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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my greatest fear with technology has been realized. One of ds s classmates pulled up an image of male genitals at school the other day. Ds sit next to the tablet hub and saw the image just before the student who found it turned it in to the teacher. While he only saw the image at a glance i of course was upset but i founf out that the principles advised the whole class that he didnt feel the need to get the parents involved or made aware of the situation.

My primary concern is that. I had to explain the long gory depth and details of porn to my 9 year old how was definitely not ready for it, he is not interested in that type of stuff.

But my main issues are why is there no adult content blocker on school electronics and why would the school not inform us of the situation?

I am wondering how i should proceed, i feel at the very least we should get some assurance safety protocols have been established. Children can accidently pull that type of stuff up by misspelled words for goodness sakes!
 

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IT's always disturbing to hear that a school administrator TOLD CHILDREN that their parents didn't need to be made aware of a thing. However, without more detail, I wonder how much fuss this incident is worth.

Can you explain more about the image? I'm not sure I would necessarily have jumped to explaining porn because my nine year-old saw an individual picture of a penis - context is important.

Content blocking and parental controls on school electronics can be pretty problematic. If a district has to have the same content blocker applies to all devices, they may need to set the controls very loosely, or not at all, in order to retain access to high school level content. In any case, it appears that your child's classmate did the right thing (drew the teacher's attention to the picture and asked the teacher to deal with any issues arising from it). The principal's approach was way out of line though.
 

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I agree with MeepyCat. Without more information there's no way to know the context of the image - heck the statue of David shows male genitalia, and that's certainly different from porn! I'm not certain why you felt the need to go into detail with your son - maybe there are details you are leaving out?
I worked at a school district that blocked even google images from the school servers - it's a very fine balance one must walk. If you are really concerned I would begin with a discussion with the teacher - it's possible that details were left out when your son described the incident to you. Maybe it's possible that the principal's words were taken out of context. Before you get angry do more investigation - there's a chance that everything was handled properly.
 

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Setting aside the issue of context discussed above, I'm impressed by the way your son and friend handled that. They seem sensible and willing to talk about it, which is such a positive. Silver lining...
 

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I think there's another sense in which context is important: the context the parents provide for the child in processing the experience. Without knowing the details of what exactly happened in the classroom or the nature of the image, it's possible that this might be internalized by the kids as nothing more toxic than catching a glimpse of an naked adult in the men's locker room at the pool. Sure kids might giggle and be curious and embarrassed and they might have some questions if they weren't familiar with adult male anatomy (I would hope they would be, but ...), but it wouldn't be traumatizing to them. But if their parents and caregivers then start sounding the alarm and phoning each other to advise and discuss the exposure and are clearly upset that some sort of horrible situation has occurred and innocence has been lost and they launch into information about sexual exploitation that are far beyond anything the child had questions about, then what might have been a quickly-forgotten incident is made traumatic. Kids are very sensitive to parental anxieties, so I'd encourage you, no matter how upset you might be, to remain outwardly calm, cheerful, reassuring and low-key about this. Don't go beyond basics if he's not troubled and is not asking further questions. Don't make this any bigger than it needs to be for your ds, even if it feels very big to you. Especially not before you quietly get more information about the exact nature and context of the exposure.

Miranda
 

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What was the context of the pic? A textbook anatomy photo would get a different explanation than a pornographic image.
 

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I agree there's a big difference between a medical site, a dude hanging out being naked, and hardcore porn. I don't want to belittle your concerns, but this doesn't have to be your "worst fear realized". Depending on the circumstances, I think it's quite reasonable that the school didn't need to alert all the parents. The incident happened and it was handled appropriately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I waited it out, the next day i asked ds if anything else was mentioned and he said that the teacher said they are updating security on the tablets. I havent discussed it since that on Friday.

The reason i talked to him about people taking pictures of themselves naked ie the extent of my porn discussion is because he may be in that situation in the future. I never used the word porn. Just told him sometimes people take pictures like that for attention and we need to be safe when using the Internet so as not to see things like that. He didnt think was a big deal but he think it was gross.

I think things are okay

Thursday was a rough and crazy day with this incident, dhs dad having open heart surgery and me finding out i am pregnant.

Another thing is the teacher and principal don't know he saw the image which may mean others saw it too and they dont know. I definitely think the teacher handled it well but the way the school is they usually send emails out about things that happen at school so we can talk to our kids about it as we see fit and discuss the matter if we need to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't know the exact context of the photo because my 9 year old was explaining it but it sounded like a penis erection photo and he described it as slimy
 

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I waited it out, the next day i asked ds if anything else was mentioned and he said that the teacher said they are updating security on the tablets. I havent discussed it since that on Friday.

The reason i talked to him about people taking pictures of themselves naked ie the extent of my porn discussion is because he may be in that situation in the future. I never used the word porn. Just told him sometimes people take pictures like that for attention and we need to be safe when using the Internet so as not to see things like that. He didnt think was a big deal but he think it was gross.

I think things are okay

Thursday was a rough and crazy day with this incident, dhs dad having open heart surgery and me finding out i am pregnant.

Another thing is the teacher and principal don't know he saw the image which may mean others saw it too and they dont know. I definitely think the teacher handled it well but the way the school is they usually send emails out about things that happen at school so we can talk to our kids about it as we see fit and discuss the matter if we need to.
It sounds like you did a great job communicating your values in that situation. I like the way you said people take pictures of themselves naked "for attention." That's a good way to tell only what you feel comfortable telling for now, and to leave the door open for more discussions when you and he are both ready to have those.

It also sounds like you have so many more difficult things on your mind as a family right now. I hope everything is all right. It occurs to me that the fact you devoted energy to talking with your son about this internet porn issue will help to reassure him that you are thinking about how things go for him at school, even when there's a lot going on.
 
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