Content Filtering and Jesus

So, why at my school do we pay to have a web service filter our student email?

Do we want to identify and stop digital bullying? Yes.

Do we want to stop kids from sharing content they are really too young to be sharing? Yes.

Could it be we want to provide a safe environment where kids can learn from their mistakes with minimal consequences to their digital footprint? Yep.

While all of the above points are important, we filter student email for one major reason, so we can talk to kids about Jesus!

We just had a student send a very simple email to another student, which got flagged and blocked (two small, hurtful words, "you suck"). Knowing that the email didn't make it to its intended audience was a huge relief, but more important, was the opportunity it provided for us to talk about the motives of the sender and the struggle that child has with their personal filter. It gave us the opportunity to share the love and forgiveness of  our Savior. That child needed to hear that the God who loves the intended email recipient is the same God who loves and forgives them. It's only when kids start seeing each other the way Jesus sees them that we will begin to know what true "digital citizenship" looks like. That blocked email gave us the opportunity to have a conversation, not so much about good email etiquette, but rather their heart.

So, was money worth it? I'd have to say, yes!

If you're interested in knowing what service we use, feel free to contact me directly. I try not to advertise too much on this blog :-) 

Image: "THIS DOOR BLOCKED" by Flickr User: pheezy was used under an Attribution, Creative Commons License
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