Monday, May 23, 2011

Louisiana Might Ban Sex Offenders from Social Media


There are many types of technology that are constantly working to keep our children safe. Most children now have cell phones, and there are even now GPS devices that can be attached to kids so that even if they wander off we are able to find them. All of these new things have made our children safer, but there is one new type of technology that has made the world more dangerous for our children; and that is social media. Now, even when our kids are home their lives can be invaded by dangerous people. And this is exactly what the state of Louisiana is trying to stop.

A bill that was introduced in the Louisiana House, by Rep. Ledrika Thierry, aims to stop sex offenders from signing up for, or even looking at social media networks. The bill passed the house by a vote of 76-0 and has been sent to the Senate for review. This would be another line of defense for the general public, but especially for the kids.

If you think about it, sex offenders are currently made to register where they live, and many have restrictions on how close to a school they can be, but there are no restrictions on them talking with minors through Facebook or MySpace. These connections that can be made through social media sites are even more dangerous than the connections that these sex offenders in the past would have tried to make in their neighborhood. Now, the public can readily find out anyone's sex offender status and choose to keep their children away from them, but on the internet you never know who is on the other end of the computer.

Kids are also more trusting of everybody who is on sites like Facebook because they haven't been told over and over again what to do if they get a friend request from a person that they don't know, or what to do if a stranger wants to chat with them all of the sudden. Social media savvy has not been taught to our kids like they have been taught about strangers that they meet in their town.

While this type of education should be taught to children to give them the tools to protect themselves while they are surfing the web as well, the first step should be just what Rep. Thierry is trying to do, ban these sex offenders from using these sites that kids are on every day. With the ever changing technology, we have to update our laws to provide adequate protection to our kids.

Lauren Finnegan graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a bachelor's degree in political science and has an insider's perspective on the military because of her role as a military wife who has lived around the country.

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