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Reading, Writhing And 'Rithmetic: Ridgewood Mom Says Kids See Porn, Violence On School Laptops

Candace Young's comments begin at 1:02:25.
Candace Young's comments begin at 1:02:25. Video Credit: Ridgewood Public Schools Video

Ridgewood school officials were investigating a parent’s complaint that she found her 9-year-old son and one of his classmates viewing porn on the school-issued laptops.

Candace Young told village school trustees during the public comment portion of Monday evening's Board of Education meeting that her son and a classmate "were able to search and watch a sexual bloody murder video" on their school-issued Chromebooks via the school's WiFi network.

When questions of access arose in the past, "we were reassured this type of thing would not happen," said Young, who works in Internet technology. "This is extremely serious."

Her son and others can also view other "inappropriate, violent and sexual" images on the laptops, including a suicide video, she said.

"Children are able to access porn and play video games that are not part of the curriculum on their Chromebooks at night," Young explained.

Parents don't have access to their children's browsing histories, either, she added.

"Quite frankly, I really don't know how to deal with the situation, and I'm sure there are other parents who are faced with the same kind of dilemma," Young said. "I have no way of knowing what he was exposed to and what the potential effect is."

K-5 pupils shouldn't have Internet access, Young said, adding that they should be using an intranet and that "all content be pre-screened."

Parents in Monmouth County have an app that allows them "at every minute of the day to see what their child has accessed online," she said.

By allowing children to see porn and violence, Young said, "we kind of take away their innocence..

"You can't take something back like that," she said.

BOE members directed Schools Supt. Dr. Daniel Fishbein to investigate and report back.

Fishbein and village police already are probing reports that emerged last month of students sexting.

Last year, juvenile complaints were filed against two students who parents said got into a fistfight over nude photos of a girl posted on social media.

Four years ago, authorities said, two girls shared naked photos that older village high school boys shared.

The school district began issuing Google Chromebooks to students four years ago, thanks to funding by the Ridgewood Education Foundation.

Youngsters in the middle and high school are allowed to take the laptops home for school use and different learning needs.

VIDEO (ABOVE): Candace Young's comments begin at 1:02:25.

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