The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Parent raises school Internet access concerns

 

January 22, 2020



CLOVIS — Parents beware: Google Chromebooks issued to students by Clovis Municipal Schools may not always prevent children from being exposed to inappropriate content.

A Clovis parent learned this lesson recently after she said her child received sexually explicit messages while using a school-issued computer at home.

The parent, whose name is being withheld by The News to safeguard the student's privacy, said her child was playing an online Facebook game called “Immortal Night” when sexually explicit messages and propositions to engage in erotic roleplay were received from other users.

While the game’s use policy states it's intended for users age 17 and over, the game wasn't overtly sexual in nature and prohibits the sharing of sexually explicit content via its chat features.

The child's mother said she was under the impression the computer had filters that prevented students from accessing inappropriate websites and content of that nature.

A statement from the school superintendent's office to The News regarding the incident said the district does use active and passive monitoring and content filtering on Chromebook devices issued to students.

These content filters prevent the devices from accessing web sites known to be questionable, and active and passive monitoring tracks content accessed by the device.

“It is important to mention, however, that in an ever changing technology environment such as ours, no filtering or monitoring software serves as a replacement for the close supervision of minor children. "Clovis Municipal Schools strongly encourages parents and guardians to actively monitor their children when using any electronic device which can access the Internet,” the statement reads.

The statement also said, “Based on an investigation conducted by our technology staff, the District does not have any evidence to support the allegation that the communication you have inquired about took place on a device owned or issued by Clovis Municipal Schools.”

The statement also affirms that though no evidence was found, technology staff have made specific efforts to ensure student Chromebooks cannot access the online platform used in this incident in the future.

It also brings attention to the district’s Acceptable Use and Chromebook Use agreements, which are signed by parents and students and prohibit students from accessing pornographic or otherwise explicit material on school-issued electronics.

 
 

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