I was introduced, by my two youngest children, last night to a new Disney website http://tv.disney.go.com/disneychannel/originalmovies/myschoolmusical/ that allows children to video themselves singing and dancing to one of four High School Musical songs. Listeners are then invited to give feedback. All of the comments are chosen from a scroll down menu or from icons and all are positive. A child registers to perform and make comments using only a first name. I am clarifying this to show that some aspects of this website are controlled and could be deemed safe for children.
A friend of mine friend recently attended an internet safety class for children. This class was taught by the Washington State Patrol and hosted by our school district. In one of the demonstrations the officer found a picture of a cheeleader on- line. He only had her first name and state of residence. She was wearing her school uniform in the picture. My friend informed me that the officer was able to learn the cheerleaders last name, school, and home address in about 20 minutes on-line. Please keep this in mind as you read more of what I have to say about this new Disney website.
These are the questions that I found myself asking while viewing this website with my children:
Why are parents allowing their daughters to perform the Fabulous video, sometimes poolside, while wearing a swimsuit?
Are there no internet safety classes offered for these parents in their states?
Don't these parents know how easy it is for pedophiles to sit in the comfort and safety of their own homes while viewing children scantily clad and cavorting in swimsuits using hip thrusts and butt arches on the computer screen?
Don't these parents know that the internet is the new domain for these perverts and that they no longer need to call attention to themselves by leering from the cyclone fences of school playgrounds and parks across America?
To be fair, a good percentage of the girls performing to this song were wearing clothes. I know that Sharpay does wear a swimsuit and performs this number poolside in HSM 2, but when it comes to childrens safety, must we as parents replicate this kind of accuracy? I am not trying to be overly conservative, but I am concerned when I see things like this. I am concerned about the growing child pornography statistics and stupid parenting practices.
While I am on the subject, my concern about the nature of some (many are quite good) of the performances on this website extends to the boys as well. The site uses first names and gives the state of the child's location only. However, in the Get Your Head in the Game number I noticed several boys wearing uniforms that could, with minimal research, identify their location. I don't mean to sound paranoid, but parents confuse me with their over-protectiveness one minute and complete disregard for their child's safety the next.