A web site where students anonymously posted gossip about their peers was shut down after parents and kids complained.
Schoolscandals.com, a 3-year-old web site run by Western Applications, a Nevada-based corporation, was closed April 24. A message read that the bulletin board has been suspended “until some method could be devised to control the content on the forum. There is nothing any of us can do about it. We have no money, so we have no power.”
The site had featured links for chat rooms for nearly 100 Southern California middle and high schools with postings making derogatory remarks about students.
Parents in the San Fernando Valley began complaining about the web site in January. They met recently with administrators from Las Virgenes Unified School District, who agreed to block the site on school computers. (See “Parents, schools unite against ‘cyber bullying,'” http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=4369.)
One womanwhose son attends a Las Virgenes School District school, was ridiculed on the site, and had counseling as a resultsaid she was thrilled that it was shut down.
“I am glad the web site is over and [my son] is glad it’s done,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “He doesn’t want to be hurt anymore, and he doesn’t want other kids to be hurt.”
A 1996 federal law protects many internet service providers from lawsuits about their content. Only those sites that hold the right to create and edit material on their sites can be held liable for content.