The Washington Times
May 12, 1998

Enough Is Enough is answer to Internet smut

By Michael Farris
The Washington Times
May 12, 1998

There is no doubt about the power of the internet for improving home-schooling academics.

Recently, my daughter Angie, 11, needed to go to the library to try to find pictures of Patrick Henry to illustrate a report she had written for history.

Instead, I suggested a trip onto the Internet. In a few minutes, we had color printouts of the three most famous portraits of Patrick Henry rather than the black-and-white photocopies that would have been available from a library search.

But there also is no doubt about the dangers of the Internet. In February, there were 294,000 attempts by public school students in Utah to access sexually explicit materials on the Internet from their public school computers, according to Enough is Enough, a non-profit group fighting for Internet decency. And one doesn’t have to be looking for porn to find it. A search for the very popular American Girl Dolls on a widely used search engine yields some clearly pornographic sites.

Also dangerous are those who prowl the Internet looking for children to become the targets of their warped sexual appetites.

Child molesters admit to a high level of connection between their acts and pornography. Eighty-seven percent of those who molest girls and 77 percent of convicted molesters of boys admit to useing pornography, Enough is Enough reports.

A 35-year-old man was convicted in Sacramento, Calif., in November of molesting a 10 year old child and then trading video images of his acts over the internet. He was a computer network engineer.

A 14-year-old girl from Fort Smith, Ark., was molested by a 26-year-old lesbian from New Jersey. The initial contact was made while the girl was using a computer at a local public library.

Home-schoolers use computers and Internet access more often than the public at large, according to “Home Education Across the United States,” a study conducted by Brian Ray. In March 1997, he compared 5,402 home-schooled students with data by the Department of Education.

There is no doubt that some of our children will be victimized by some or all of these various dangers unless we take the necessary steps to protect them.

Here are four suggestions on how to protect children from the dangers of sleaze and seduction that lurk on the Internet.

  • Buy filtering software or get your internet service through a filtered provider. Enough is Enough, can supply the choices and details. It can be reached at P.O. Box 888, Fairfax, Virginia 22030 or call them at 703.278.8343.

  • Do not let your children on the Internet unless you are at their side. This is the only fail-safe method for protecting your children. Our younger children are simply not permitted to know the passwords to our on-line service and must have one of their parents or their grown sisters by their side to log in or to use our Internet service provider.

  • Protect your children by setting a good example for them. There is nothing adult about adult entertainment. No person who is truly grown up believes that sex is a spectator sport. If you want your children to be truly safe, they need to have parents whose consciences are clear and whose minds are not impacted by filth.

  • Support efforts in your community to protect children. The political battles over Internet decency are just beginning. The libraries and schools will be major battlegrounds. Groups such as the American Library Association and other left-leaning groups argue vociferously against censorship of the Internet on taxpayer-supported computers.

No one has the right to read smut at the expense of taxpayers. And no one has the right to abuse the minds of children any more than they have the right to abuse their bodies.

Contact Enough is Enough for ways that you can be involved in protecting children from the mental and physical harm that lurks on a blinking computer screen.

Michael Farris is the father of 10 home-schooled children and chairman of the
Home School Legal Defense Association

Copyright 2000 News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit our web site at http://www.washtimes.com.