Principal says students can't keep blogs or MySpace profiles

A blog isn't just fun, says a Catholic school principal in New Jersey --

It's an open invitation to predators and an activity that Pope John XIII Regional High School in Sparta will no longer tolerate, the Rev. Kieran McHugh told a packed assembly of 900 high school students two weeks ago.

(Because if there's one thing Catholic Church officials know about first-hand, it's the behavior patterns of sexual predators.)

Effective immediately, and over student complaints, the teens were told to dismantle their Myspace.com accounts or similar sites with personal profiles and blogs. Defy the order and face suspension, students were told. While public and private schools routinely block access to noneducational Web sites on school computers, Pope John's order reaches into students' homes.

The primary impetus behind the ban is to protect students, McHugh said. The Web sites, popular forums for students to blog about their lives and feelings about their teachers and schools, are fertile ground for sexual predators to gather information about children, he said.

(...) "The idea of a private school regulating student activity outside of school is not unheard of and there is a long tradition in it," said Kevin Bankston, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San-Francisco-based defender of online civil liberties.

Link (Thanks, peter caputa)

Reader comment: Lance says,

According to this bit of trivia, the Pope whose name is above the door of the "no student blogging allowed" school died during sex. The information isn't cited on that page, but a quick Google search turned up the same data on other pages, so it's at least a widely held belief.

Link to "Popes who died during sex," not to be confused with "Popes who died while updating their blogs."

Reader comment: de facto papal factchecker Conor says,

Your original source mangled the school's and therefore the Pope's name by dropping an 'X'. It should have read John XXIII, a well-regarded, recent pontiff and not one a thousand years dead. Pope John XXIII died of stomach cancer on June 3 1963, Link.