Time: Sun Oct 19 19:18:41 1997
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Date: Sun, 19 Oct 1997 18:49:47 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: AOL removed by high school webmaster (fwd)

>              "It's like going into a school and saying, 
>              'Free Sex Here,' " he said. "AOL gives away 
>               free disks everywhere -- it's like drug 
>               dealers, they give it away to get people hooked..." 
>            -----------------<snip>--------------------------------
>Webmaster Removes AOL from School Library's Computers
>by LISA NAPOLI, NYT CyberTimes, 10/19
>New York's Murry Bergtrum High School is flanked by City Hall
>and the Brooklyn Bridge, but it no longer has a window to the
>world through America Online. The school's webmaster, Ted Nellen, an
>English teacher, has removed the service from the school's library
>"It's not the Internet I'm after -- it's AOL,"
>Nellen said Friday from his wired classroom at
>the school, where access to the Internet is still
>available. "AOL is a playground without a fence.
>It's a field day for predators. I will put it back on
>when they clean up their act, but until they show
>some humanity, I'll keep it off." 
>Bergtrum High School, and Nellen, are seen as
>innovators in wired education, but the
>Superintendent of Manhattan High Schools,
>Granger Ward, said that Nellen's policy wouldn't
>automatically extend to other schools in the city. 
>"We look at individual situations and schools,"
>Ward said. "But certainly Bergtrum is more
>technically advanced, so we'll be looking at what
>they've encountered." 
>Nellen said he asked for AOL to be taken off
>the dial-up access computer in the school library
>in the wake of recent scandals in which children
>who met adults in AOL chat rooms were later
>abused. And he is angry at what he feels is a
>popular misperception that AOL equals the
>"Ninety-nine percent of the time when there's a problem, the common
>denominator is AOL," he said. "It's not the Internet that's causing pain 
>-- it's AOL." 
>Nellen said it was his responsibility as an educator to keep students 
>away from the Vienna, Va.-based online service. Manhattan high school 
>policy forbids the use of classroom computers for personal 
>communications of any sort, but such use does happen, he said. 
>"It's like going into a school and saying, 'Free Sex Here,' " he said. 
>"AOL gives away free disks everywhere -- it's like drug dealers, they 
>give it away to get people hooked." 
>          Tricia Primrose, a spokeswoman for AOL, said
>          that keeping the service safe was the company's
>          "top priority." She cited controls available on the
>          service that allow parents to restrict their
>          children's access to certain areas. Obviously, she
>          said, AOL cannot control what happens to
>          people when they meet in real time. 
>          "We can't always be standing over their
>          shoulder, but we can put these limiting tools in
>          place," Primrose said. "We're very focused on
>          creating the tools and making them easy to use.
>          We make it easy for parents to control. If we
>          come across something that is unlawful and
>          illegal, we terminate the account." 
>But Nellen says that children have little trouble working their way 
>around parental controls, and he says that entering racy chat rooms is 
>"like taking Dad's Playboy in the old days and looking at it." Though 
>students are instructed not to go into these rooms and are told not to 
>give out their names and locations, he says, they often still do it. 
>"We give condoms away here," Nellen said by way of comparison. "We
>don't have conversations about how to have sex. We know why they use
>AOL, and they know we know why they use AOL." 
>Nellen described himself as a free speech advocate and said that his
>decision to remove access was "painful." 
>"It's not the Internet I want to have regulated," he said. "It's the
>So far, he has not heard feedback about the missing online access, nor
>has the school librarian, who says that students could easily bring in 
>their own disks and re-install the service.
>Any AOL users considering dropping the service after reading above NYT 
>Is this part of a trend across other campuses?  Will "pure" Net 
>providers (i.e. Erols) benefit or gain more business from schools 
>dropping AOL?
>Can one really "target" AOL and not inadvertantly attack the Internet 
>(re "objectionable content"), as mentioned above? 
>>From PR angle, how could AOL's Primrose have handled differently --if 
>possible -- AOL users' concerns/reporters' questions?
>Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness 01
B.A.: Political Science, UCLA;   M.S.: Public Administration, U.C.Irvine 02
tel:     (520) 320-1514: machine; fax: (520) 320-1256: 24-hour/day-night 03
email:   [address in tool bar]       : using Eudora Pro 3.0.3 on 586 CPU 04
website: http://supremelaw.com       : visit the Supreme Law Library now 05
ship to: c/o 2509 N. Campbell, #1776 : this is free speech,  at its best 06
             Tucson, Arizona state   : state zone,  not the federal zone 07
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_____________________________________: Law is authority in written words 09
As agents of the Most High, we came here to establish justice.  We shall 10
not leave, until our mission is accomplished and justice reigns eternal. 11
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