Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Censorship

UK Teachers Say Censor The Internet 463

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-can-you-have-any-pudding-if-you-smash-my-window dept.
Marlow the Irelander writes "The BBC is reporting that in response to a YouTube video of a schoolboy breaking his teacher's window (yes, this is a video), NASUWT, one of the teaching unions in the UK, is calling for legislation to control the internet. Could Britain, rather than the US, be the main front of the battle against censorship in 2007?" From the article: "Unfortunately, any yob or vandal can now have their 15 minutes of fame, aided and abetted by readily accessible technology and irresponsible internet sites which enable such behaviour to be glorified. [The general secretary of the union] said the union supported a zero tolerance approach in schools to pupils who used technology to abuse and undermine teachers, and called for more rigorous legislative control of internet sites which gave them license."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

UK Teachers Say Censor The Internet

Comments Filter:
  • I'm Confused (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hahafaha (844574) * <lgrinberg@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @10:47PM (#17453574)
    Why are the teachers mad about the video? Shouldn't they be more mad about the broken window?

    Besides, whoever recorded the incident was clearly a by-stander (the person throwing the rock was in the video). I do not understand why this is bothering the teachers so much.
    • by Bananatree3 (872975) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @11:02PM (#17453692)
      First of all, the teachers should be thankful that these twits happened to place their video on Youtube. This made their detective work in figuring out who were the perpetrators were much easier, giving them a huge smoking gun. Talk about shooting the messenger, sheesh.
      • by BitterOak (537666) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @11:12PM (#17453762)
        Read the article. The kid posted the video just before he and his family moved to Canada, out of the reach of British law and the school's disciplinary procedures. The teacher is more upset about the video than the broken window, because it makes the teacher look like a fool and there is nothing he/she can do about it.
        • by Bananatree3 (872975) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @11:19PM (#17453818)
          The article also points out that there were other perpetrators along with this boy, and thanks to the video they were disciplined. This twit may be technically immune, but the yahoos who accompanied him got a good ass whoopin'.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by mdwh2 (535323)
          And YouTube's servers aren't outside of the UK too?

          It seems odd to me that the criminal moving out of the country means we give up trying to catch them, yet at the same time, they think they can control servers across the entire world...
          • The school should be able to withhold his transcript from transfer to any new Canadian school until a fine is paid, or something of the sort.
        • by dangitman (862676) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @12:02AM (#17454140)

          The teacher is more upset about the video than the broken window, because it makes the teacher look like a fool

          Uhhh, why? This incident makes the perpetrator look like a fool. Why does having a vandal break a window make the victim look foolish?

          • by soft_guy (534437) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @01:29PM (#17460482)

            The teacher is more upset about the video than the broken window, because it makes the teacher look like a fool

            Uhhh, why? This incident makes the perpetrator look like a fool. Why does having a vandal break a window make the victim look foolish?

            Right. Let me seriously answer that question. The reason is that teachers - and probably the teacher in question - behave in a very authoritarian manner towards their students (i.e. they are bullies). And the last thing a bully wants is the idea that one of their victims can stand up to them in any way and "get away with it". The fact that the teacher's window being broken was publicized on YouTube makes it worse because now the students can refer to this video and relive a type of revenge against the teacher, if only in their minds.

            It makes the student into kind of a "hero" who stood up to a bully. And so, like most bullies, this teacher is lashing out in an unintelligent manner.
        • by Bodrius (191265) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @01:12AM (#17454718) Homepage
          As opposed to asking the government to censor the Interwebs, which just makes the whole teacher's union look like an idiot.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sigma 7 (266129)

          The kid posted the video just before he and his family moved to Canada, out of the reach of British law

          If he moves between countries, he is either a tourist or an immigrant. Vandalism is criminal behaviour, and can be used to obatin an arrest warrant. In Canada, some employments require you to pass a criminal record check in order to ensure that you will not cause problems with the large quantity of customer data (a criminal record might not disqualify you, depending on the severity.) However, an outstan

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pestilence669 (823950)
      I'd like to know what provoked the punk. Was it justified or not? We do live in a world where teachers rape, molest, and physically assault the students in their care (yes, even in the UK).

      In the US, I've seen teachers humiliate students so badly that they've transferred schools. I've seen teachers grab students by the neck and throw them around. I, myself, have been kicked in the legs because I was sitting sideways in my chair. I've even seen teachers give low grades to students they don't like, as they to
      • by dangitman (862676)

        We'll never know, but you can be sure that the student's side of the story will never be heard.

        Why not? His side of the story (so far) is the one getting airtime on Youtube - and therefore more exposure than the teacher's words. What's to stop the kid writing a blog, or making a videolog about his side of the story?

    • Re:I'm Confused (Score:5, Insightful)

      by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @11:56PM (#17454080)
      Why are the teachers mad about the video? Shouldn't they be more mad about the broken window?
      I feel the same way over all the consternation about video from Saddam's execution being leaked. "Who leaked the video? Why were they allowed to record it?" Perhaps that's an important question, but what about what the video reveals - that Iraq's "justice system" is actually a sectarian mob? That the executioners themselves saw it as Shiite on Sunni reprisal? Once again, as in Abu Ghraib, the footage is infinitely more revealing than the press accounts.
  • by pcsmith811 (886216) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @10:48PM (#17453580) Homepage
    Video has been removed...
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @10:48PM (#17453584) Homepage
    The BBC is reporting that in response to a YouTube video of a schoolboy breaking his teacher's window (yes, this is a video), NASUWT, one of the teaching unions in the UK, is calling for legislation to control the internet.

    Just so we're clear, their logic is that the internet is a catalyst for youth vandalism?

    Man, kids these days. When I was their age, we had to vandalize stuff the old fashioned way.
    • by khasim (1285)

      Just so we're clear, their logic is that the internet is a catalyst for youth vandalism?

      Pretty much. Yep.

      Man, kids these days. When I was their age, we had to vandalize stuff the old fashioned way.

      Oh, they're still vandalizing the old fashioned way. Almost everyone had rocks when they were growing up (but the ones who didn't will swear it made them better people).

      What's different now is that instead of hanging out behind the gym, smoking cigarettes you stole from your Dad, telling your friends how you smash

      • Almost everyone had rocks when they were growing up (but the ones who didn't will swear it made them better people).
        +5 funny!
    • by creimer (824291) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @11:20PM (#17453822) Homepage
      Man, kids these days. When I was their age, we had to vandalize stuff the old fashioned way.

      I tried checking out a bomb making book from the library as kid, they wouldn't let me. They had no problem with me checking out the books on witchcraft and demonology. Go figure.
      • You can't actually do anything with the information in the books on witchcraft and demonology.
        • by rubycodez (864176)
          a bad person could do evil things on the basis of a religious book, just as a bad person can do evil things with a book on how to make bombs. A good person could just learn from any of them.
      • by fabs64 (657132)
        Uh.. ok? Do books on witchcraft and demonology blow up?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by El_Muerte_TDS (592157)
        Couldn't you simply watch the right MacGyver episode?
    • by mdwh2 (535323) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @12:08AM (#17454172) Journal
      Just so we're clear, their logic is that the internet is a catalyst for youth vandalism?

      Sadly a common theme. It reminds me of when a guy [wikipedia.org] with a breathplay fetish was convicted of murdering someone, at which point there was a campaign to ban the porn sites he looked at (sites such as Necrobabes [wikipedia.org]). The Government was unable to do this - because the sites are entirely legal and the US presumably wasn't willing to listen - so it has now responded by saying that anyone who possesses "extreme" porn will now go to prison for three years [backlash-uk.org.uk].

      So if this follows a similar pattern, after realising they can't regulate the Internet, it'll instead be a criminal offence for UK citizens to view or possess images of schoolkids breaking windows.
  • by fatduck (961824) * on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @10:48PM (#17453592)

    pupils who used technology to abuse and undermine teachers
    How about out-of-touch teachers who demonize technology to abuse and undermine pupils?
  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @10:48PM (#17453598) Homepage Journal
    for giving everyone an equal opportunity to express themselves.

    Maybe if teachers were more educators than prison wardens, kids would love them instead of hating them.
  • by andy314159pi (787550) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @10:49PM (#17453602) Journal
    Remember this?

    How can you have any meat if you don't eat your pudding?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by andy314159pi (787550)
      err
      How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Having grown up as an English lad in the 1940s and 1950s, I can tell you that most teachers and headmasters weren't jerks for the sake of being jerks. They were harsh with us because many of us were stupid little buggers! We needed a good smack across the ass with the fanny paddle every now and then. It kept us in line.

      But times have changed, and the teachers have gotten far softer. Look at English youth today as a whole. Many are nothing but scum. Look at just the chav subculture, for instance. They are cr
      • by dosius (230542)
        I've heard people suggest that's why the UK is going all nanny-state, because the kids need it.

        Here in the US... I haven't really noticed the kind of person they warn about there, but one place where I went to school did actually get all paranoid like that. Draw a pentagram (not a Baphomet, a regular pentagram with the point up) "ZOMFGQ SATANIC SYMBOL" and they freak out. Draw a circle-A, "ZOMFGQ THIS KID WILL GROW UP TO BE AN ANARCHIST" and they freak out. It's why I spend half of 5th grade in the princ
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by gotw (239699)
        I doubt the authenticity of this comment. Using the British meaning [english2american.com] of the word I'm quite sure using a 'fanny paddle' would have been quite illegal, even in the 1940s'.
      • Perhaps they also need to vacate from the premises of your cultured-greenery display?
      • by aussie_a (778472)

        We needed a good smack across the ass with the fanny paddle every now and then.
        Why were you being punished with sex toys? [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by easter1916 (452058)
        Growing up as an Irish youngster in the late 70s and 80s it was the same way. I think it was 1979 or 1980 before corporal punishment was completely outlawed in schools. Not a moment too soon. Most teachers were somewhat reasonable in dishing out their violence and at least tried to target it, but too often they lost the rag (due to whatever pressures, personal, professional, I don't care) and I recall two specific instances that qualified as full-on aggravated assault / G.B.H.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Kids today huh?

        "They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers." -Socrates (420 BC)

        Yeah... so much worse than the used to be.

        In all honesty, you're looking at the past through rose-coloured glasses. Kids are kids. There will always be a minority that act up. Physical pain may work on some, but it won't work on all, and has the two disadvantages of teaching some of them that violence is the way to respond to things

    • But in town it was well known when they got home at night, their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them within inches of their lives!
  • by bahwi (43111) <incoming@NosPam.josephguhlin.com> on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @10:55PM (#17453642) Homepage
    Teachers, post a video of yourself giving the kid detention for a month.
  • A pity - the video is listed as "This video has been removed by the user." Self-censorship?

    I actually DID want to see the content - any possible mirrors for the video? I won't try and 'justify' wanting to see it - I mean, come on, it's a kid doing something really stupid. I'm just going to want to see that, especially when presented as something that might be censored.

    Ryan Fenton
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by SpectreHiro (961765)
      I won't try and 'justify' wanting to see it - I mean, come on, it's a kid doing something really stupid. I'm just going to want to see that, especially when presented as something that might be censored.

      A damn shame... I wanted to see it too. Nothing like broken windows and stupid kids to liven up a boring Wednesday night. As a consolation prize, here's another kid doing something stupid.

      The fabled christmas tree jump... [youtube.com]
  • If they censor the internet in the UK, then all these videos of kids doing this won't be available as evidence of their misdeeds, now, will they?
  • by Cthefuture (665326) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @10:56PM (#17453650)
    Isn't this the country with all the spy cameras all over the place watching people?

    Are they complaining because it wasn't an "official" camera that captured the act? I don't get what the Internet has to do with it.
  • Why are they mad?

    Couldn't the video be used as evidence to sue for damages?

  • It seems odd to me that a society the US sprung from would have diverged so far from us in dealing with crime.

    Instead of punishing the offender, they're trying to shut down the method they use to brag about it.

    That's pretty ass-backwards. If they actually enforced the law over there from time to time then maybe yobs would have to weigh the punishment against the bragging rights from a youtube video.

    Pretty common over there from what I understand. They'll install CCTV on every block, ban guns, then knives (o
    • (Don't bother me with the differences between GB, UK and England. They're good enough synonyms for this discussion. Thanks.)

      Actually, the difference is pertinent as Scotland has a separate legal system, if I recall correctly.
    • by dosius (230542)
      Wasn't 1984 set in London? It just proves UK is closer to "1984" than even we over here are. I mean wtf, if they can forbid a person to say the word "grass" [parliament.uk]? See the other bullshaznat they did. It's unreal.

      -uso.
    • by westlake (615356)
      Instead of punishing the offender, they're trying to shut down the method they use to brag about it.

      The "brag" is the payoff. Something that the Geek shouldn't have to be told.

    • by fabs64 (657132)
      http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap- c rime-murders-per-capita [nationmaster.com]

      United States: 0.042802 Murders per 1,000 people
      United Kingdom: 0.0140633 Murders per 1,000 people

      Not saying I agree with all the examples you cited of the UK over-policing, but I wouldn't go spruiking the US method of "lock-em-up and throw away the key" too much.
  • I hope they publically identify this vandal.
    I hope he ends up being linked forever with this video so a name search comes up with it.

    Shitheads like this deserve whatever karma comes to them in future.

    anyway, back to bed.
  • You'd think the teachers would realize that the videos provide a way of catching the vandals, not the motivation for vandalism, but such stupidity is what I have come to expect from anyone who announces that they have a "zero tolerance" policy. People who adopt a "zero tolerance" policy are branding "I am an idiot" on their forehead.

  • Self-Censorship? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nbannerman (974715) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @11:08PM (#17453742)
    I'm a Network Manager at a UK school / college. I guess I'm perfectly placed to speak on these matters, so here we go...

    I have a duty of care, in my role, to protect students from certain inappropriate material on the internet. The obvious ones are there; pornography, paedophilia, unmonitored chatrooms, unmonitored messaging sites, etc.

    Myspace is blocked, because I can't honestly say that I can be 100% certain that students couldn't use the site and put themselves at risk. Porn websites are blocked, because the students are not 18. All chat programs, such as MSN/AOL/IRC are not installed on student profiles, and students do not have administration rights to install software either. Proxy websites are blocked, so that students can't bypass the restrictions and vew unfiltered content. All fairly common stuff. Ironically, the biggest complaints I get about myspace being blocked are from teachers, but thats another story altogether.

    I use active content filtering to block access to inappropriate content on all other websites, such as youtube or google vids, which might contain any of the things I first mentioned.

    However, I don't block anything just 'because I'm told to'. A teacher can request that anything in the world gets filtered out, but ultimately the decision lies with me.

    If a teacher cannot control his or her students in a classroom, then it is the fault of the teacher, not the students are finding the material. And personally, I think that is the way it should stay. Technology shouldn't be used to simply 'restrict access' to material when that material doesn't fit within the narrow categories I first mentioned. If anything, teachers should be embracing sites such as youtube and google videos because they provide a wealth of material that can be used in the classroom.
    • by markdavis (642305) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @11:23PM (#17453848)
      And there is absolutely nothing wrong with a school controlling what is available on the Internet in the school. In fact, it is probably a "good thing". Not much different than an employer trying to control who can access what parts of the net while on duty. The problem comes when censorship spreads to outside the classroom and starts controlling what *adults* can see with their own, private connections...
      • I agree completely, but schools already control their own connections, or at least they should be. The NASUWT, along with most teaching unions, are a pain the ass when it comes to over-reacting to things, and you can be sure they'll try and implement a completely unwarranted nationwide filtering system, given half the chance. And that is something I don't agree with, based on what I mentioned in my first post.
  • zero tolerance approach in schools to pupils who used technology to abuse and undermine teachers, and called for more rigorous legislative control of internet sites which gave them license


    Even more destructive is the tendency for pupils to use their god-given mouths to undermine their teachers! This needs to be corrected by legislation and luckily enough, Great Britain does not have that pesky First Ammendment to get in the way!
  • Call me stupid... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by creimer (824291) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @11:17PM (#17453796) Homepage
    If a video tape was mailed to the police department, would the postal service be abolished?
    • by idonthack (883680)
      No, you'd have to mail it to innocent children.
    • > If a video tape was mailed to the police department, would the postal service be abolished?

      As I learned from reading why TMNT are called the Teenage Mutant "Hero" Turtles, even cartoon depictions of nunchucks and the word "ninja" (but apparently not swords or laser weapons) have been censored in the UK.

      So it's my best guess that if you found some way to work paedophilia into your scenario and got it in the media, you'd have a pretty good shot of getting the postal service abolished, or at least of havi
  • by pestilence669 (823950) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @11:20PM (#17453826)
    Governments can't be so repressive if their citizens are fully armed.

    When did the U.K. embrace Big Brother?
    • by RexRhino (769423)
      Sorry, too late, the Second Amendment has been dead for about 30 years. You can still go hunting, or shoot at a range, provided you fill out lots of paper work and pay your licencing fees... but the kind of armed citicenry the constitution intended as a last defense against tyranny only exists in places like Switzerland.
  • I swear, both countries appear to be in a race to see which country can reach the bliss of fascism first.

    To be honest, it's not clear to me exactly why this is. I mean, I understand why it's happening in the U.S.: the U.S. government is controlled by its largest corporations. There are various reasons for that, ranging from the chokehold on the media those corporations have to the campaign finance setup and lobbying setup that exists in the U.S. Fascism by definition is more friendly to big corporat

    • by RexRhino (769423)
      England is far more Socialist than the United States, which essentially means it is far more State Capitalist. While it seems worse on the surface of things that America is controlled by large corporations, it is actually a slight benifit compared to European style State Capitalism, as corporations have conflicting interests and can sabatoge each other, and hence (at least in theory) slow down the spiral into total facism. While corporate power is in itself very dangerous, the U.S. can at least pit corporat
    • fuedalism (Score:2, Interesting)

      by zogger (617870)
      Fuedalism has never gone away, it has never been "repealed" despite a lot of people thinking this happened somehow by some mythical all powerful world court of supreme justice and niceguy goodness or something. They, the alleged "aristocrats", the top of the two class feudalistic system, our economic and political "leaders" who still think of themselves and act as our "masters", just realised they needed to be a bit more sly about it so as to not lose their heads periodically in the traditional peasant/serf
  • For those who don't know, NASUWT is the official teacher's union for Airstrip One and surrounding areas.
  • Teachers are used to enjoying non-stop pandering to by the media. Any criticism of the government educational complex is squashed in main stream media, exluded from any sort of political debate, and generally supressed. Free, decentralized, uncensored democratic debate and critism about the educational system is a threat to the power structure. Dictators and tyrants like Kim Jung Il feel threatened by the Internet and want to supress it, and so do petty classroom dictators.

    The teachers thought that playing
  • treating teachers as normal people instead of gods?
    What a student does off school grounds and off school hours should be business between that student and the teacher as private citizens.
    Or am I missing something?
  • Instead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @11:43PM (#17453992)
    Rather than censor teh Intarweb, here's a better idea. Let these punk-ass kids have their fifteen minutes of fame. Then videotape their fifteen hours of community service and put that on YouTube.

  • The shaky 15-second footage shows a clearly identifiable boy grinning as he strides up to throw the missile.
    This is clearly a weapon of class destruction.
  • And once again... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by morpheus343 (1032278) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @02:23AM (#17455096)
    ... the powers that be try to blame everyone but the person/people responsible.

    Oh no, it's the internet's/violent video games'/movies/ fault that these kids run wild and act like hooligans! It can't possibly be the kids themselves or their parents who deserve any of that blame.

    It boggles the mind how a teachers' union could fixate more on the "15 minutes of fame" and less on trying to make parents or the kid accountable (even outside of legal remedies). Instead of whining about how terrible the internet is, they could turn around and warn his new teachers/neighbors in Canada about what he's been up to over there (and point them to the video). Make the parents look bad and make his life miserable wherever he ends up and see if kids don't start to wise up.

    I suspect what they're really upset about (and the real point to the zero tolerance policy they mention) are the other cases where teachers have been caught on video doing things they shouldn't do (e.g. screaming at kids). This is just a convenient scapegoat because the kids were clearly the ones doing something wrong so now they blame the internet/cameras/etc...

    It's funny how often the people who should worry the least about surveillance (teachers, cops, etc...) are often the ones who least want to be scrutinized by the very things they'd like to use on us.

  • by RealGrouchy (943109) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:01AM (#17455240)
    Could Britain, rather than the US, be the main front of the battle against censorship in 2007?

    I'm currently reading the book "Not in front of the children" by Marjorie Heins, a very informative book on the history of censorship and censorship law (mainly in the US, but with UK roots and occasinoal references).

    In the US, the Constitution's First Amendment allows for a strong defense to censorship. However, censorship of "obscenity" and/or "indecency" (in their varying and sometmies contradictory definitions) is allowed is a common-law exception to the First Amendment (see First Amendment/Obscenity [wikipedia.org]). The exact nature, power, extent, and constitutionality of the exception tends to be at the centre of any legal/judicial or legislative debate on censorship, and has gone back and forth (as documented in the book).

    Britain has no such explicit, written right to free speech as the First Amendment, and thus censorship has a better legal footing (I suspect CCTV is in a similar situation). While censorship in Britain may be more easily applied, the "battle" would be more one-sided than in the US, if censorship (i.e. of obscenity) were to have such a strong following as it has in the US.

    - RG>
  • by jonv (2423) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:43AM (#17455596)
    The real problem here is teachers using windows.
    Would the students try to break Linux or OS X ?
  • Better One Innit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2@NOspAm.earthshod.co.uk> on Thursday January 04, 2007 @05:38AM (#17455822)
    Instead of seeking to make the Internet safe for children, why not simply ban children from the Internet?

    After all, this is primarily an adult world. Childhood is a temporary phase. There are some things that are not, and never will be, suitable for children. That does not mean they are not suitable for adults.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TempeTerra (83076)
      Normally I'd just let that pass, but since it's at +3 and nobody else has replied...

      Children/minors are already a great repressed minority. The only way it is better than being black in the 50's is that you can grow out of it. You can't go out in public during the 'curfew' of school hours or late at night without being suspected of wrongdoing. If you go into a shop, the owner will watch you like a hawk because everyone knows kids don't have money so they steal stuff. Large portions of the common culture are
  • It would be nice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by teflaime (738532) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @09:59AM (#17457278)
    if, instead of attacking the rights of the entire society, people would insist that parents taught their children the difference between right and wrong. This is yet another side effect of the "we mustn't damage their esteem" child psychology crap. A good spanking or two would do wonders with most of these kids.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @11:50AM (#17458660) Homepage Journal
    For "Youtube saddam execution". I bet that footage is making the government of Iraq rather uncomfortable right about now. They had some high level government minister on NPR the other day and he changed his story about three times when they kept asking him the same question over and over again. Those questions never would have been raised if this video hadn't surfaced.

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder

Working...