The 11th commandment: thou shalt not blog

Computer_no1Disclaimer: Rev. McHugh, I am not a student at Pope John XXIII High School. Therefore, I can write this blog item without being expelled. Kieran McHugh’s students at the Catholic high school in Sparta, N.J., have been ordered to take down any personal pages they have in cyberspace. The reverend says he is trying to protect kids from predators and perverts online, as well as bullying and harassment. The students aren’t having it—most have protested, saying the school has no right to regulate their lives outside of the classroom. “I don’t see this as censorship,” McHugh said. “I believe we are teaching common civility, courtesy and respect. ... If this protects one child from being near-abducted or harassed or preyed upon, I make no apologies for this stance.” Leave it to Catholic schools to stick their necks out and ban things that get ridiculous. Last week, Kellenberg Memorial High School in Long Island, N.Y., cancelled the senior prom when officials got fed up with students and parents flaunting wealth with stretch limos, thousand-dollar gowns and swanky parties full of sex and alcohol. As a survivor of Our Lady of Mercy elementary school in California, I never thought I’d be on the side of any kind of institution so oppressive that it assigned what games children could play at recess. But Catholic schools are the only ones who sound sane lately. Someone’s got to put the brakes on things students are doing and have some rules. Schools should have leaders who can make decisions, not ones who act like ACLU lawyers.

—Posted by Celeste Ward

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