Eanes ISD changes iPad security after 6-year-old views pornographic images

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a 6-year-old saw pornographic images in class on his school-issued iPad, Eanes ISD announced big changes are coming to its technology security measures.

In the past, the district has used security that blocks specific apps and websites selected by district leaders. 

Now, the district is switching to a more proactive approach.

Starting next school year, Eanes ISD leaders will select what content to allow, rather than disallow. Anything left off the list will be blocked. 

“They can go to some educational sites that we believe, that we have determined are safe,” said Eanes ISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Leonard.

Each student in the district is assigned a personal iPad to use, and in some cases take home, during the school year.

In order to test the new technology, the district brought in a group of its most gifted computer science high schoolers and asked them to try to get around the new security measures.

Those students weren’t able to crack any of the district’s security blocks.

Last month, Eanes ISD parent Meaghan Edwards asked the district to create more classrooms without iPads after her six-year-old son Charlie googled terms like “naked girl” and “sexy girls” while in class.

Charlie was able to see pictures of half-naked women as a result of his search.

Over the summer, a group of teachers will meet to try to further refine what content is and is not allowed. 

They’ll also work to set time limits for how much screen time students should be allowed. 

“This has really moved us to another step, and I’m pretty excited that we’ll have a great educational tool that’ll be safe for kids,” Leonard said.

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