Headache with that laptop gift
I had just seized my son's laptop with strict instructions for him not to ask for it again when I picked up the Saturday Express of October 13 and saw the Letter of the Day headlined "Laptop nightmare — parents' experience".
Mrs Persad-Bissessar, I have no political affiliation but I am of the opinion that this whole laptop policy was not properly researched. We have a whole generation of 11-13-year-olds being exposed to the best and worst that the Internet has to offer. Guess which offering will grab their attention. Pornography is quite riveting, whether stumbled upon by accident or deliberately sought out. This situation is far too precarious to be left up to the judgement of an 11-year-old.
I have a desktop and Internet access. I had no problem with my children using the computer for homework and projects etc. But now I have a situation where my 11-year old picks up his laptop, goes to the front of the house and picks up an Internet signal from God-knows-where (via Wi-Fi) and doodles for hours. Am I to assume that he is doing homework? Should I rest assured that I have lectured to him at length about the ills of cyberspace and that he will obediently follow all of my instructions? Ha! This is an 11-year-old and I am not so naive.
About all these "blocks" to access of certain sites, I have to tell you that somebody "forgot" to put them on my son's computer because from day one he was able to visit restricted sites. Then there are those games... I am sorry, I just had to seize his laptop.
To me, it just made raising a teenager a little more precarious. To all you forward-thinking parents, best of luck. I wish I had your confidence.
Mrs Persad-Bissessar I do understand the reasoning behind this policy. There are some children not as fortunate as mine. They don't have Internet access at home and it is unfair that they should compete for grades with children who are much more technologically-equipped than they are.
Please re-think your plan. Is there not another way to help the technologically disadvantaged? When my son went to register at his school, the principal described this laptop policy as "an administrator's nightmare". "Nightmare" seems to be the most appropriate word to describe this scenario. Please help us by coming up with some other plan so that we parents and teachers can rest a little more comfortably.