Sunday, August 1, 2010

Law of Unintended Consequences

From my local paper, the Chambersburg Public Opinion, on 30 July 2010.  The bold blue italics are mine:

Camera phones, other devices banned in Chambersburg Area School District

Almost a year after the Chambersburg Area Senior High School was struck with a sexting scandal, the district is taking camera phones out of the buildings.

The school board approved 7-1 at Wednesday night's board meeting a revised policy on electronic and communications devices. Board member Fred Rice cast the vote against the policy and board member Anne Boryan was absent.

Assistant Superintendent Eric Michael said it's the first time the device policy specifically addresses pictures or videos because it was not needed in the past. The revision prohibits any device capable of taking, storing, disseminating, transferring or viewing obscene, lewd or pornographic images. Under the policy, the district could report any violations to local, state or federal law enforcement agencies.

Looks like they'll have to ban computers, because, after all, they are devices capable of storing images.

Not saying sexting is desirable behavior, but beware the slippery slope associated with the Law of Unintended Consequences.

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