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updated: 5/5/2014 7:49 PM

Glen Ellyn students disciplined for viewing porn

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Three students at a Glen Ellyn elementary school were given undisclosed discipline after it was discovered that they viewed pornography on the Internet while at school.

Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 officials said they learned on April 18 that two fifth-grade students and one fourth-grader at Forest Glen School in Glen Ellyn looked at pornographic material stored on a mobile device while they were on the playground.

School officials also found that the fourth-grader and one of the fifth-graders accessed an inappropriate website using a computer that was in a classroom.

"The tech department was able to look up all the searches and found there were different links, but they all went to the same site, which we immediately blocked," said District 41 spokeswoman Julie Worthen.

Forest Glen Principal Mary Hornacek first learned about what happened when she was contacted by a mother of one of the students.

District 41 officials notified parents at Forest Glen and across the district in separate emails on April 23 and April 25, according to Worthen.

"It's distressing when students are exposed to material that's not appropriate for them," Worthen said. "We feel protective of them and all the students."

Worthen said she wasn't able to say how the students were disciplined because of privacy reasons.

In the meantime, officials say they are taking steps "to provide the benefit of the Internet in a safe setting."

"We will monitor Internet use by students more closely, including conducting random checks of Internet search histories, and are looking at other ways to be more proactive," Hornacek said in an email to school parents.

Worthen said she couldn't recall a similar incident happening before. "We've had instances where kids have tried to download games," she said. "As far as I know, we have not had this occur before."

She said the district hopes to strengthen its system without depriving students of the educational material they need.

While the district regularly updates its list of banned websites, Worthen said that alone isn't enough. "We have to be vigilant as well, and sometimes things get through," she said. "We wish they didn't, but there isn't a foolproof firewall."

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