Gotland’s municipal schools currently do not have filters on their 3,500 computers, a fact which came to light this week after the parents of a seven-year-old boy discovered that he had gained access to pornographic sites with a group of friends, reported the local Gotlands Allehanda daily.
The discovery has prompted a renewed discussion within the municipality over the lack of protection offered to the region’s school-children, according to a report by Sveriges Television (SVT).
The issue has been discussed on several prior occasions within the municipality but the prohibitive cost has been a stumbling block, something that the Moderate Party is keen to address.
A motion has been submitted by municipal councillor, Anna Hrdlicka, seeking a review of the situation, a move which has been supported by the Social Democrats.
“School computers, regardless of subject or area, are meant for educational purposes and not for surfing porn,” said Meit Fohlin of the Gotland Social Democrats to SVT.
Several municipalities across Sweden require their schools to employ filters against pornography and violence, although according to several media reports not all of them live up to the requirement.
The argument that adults are the best supervisors for internet surfing children is also prevalent in the debate across Sweden in general and on Gotland, with one unnamed commentator expressing the view that children would come across the information despite the proposed IT restrictions.
“That children gain access is unavoidable. Even if they don’t do so in school, they would at home – children are very curious today. Sooner or later they will come across something that is unsuitable,” he told SVT.