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East Midlands Broadband Consortium (EMBC) Thread, EMBC and Sparklebox in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); Part of the problem with all this is how some people view sex offenders. As with all offences trying to ...
  1. #16

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Part of the problem with all this is how some people view sex offenders. As with all offences trying to understand the mindset of why the person has committed the offence (whether as direct contact such as sexual assaults, grooming or trafficking or indirect contact such as downloading materials) is often pointless for the general public. Yes, there is a certain re-offending rate which is monitored and used to decided sections of sentencing for things like the register and time spent in custody.

    We accept the the rehabilitation of offenders is something that is laudable in for majority of criminal activities but when it comes to the sex offenders register then we accept that we need to keep closer control of people.

    The grey area comes when you are talking about 'access to children' and 'working with children'. In this case the site is geared towards teachers using resources, but the concern is that the site will be accessed also be children, pictures may be shared, online communities would give access to direct contact to children.

    We also have a thing called innocent until proven guilty, but within restrictions on the register you can do a fair bit to limit the chances of re-offending.

    There are also those that have the work to examine what has happened, how it can be dealt with and how we can stop it from happening again. This brings them in close contact with offenders on the register and I trust to their judgement (as professionals) about what we should do. In this case (via the announcement from CEOP) they have said that the site should be treated with extreme caution due to the owner, they would suggest that it isn't used for the foreseeable future and that if an individual person / school still wants to use it then this is why it is risky.

    Unfortunately it took time to investigate all of this and was confused because of earlier decisions (at appears to me) so yes ... the message may not have gotten out as quickly as some would like. In Northants we are reviewing it via the Local Safeguarding Children's Board and it will probably be discussed nationally again anyway. In the meanwhile, I will trust to CEOP and their team as they are the professionals in this matter.

    All the above ... a mixture of personal opinion / experience and how we are working with it in Northants.

  2. #17
    box_l's Avatar
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    herefordshire blocked too.

    edit: primarys only blocked by the council, high schools will need to configure their own block lists
    Last edited by box_l; 8th January 2010 at 10:33 AM. Reason: update

  3. #18
    apoth0r's Avatar
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    Just had to let a teacher know of the situation as they requested an 'unblock'.

    Thanks for the information

  4. #19
    titch's Avatar
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    Also blocked in Hampshire

  5. #20
    AyatollahPies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apoth0r View Post
    Just had to let a teacher know of the situation as they requested an 'unblock'.

    Thanks for the information
    How did said teacher react to the allegations?

  6. #21

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    bit past allegations now though :|

    So far all my schools have been very upset to lose such a valuable resource and the heads have pretty much all left it to the discretion of the individual staff as to whether they continue using the resources at home. I have put my foot down though and insisted they do not install the toolbar, as by doing so they would be directly putting money into the pocket of a sex offender. I'm not one for beating about the bush but this is such a delicate and horrible situation to have to handle it typically boils down to the obvious safety issues close to hand.
    Are we putting our children in danger
    Are we putting any other children in danger
    Are we risking any possibly sensitive information (yes, hence toolbar removal and blockage)
    The resources as already discussed are damned useful - I'm very thankful for the list EMBC provided for alternatives as I wasn't aware of a couple despite a good google search before christmas. Would the children therefore be losing out if these resources were not used?

    Most primary schools around here are tightly staffed, some more so than others, and time is at a premium - such time as to make these resources themselves, which IMO is a lost art.
    I've actually made a suggestion to one of my schools that perhaps it might be an opportunity to get the kids involved some more, combining curriculum such as art/D&T or whatever it's called these days with whatever subject they're creating these resources for. It's amazing what you can knock up in Paint or Colour Magic, and some of the kids are naturally talented at that. This has been taken on board and hopefully will have a good result in the near future.

    I'm more than a little hopeful that being fully aware of the potential of this website it may be taken over by someone somehow - I don't know how that would work out with copyright, IP etc etc but it would appear to make sense. Maybe the business model might work for someone else to start fresh - hell, I've thought about it myself. But then again it's just a convenience, where most of the stuff can easily be made by teachers or children.

    Sorry, thinking out loud a little bit here. Gauging the response from you folks, TES forums, even the "I Love Sparklebox" facebook group and importantly school staff it's easy to see the effect this is having and a natural willingness to move forward regardless. I know it hits home when some schools are taking the news in a manner you'd expect if their irreplaceable head teacher was hit by a snow plough :|

  7. #22

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    not blocked in west sussex, which probly means its not blocked on the lgfl as they are on same network

  8. #23

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    trying to understand the mindset of why the person has committed the offence is often pointless for the general public
    Who wants to do that in this thread? I'd say the main problem is the "general public's" mindset towards this area which, if it belonged to an individual, would likely see them sectioned. Amongst other things it's seriously, disturbingly voyeuristic (because those tabloids tastelessly raking over details, day after day after day, sell) and insanely contradictory e.g. the complicity in the increasing sexualisation of young children.

    We accept the the rehabilitation of offenders is something that is laudable in for majority of criminal activities but when it comes to the sex offenders register then we accept that we need to keep closer control of people.
    I couldn't possibly accept that in isolation and it beggars (my) belief that so many people are apparently content to do so. As an example:

    * Person A is convicted for possession of indecent pictures downloaded from the net etc. Yes I appreciate the "contribute to actual harm" argument, but they didn't directly harm a child. They go on the register.

    * Person B is convicted for directly harming a child in a non-sexual way e.g. violent or other abuse.

    So what happens in the second case? How different are the recividism rates? Do they go on a register? If so, are there notification requirements? Why aren't people at least as interested in this then? I know some of the answers, but only vaguely because the sexual stuff tends to eclipse and push all the rest to one side and it's a lot harder to find out - that mindset strikes again. Sadly, and that's very sadly, I don't think we're ever going to get very far with any of this until the witch hunt mentality is superseded by a rational, calm approach that permits more open, honest debate. Who knows, maybe next millenium..

    In the meanwhile, I will trust to CEOP and their team as they are the professionals in this matter.
    From where I'm sitting, devoid of any other information, CEOP have:

    a) Confirmed the director sex offence thing. Although we didn't need that because SWGfL wouldn't have published (internally or externally) something so defamatory unless they knew it was true.

    b) Essentially said they support LAs/schools blocking the site unless those LAs/schools are happy it's not a threat. Which is consequence-free advice anyone could give and arguably makes perfect sense for **any** site on the net.

    You can start reading things between the lines, and if you like imagine some forum there is a hotbed of Machiavellian child molesters, but I'm also perfectly happy to assume CEOP are professionals so between the investigation they mentioned and the more general scrutiny that site's doubtless under, I'll stand by my comments on that other thread.

    --
    Honesty is what troubles me in all of this: If I'm honest I think I've recently read a bunch of patronising, specious artificial crap in those early (and some current) LA statements, several also with that witless safety-in-numbers "other LAs have done it too" stuff which just goes to show how little history teaches some people.

    If I ran the universe then I'd have waited until it could be published and the message would have simply been: "[facts about director] + Under the circumstances we have currently decided it is inappropriate for an organisation of our nature to continue to allow access to the site." And having just looked I'm delighted to say that is pretty much what my LA grid folk have just said albeit with a teensy bit of innocuous padding.

    ::sorry folks - shutting up now::

  9. Thanks to PiqueABoo from:

    SimpleSi (9th January 2010)

  10. #24

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    can't say I blame you Piq - it's a subject close to many peoples heart and one that's going to cause controversy for a while to come.

  11. #25

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    * Person A is convicted for possession of indecent pictures downloaded from the net etc. Yes I appreciate the "contribute to actual harm" argument, but they didn't directly harm a child. They go on the register.

    * Person B is convicted for directly harming a child in a non-sexual way e.g. violent or other abuse.

    So what happens in the second case? How different are the recividism rates? Do they go on a register? If so, are there notification requirements? Why aren't people at least as interested in this then? I know some of the answers, but only vaguely because the sexual stuff tends to eclipse and push all the rest to one side and it's a lot harder to find out - that mindset strikes again. Sadly, and that's very sadly, I don't think we're ever going to get very far with any of this until the witch hunt mentality is superseded by a rational, calm approach that permits more open, honest debate. Who knows, maybe next millennium..
    Psychologically Person A is a very broad spectrum. One extreme you have a person who has downloaded one item, caught first time, but is curious. The other extreme is the person who is a repeat downloader / sharer and uses the materials as sexual stimulation. The repeated viewing of materials in conjunction with sexual acts lowers the 'acceptability' barrier ... and the lower it goes the closer the person is to taking part in direct activity themselves. At this point the closeness of person A and Person B is very close. You cannot take Person A and Person B as vastly separate. It can be taken on a case by case basis and this is why you get the variety of sentences or amount of time on the register.

    The hardest thing to deal with is when Person A says 'but I never touched a kid!' ... but they thought about it ... they were stimulated by it ... is that as bad as actually doing it? This is why the offences were changed to include pseudo-images of children ... as this has also been shown to lower the barrier of acceptability.

    Witch hunts ... yep, fully agree with you on the idiocy of the media when it comes to keeping the general public ill-informed. It seems taboo to talk about the psychological profiling of sex offenders when it is children, but it makes good drama / writing when it is about sexual offences against adults (Silence of the Lambs?)

    In this case there are a number of unknown areas that still require to be investigated. Supposedly sparklebox has staff, but none appear to have come forward. The person involved has not released any more information about the site either ... a good precis of the whole shebang is available at Sparklebox - BrendenisTeaching.com but as mentioned previously ... if there is more info I will update things.

  12. Thanks to GrumbleDook from:

    leco (9th January 2010)

  13. #26

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    The result according to the Mail "On Friday [08-01-2010] Kinge was jailed for 12 months at Worcester Crown Court after admitting downloading 424 indecent images of children."

    You cannot take Person A and Person B as vastly separate.
    Yes I can. You could have caught me drinking a beer in a restaurant last night which puts me on an alcohol-dependency spectrum, so would you subsequently file me, and everyone else who has ever done that, under "not vastly different from an violent alcoholic"?

    I'm no expert on any of this and I'm willing to be corrected, but I doubt that "spectrum" (is it?) of yours is a steady slope. I suppose there will be some with sufficiently screwed up "wiring" to just breeze past it, but for most people the psychological barrier between getting off on CP in private and any related activity out in the real world has got to be a significant one, surely?

    Perhaps it's there, but I need to see some research on the risks of Person A advancing to actual harm. And given that this particular offence is relatively new, we can't know about the long term risks i.e. in principle they will end up higher than any numbers you can find now.

    but they thought about it ... they were stimulated by it ... is that as bad as actually doing it?
    Only if you want to live in Nineteen Eighty-Four, but perhaps we can gain some further insight into that from one of the gamers who get their adrenaline kicks from running around with BFGs maiming and murdering virtual people?

    Are people who enjoy that generally accepted activity more likely to be violent in real-life? Or are they model citizens in real-life because they've got the dark stuff out of their systems in those virtual worlds?

    I don't know the answer, but is the availability of CP via the net satisfying some "urges" and reducing the risk of people going out and doing actual harm to real children. Or is it helping drag people further away from reality, making child abuse more "normal" and acceptable and increasing the risk?

    Basically I don't know what to think, but I'm not going to fix that with anything that doesn't have some credible supporting evidence.
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 10th January 2010 at 01:54 PM.

  14. #27
    AyatollahPies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    The result according to the Mail "On Friday [08-01-2010] Kinge was jailed for 12 months at Worcester Crown Court after admitting downloading 424 indecent images of children."



    Yes I can. You could have caught me drinking a beer in a restaurant last night which puts me on an alcohol-dependency spectrum, so would you subsequently file me, and everyone else who has ever done that, under "not vastly different from an violent alcoholic"?

    I'm no expert on any of this and I'm willing to be corrected, but I doubt that "spectrum" (is it?) of yours is a steady slope. I suppose there will be some with sufficiently screwed up "wiring" to just breeze past it, but for most people the psychological barrier between getting off on CP in private and any related activity out in the real world has got to be a significant one, surely?

    Perhaps it's there, but I need to see some research on the risks of Person A advancing to actual harm. And given that this particular offence is relatively new, we can't know about the long term risks i.e. in principle they will end up higher than any numbers you can find now.



    Only if you want to live in Nineteen Eighty-Four, but perhaps we can gain some further insight into that from one of the gamers who get their adrenaline kicks from running around with BFGs maiming and murdering virtual people?

    Are people who enjoy that generally accepted activity more likely to be violent in real-life? Or are they model citizens in real-life because they've got the dark stuff out of their systems in those virtual worlds?

    I don't know the answer, but is the availability of CP via the net satisfying some "urges" and reducing the risk of people going out and doing actual harm to real children. Or is it helping drag people further away from reality, making child abuse more "normal" and acceptable and increasing the risk?

    Basically I don't know what to think, but I'm not going to fix that with anything that doesn't have some credible supporting evidence.
    If they are viewing pictures then a child has already been harmed, otherwise there wouldn't be any pictures to look at.

  15. #28

    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AyatollahPies View Post
    If they are viewing pictures then a child has already been harmed, otherwise there wouldn't be any pictures to look at.
    Exactly!

    News report at 02:03:35 on iPlayer. May be worth playing to some staff!

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    If they are viewing pictures then a child has already been harmed, otherwise there wouldn't be any pictures to look at.
    Maybe next millenium...

    I get that bit and it's nothing like an answer to the questions you highlighted.

    And your answer can be wrong e.g. innocent (no harm done, from Next catalogues or whatever) images can become indecent ones if they're in a child sex abuser's possession. Across the pond the US Supreme Court disagreed, but here but pseudo-images that were created without anyone being harmed are apparently considered like real ones.

    Let's try the question again from a different angle: Has the number of people directly "interfering" with children increased, decreased or stayed the same since everyone and their dog got hooked up to the internet?

  17. #30

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    I think the key here as was in ep of CSI I was watching last night. The point was made everyone went on about the suspects and people caught doing the crime but the victim gets lost.

    You have to remember these are photos of child abuse not pornography. There is a very good talk on NACE (I think) from Jim Gamble of CEOP that if we give it name child pornography we give it an element of 'approval' . You have to think of it like this.

    I should also make point that people do not go from nothing to abusing a child (or any crime) as a rule. People start of with something such as they start looking at photos of child abuse then the kick they get off it is no longer is there so they have to up the game. So then it goes to something small scale like flashing at a child. Each time they get away with it each time it escalates until they start creating abuse photos.

    Thing to remember is that people create abuse photos not to create content but so they can relive the enjoyment they got first time around abusing the child. I will accept there are few people who create purely for financial gain but they are few and far between.

    Also remember that people who are abused as children (or as adults) live with that till the day they die.

    A child was sexually abused to give the person viewing it some kind of enjoyment. I suspect that people on here with family would make no difference between viewing and creating if it was there child/brother/sister or cousin who was abused?
    Last edited by russdev; 10th January 2010 at 03:29 PM.

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