Update on June 27 meeting: good news!

This is to report on last night’s WRDSB meeting.  You can watch the CTV News report here.  CTV needs to be commended for accurately reporting on this.

With only Trustees Mike Ramsay and Kathi Smith opposing it, the trustees passed this motion.  Note, Trustees John Hendry and Andrea Mitchell were absent.
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Essentially by the end of September, all elementary schools in the Waterloo Region will have stronger Internet filtering to keep out porn and other harmful content. Further, all teachers, whether full-time or temporary, will receive mandatory training on Internet safety.
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I still have a lot of concerns, and many questions are yet to be answered.  But this is a huge victory!  The trustees have sent the message to the staff: things need to change for the better.  Or rather, parents have sent the message to the WRDSB: these are our kids so we’ll decide what they see online!
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We have been dealing with this for over 15 months, and I’ll be happy to give it a rest for a while.  When this all started in February 2015, I naively thought the WRDSB would quickly fix the problem.  Joanna and I didn’t have a clue what we were in for.  So we’re cautiously thankful for what seems to be a positive resolution.
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The staff will now report back to the board at the end of September, and by then the plan to implement stronger Internet filtering should be well under way.
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I know at least one tech specialist who hopes to evaluate their upgrades.  I’ll let you know if I learn anything helpful.
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Ultimately, it will be up to parents to discern for themselves if they’re happy with the new filtering in September.  That will entail informing your children’s consciences to prepare them for potential exposure.  And it also means investigating the school Internet access yourself.  If anything comes up, please let me know, and I will be happy to help  you or to advocate for you.

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