iPads pulled from classroom after kids use them to watch porn

By

2018 iPad Pro unboxing
iPads are being removed from classrooms after a parent sounded the alarm.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Students in California’s Sonoma Valley school district have had iPads pulled from their classrooms. This follows several second-graders reportedly using the tablets to access porn.

According to a report, searches for the word “kissing” on YouTube prompted suggestions of other videos, which included sexually explicit content. These videos had been viewed by kids as young as 8.

Prestwood Elementary School parent Katie Walker raised concerns during a parent-teacher conference. She also shared the issue on a private Facebook group for parents.

“We really like the school and our daughter’s teacher, the only reason I posted what had happened online was to make other parents aware,” Walker told the Sonoma Index-Tribune. “I wanted to open a dialogue with parents and get advice on how to get the ball rolling when it initially seemed like the school wasn’t taking what happened seriously enough.”

Closing flaws in the system

Walker decided to keep her daughter home from school after the incident had been reported. The school district then made the decision to remove all iPads from classrooms until safeguards were put in place. These will include removing access to Safari and YouTube from the devices. In place, YouTube for Kids will be installed.

Teachers will also be able to monitor what is being looked at on screens using a website monitoring program called GoGo Guardian. In future, more attention will be paid to the browsing history on school iPads. Additionally, the kids affected will be offered counseling.

“Kids experiment and try things out,” Bruce Abbott, associate superintendent of the school district, told the Index-Tribune. “They didn’t cross any line. We had a hole in our system.”