Internet Filtering


Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

A federal law that addresses concerns over access to offensive content over the Internet on school or library computers. CIPA imposes certain types of requirements on any school or library that receives funding for Internet access or internal connections from the E-rate program – a program that makes certain communications technology more affordable for eligible schools and libraries

Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-rate program unless they certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures which must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are:
  • Obscene
  • Child pornography
  • Harmful to minors

Before adopting this policy, schools and libraries are required to provide reasonable notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposal.

Schools and libraries subject to CIPA are required to adopt and implement an Internet safety policy addressing:
  • access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet;
  • the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail,
  • chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications;
  • unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online;
  • unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and
  • measures restricting minors’ access to materials harmful to them.

An authorized person may disable the blocking or filtering measure during use by an adult to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes. CIPA does not require the tracking of Internet use by minors or adults.

You can find out more about CIPA or apply for E-rate funding by contacting the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC) Schools and Libraries Division (SLD)

Arguments FOR:
Internet Filtering: Setting our Students up for Success
  • Allows for better concentration
    • Especially important for students with ADHD
  • Encourages better communication
    • Face-to-face interaction among students
  • Allows for development of abstract concepts/ideas
  • Gives teacher authority in the classroom
What Students Need
  • Definitely not more distraction
  • Exposure to excellence
  • Direct their mental energy towards cognitive learning and higher order thinking
  • Guidance in developing their ideas
  • To experience a feeling of accomplishment and growth
The Role of Teachers
  • Help students see the value of/experience delayed gratification in their work
  • Teach discipline to developing minds
  • Help them to recognize poor content by exposing them to good content
Arguments AGAINST:
Internet Filtering: Blocking the Growth and Creativity of ‘Merican Students
Internet Regulation
  • Prevents students from learning discretion and self-regulation
    • Appropriate time for use
    • Multi-tasking skill
Internet Regulation
  • Blocks students from creative tools
  • Youtube
  • Flickr
  • Social Networking Sites
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Myspace
  • Blogs
  • Restricts students from learning time-management skills
    • School
    • Social
    • Entertainment
Teacher's Role
  • Provide opportunity for students to practice self-regulation
  • Encourage creativity and resourcefulness through the use of internet resources.
  • Allow zero slack for students who do not use their time wisely.

Acceptable Use Policies
In creating our presentation and Point/Counterpoint, we examined different acceptable use policies schools and libraries have in place. The State of Kentucky Department of Education has a great site for creating acceptable use policies.
Kentucky Department of Education - Acceptable Use Policy