Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Letter: Internet filters

THE teachers who are calling for tough regulation of web companies and for the use of filtering software in schools ("Paedophiles targeting pupils via the Internet", 10 April) to help protect pupils from accessing dubious material on the Internet seem to have forgotten one important aspect of their role. They are in the business of preparing pupils for the harsh realities of the world and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to prosper in that world.

This means acknowledging that life, with all of its opportunities and challenges, also occasionally has a dark side to it. Having acknowledged this, they should then set about ensuring that pupils are streetwise enough to be able to deal with that dark side rather than sheltering them from it.

Teenagers are naturally inquisitive and if they know that material is being filtered from them, they will find a way to access it. It is better that they should be taught to develop their own judgement about whatever material they may see on the Internet, and to be able to assess for themselves its validity, rather than passively relying on a piece of filtering software to do it for them.


Stanford le Hope,