(DOPA) Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006

By a vote of 410 to 15, the US House of Representatives passed yesterday H.R. 5319 “Deleting Online Predators Act.”

Now that DOPA has passed the House, it will go to the Senate for consideration, if it passes there then on to George Bush. If it becomes law, DOPA will require schools and public libraries to block children from accessing social networking sites like MySpace, Friendster and Facebook from school and library computers.

DOPA is being opposed by the American Library Association (ALA) who states many libraries already have their own policies on restricting access to social networking sites like MySpace. I was surprised and disappointed that the vote was 410-15. Many of those who oppose DOPA do so because they believe that children should be educated and not restricted.

I agree that they should be educated, but let us face it, not all parents do their job and the parents who are doing their job are left with schools and libraries that are not doing their job.

I can not speak on behalf of the US, but I know that surprisingly some Canadian public libraries and schools do not monitor children’s internet access nor do they have filters in place. We were all teens once. I keep hearing the same comments. “Parents do your job.” Well I ask you this, “How many of you rebelled against your parents?”

No matter how much we take care of our children and educate them, it only takes them making one unhealthy choice to put them at risk. You can educate your child untill you are all blue in the face. The truth is that children don’t often think of the consequences of unhealthy choices.

If DOPA will save just one child, don??t you think the bill is worth it?

I do want to add that while I support the bill, I do think that the legislation should be rewritten so it does not block sites such as Yahoo and Google. I think they need to better determine what sites will be blocked before passing the law. These are just my thoughts!

Rose DesRochers

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