Legislate Or Educate?

In response to the Deleting Online Predators Act, or DOPA legislation being considered by congress and that is burning up the edublogosphere:

30,000 people are killed by in auto crashes each year and many more injured.

Air crashes kill and injure hundreds or thousands each year.

People die or are injured by the thousands in swimming accidents (50,000), and playground equipment alone causes over 200,000 injuries to children each year.

What would those statistics be like if we did no training on safe use of cars, planes, swimming, guns, playground equipment and everything else we receive safety training on?

Why do we even still allow people to drive? 200,000 playground injuries a year is almost 4 times the number of students in my district’s 93 schools. So why do we not cut student access to playground equipment? The equipment at my school is also considered a city park available 24/7/365. The reason we don’t cut access to these resources is because they are deemed too valuable to give up even though people are killed and injured by them. Without training these statistics would go off the charts. To keep our kids as safe as possible we teach them how to cross the street but that doesn’t guarantee they won’t get hit by a car.

The reason this DOPA legislation has a chance is that so few people and so few teachers understand the value of these technology resources or even know what they are so they might not put up a fight. Otherwise we would be reaping the benefit of receiving more money to offer students an education in proper and ethical use of valuable educational resources instead of blocking something that people wonder “What do you even do with that kind of technology that’s valuable educationally? I don’t perceive value, but I see evil, so yes let’s block it to protect our kids. Umm… excuse me for a moment while I call my kids home from the park. Or maybe I should run down and pick them up in the car.”

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One Response to Legislate Or Educate?

  1. Stephanie says:

    Another reason this legislation may pass — No one is literate enough in World History to understand that banning, burning, and other forms of information control don’t work in the long run…

    I just posted about this today — the post started off on a completely different topic but ended up reviewing the timeline of events before and through the Rennaissance that began with the mass production of books, criticism of the Catholic Church, and the eventual break from the Church led by Martin Luther. The initial reaction of the Church? Burn all books that criticized the Church or the Pope, and excommunicate (or worse) the heretics who dared speak out or write against the Church…

    Well — let’s see… that really worked, didn’t it? And, come to think of it, Prohibition was extremely successful wasn’t it?…

    You are making some excellent points and I love the statistics that you included in this post. I wonder if any of the members of the legislature (or the media who are feeding this frenzy) have any exact numbers of kids who have been injured or killed as a result of using MySpace.com?

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