Drama with School – Issued Tablets

Arianna Howard, Section Editor

Long had the topic of electronics in school been up for debate; whether it be school-issued or a student’s person device. Much progress has been made in the advancement of technology in the school system, such as the fact that some schools across the country even use Macs while others still use Lenovos from the early 1990’s.

Neil Armstrong Middle School in Forest Grove, Oregon issues iPads to its students. However, they are facing controversy over a twelve-year-old female student who was caught with explicit content on her tablet. Her mother found her device on a site called Wattpad, a creative writing website with a 13 and up age restriction. On the site, you can upload Original Fiction, or even Fanfiction, stories written by a fan based on a particular TV series, movie, or book.

Wattpad itself is not an explicit site, though it has added an adults only section in the last year for specifically explicit content. The middles-school student was caught reading erotica on the site, in the adults section, after breaking through the school’s security blocks. However, on top of the explicit fanfiction the student was reading, she had done even more.

The 12-year-old had also made herself a person Gmail account and was having online relationships with strangers online, as well as sending racy pictures to other students through said email account. This brings up the question; Are school-issued tablets really a good idea?

Should schools begin to iPads or other tablets, they would have to be monitored with even stronger security blocks, as well as having many restrictions on various websites. While tablets would be a wonderful advancement in technology and the learning environment, there are many dilemmas that can be brought up.