I just found out at work today that the Washington County School District has decided to allow students access to YouTube on school computers. As a parent, and as a computer lab aide, I am not very happy about this. I didn't realize this at first, but YouTube does not police their site very well and there are all kinds of inappropriate subject matter for kids to explore--all kinds of foul language, mature themes and porn to name just a few--especially if they are unsupervised for any length of time. And the way YouTube works, kids can be looking at completely innocent sites and in the sidebar these things pop-up as suggested or related content and once they've seen it, it can't be taken back.
I understand that there is also a lot of really great stuff on there and that teachers may want to show videos that correlate to lesson plans, but it is not worth risking children's innocence for the convenience of the few teachers who might use this technology. I am planning to write an email to our district Tech Director and ask him to put YouTube back on the blocked content list. YouTube is blocked in my home, and I certainly don't want it to be available in my kids' schools either. If you would like to send an email too, let me know and I will send you the Tech Director's email address.
I'd also like to figure out what could be done about the LDS Church's YouTube channel. It bothers me, and others I know, that the Church supports YouTube when they are so lax about keeping their site clean. It seems to me that the Church certainly has the brainpower and the resources to post their videos through some alternative source that can be more carefully monitored. I'm just saying.