The public scandal should be that we're not doing our jobs to model and teach students the appropriate, educational use of technologies they are already using outside of school. Sure, they may come across something we don't want them to see, but let's teach them how to deal with that. Let's talk to them about why what they see is inappropriate or demeaning or harmful or whatever. Denying access only teaches them that we're either at a loss for how to deal with the reality or too scared to do so.
Oliver Wendell Holmes called it “the marketplace of ideas” and I still think that metaphor has legs. Here are his words in Abrams v. United States
"But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas -- that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market ... . That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment."
Get me to freakin’ Tattoo Charlies so I can have him make this credo a part of my skin. This is as close as I get to libertarian. I have always felt that if schools are so hidebound and hamstrung that the sight of, no, wait, the mere threat of the unsightly is enough to make them refuse one of the protean tools of our age, weblogs, then they are well and truly fucked. Why? They have shown the intellectual bankruptcy in their position through their unwillingness to risk their capital in the marketplace of ideas. Make no mistake—weblogs are an idea : glorious, appalling, chaotic, and dangerously liberating. That's why what Will says above bears repeating,
“Denying access [to blogs] only teaches them that we're either at a loss for how to deal with the reality or too scared to do so.”
I feel the sweet breath of a brave idea driving away what Milton named 'darkness visible'. And like Milton, we must not despair. We must, " Awake, arise, or be forever fallen!" (Paradise Lost. Book i. Line 330.)