16 CFR Part 312; Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule Review; Project No. P104503
School districts should be entirely prohibited from blocking or otherwise interfering with the right of any student who can legally possess an email or social networking account (those age 14 or older) to consult that account for legitimate educational, research, or employment purposes during the school day and on school equipment. At the present time, school districts all nationwide often totally block student access to email and social networking. For older students this is a particularly burdensome handicap because every scholarship, college application, testing program, database, and potential employer requires the use of an email account for communication. The burden weighs most heavily on those who need access the most, on the poor who cannot afford high speed internet connections at home. Given the federal and state subsidies to schools for the purpose of providing high speed internet access, it makes no sense to prohibit a legitimate use of that access for instructional, educational, employment, and research purposes.