors open, and hang out a flashing sign reading "Attention thieves: XBox here!" ?
They probably make them wear funny-looking uniforms, too
Just another brick in the wall, innit?
I don't blame the schools
As draconian as this sounds, I don't blame the schools for doing it. Working in higher education stateside I have seen cases of litigation over schools not preventing students from drinking themselves to death. Some parents here seem to think that a school is responsible for everything a student does, and little Jimmy doesn't accept any personal responsibility until he is 35. Even then it's "not his fault." Big news here currently is some moron who drank himself into a stupor, fell over a transformer and fried himself. Now the parents want to know why the door to the transformer room was unlocked, not why their son drank so much he couldn't tell he was in a transformer room tripping over high voltage equipment with signs all around that probably said that.
MySpace was also a discussion for our legal council. They were worried that if parties were advertised on MySpace and someone went to one and got hurt that the school would also be responsible. Ultimately the legal team decided that it wasn't worth blocking MySpace, but if you can't afford to defend yourself I'd just ban it.
It's funny how liberals whine and bitch about freedoms, yet they are the first ones to take them away to help protect me from myself. (Transfats, Smoking, etc, etc) As long as we're taking them away to protect us from ourselves it's all fine. Take them away to protect us from someone else and it's a civil liberties violation.
My choices are vote for a moron who forces me to pray to god, believe in intelligent design, ostracize homosexuals, and fight everyone on the planet that doesn't agree with them or vote for someone who feels that they ALSO know better about what's good for me than me.