Citing a concern about “unlimited filth” online, a small Christian school in Knoxville, Tenn., has requested that the state legislature permit exemptions from a law requiring computer education.
The state has required since 1994 that students receive a full year of computer education, including “online communication,” to obtain a high school diploma, The Commercial Appeal of Memphis reported.
Administrators at the Oakmont School in Knoxville asked a state legislative committee to recommend approval of a bill that would permit students and public and private schools to be excused from the rule if a parent or guardian submits a written statement explaining a “reason of conscience” for opposing the computer instruction.
“We don’t have computers, radios or televisions in our homes or businesses, and we don’t wish our children to be, you might say, infected with what’s on them,” Oakmont principal Floyd Rochat told the joint House-Senate Education Oversight Committee in December.
“Computers may be connected to the Internet with access to unlimited filth for their young minds to feed on. We respectfully ask for making this exemption a part of the law so that Christian conscience may be maintained and at the same time, provide our children with a good quality education.”
The bill in question was introduced last year, but was deferred in a House subcommittee to the 2002 session of the General Assembly, which begins Tuesday (Jan. 8).
The school has about 13 students in grades 6 through 12 but the waiver would be available to any parents wishing to exclude their children from computer instruction.