My students weigh in on DOPA

For my question of the week, I'm shifting students to (See my post on how I'm using think this summer.)

My question of the week is a debate question:

Discussing DOPA

During our last few days of school, we are going to discuss legislation that has currently been introduced in congress called the Deleting Online Predators Act. It is your final assignment to look at this act and state your opinion on DOPA. Support your position with at least three facts.

Here are some of the more meaningful posts:

Madison L
I do not support DOPA.

Using the internet is a priveledge. The government shouldn't ban certain things like myspace, blogging, and wikispaces. Doing this will hinder America in advancing technologically. The government should worry about teaching people safe ways to use the internet, not blocking certain things. Stupidity is to blame, not predators.

banks w
I do not support DOPA.

Blogging, myspace, and all the new technology's are not the problem. Just because the predators are out there does not mean that we should get rid of blogging and all the other things. If people just use their common sense and only trust the people they know then we won't have a problem.

Rachel H
I do not support DOPA.

Using the internet is not harmful if you use it in the right ways. Scanning the internet for young innocent girls or logging in to people's accounts, are ways the internet is used harmfully. In contrast, the Internet offers many other aspects in life. It enhances technology and can also allow parents to monitor their kids better than at the mall. The government needs to realize that they are catching predators better by the internet than by on the streets.

Brandon Johnson J Brandon Johnson J
I do not support DOPA.

Using the internet is a privaledge. The Government needs to find ways to stop the predators and ask schools to teach their kids how to use the internet because a lot of kids do not know how. Stopping sites like Bloglines, Wikispaces, and myspace will hurt the advancement of new technology. So Congress needs to think about these things to try to fix the problem not to take away a need.

Grace Ann B Grace Ann B
I do not support DOPA.

Although DOPA may have started out as a good idea, it is not practical. Myspace and facebook are just a few of the things they want to get rid of but they only have a few bad people on them. They can't just get rid of the whole thing because of a few bad apples. They can't just stop everybody from using the blog pages; instead, they should just monitor it more closely.

Brittany B Brittany B
I do not support DOPA.

I don't support this because by passing this law the government in interfering with my rights. There are predators everywhere. So why should the governement be allowed to shut down a website or many websites? If they are going to shut down websites, they should also shut down skating rinks and arcades where kids also frequently go.

Kyli L Kyli L
I do not support DOPA.

I do not support DOPA, because kids need to be intelligent enough to not give out personal information. Not everyone on the Internet is a predator. I don't know if the congressmen and congresswomen really know enough to justify passing this legislation.

Ivy S Ivy S
I do not support DOPA.

I do not support DOPA. If the people who use Websites like Myspace were more careful and did not put personal information like their address and schedule on their pages, then it would not be as easy for predators to find them. Also, taking these Websites out of libraries does not do much good because they can get on them once they get home. If people did not do stupid things like agreeing to meet someone they don't even know, this would not be such a big problem.

The underlying theme of all thirty one students who have voted against DOPA in our class debate is education. They overwhelmingly feel that students should be educated not restricted.

Ignorance is more of the problem than predators.

What Congressmen and women must not forget is that many of these students will be voting in the next few years. I have a feeling that students will pay attention to the lawmakers who are involved in this legislation. In fact, I've seen many posts on myspace accusing DOPA of “shutting myspace down.”

I hope educators will take time to weigh in during the summer months and will not tune out completely.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Karyn Romeis May 24, 2006 - 8:02 am

Your students show maturity of insight and a grasp of the scope of what DOPA is about. Good for them!

Robert May 24, 2006 - 12:43 pm

So, did any of your students support DOPA? If so, what were their reasons?

Also, I’d suggest printing out this post and send it to your state’s congressmen.

Robert May 24, 2006 - 12:56 pm
Anonymous May 24, 2006 - 5:09 pm

Liz here from I Speak of Dreams. I added the post to the Anti-Dopa Wiki.

I agree with Robert, send the students’ responses to your elected officials.

According to Thomas, “5/15/2006 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.”

Vicki A. Davis May 24, 2006 - 1:56 pm

I had no students who support DOPA. Not one. All agree predators are a problem and that kids need more education. My students are educated and constantly point out students who are making errors in judgement. My students have full access to most everything here (except myspace.) They are learning to protect themselves but they get upset about other students who expose themselves to predators. They want more education!

Mandy Mallott June 27, 2006 - 8:09 pm

It is amazing for a teacher to challenge her students in this way. I work for a group called Mobilizing America’s Youth ( and this bill (HR 5319) is one of our top priorities. This bill was written by people who do not use social networks on a regular basis. They don’t understand what an important tool they are becoming for the youth of America to connect to one another. We are working to organize yung people from across the country to write to congress and the media informing them of our opinions on social networks. We DON’T support online predators, and recognize the good intent at the heart of the bill bu feel this is the wrong way to go about it.

This bill is also unfair to many economically disadvantaged youth. For these students, their only access to computers and the internet is at schools or libraries. Their families simply cannot afford home access. Denying them the ability to use social networks in the only places they can is denying them tools the more advantaged members of their generation are using to great benefit.

As a college Senior, I have been using MySpace and Facebook to meet new people with similar interests around my school, connect with old friends and keep track of other students in my classes for studying. These sites are a wonderful way for me to connect to other people, and restricting our ability to use them is unfair.

As of right now, the bill has 30 cosigners, a number that grows daily. It is not fading away, and in fact is picking up steam. (Bold mine – Doug) If this is an issue that matters to you, please tell your representatives about it. It is in the Telecommunications and the Internet subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

If you or your student would be interested working with us informing Congress of our opinions, especially ahring our personal stories and uses of social networks, please email me at

If you are interested in more information on what is doing with HR 5319, please visit us at

I am so glad to see others engaging in a dialog about this!

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