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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Should they be able to? - May 5th 2009, 09:52 PM

I have a friend who's an exchange student and is staying with a host family. She's now been banned from the computer.

She's staying for a semester, is leaving in three and a half weeks, and she only communicates with her family back home through the computer.

Her host mother found a picture of my friend in her bathing suit, because she had wanted to show her best friend back home a picture of her swim suit. So now they say since she can't be safe on the internet, she can't use the computer.

Well, now she can't even tell her mom why she's not on the internet, so they'll have to call her which costs a ton, you know? And then they can't really talk long anyway.

My friends are fairly split about if her host mom should have the right to do this, especially considering the circumstances. What do you think?



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Re: Should they be able to? - May 5th 2009, 09:54 PM

That's absolutely ridiculous. Email is a closed messaging system; it's highly unlikely that the image would be intercepted, especially considering the number of bikini-clad girls on Facebook anyway. And computers are almost essential to communicating overseas these days; phones are obscenely expensive and can be unreliable.


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Re: Should they be able to? - May 5th 2009, 10:24 PM

I personally think that they should not be able to ban her from the computer, since it is her only source of contact with her family at home. If I was her mother, I would tell the host mother that I saw nothing wrong with the situation and would tell her that I think my daughter should have computer access back. I don't think that she was being unsafe.

How are students living with host families expected to behave? Must they obey the host family's rules? I guess they want to have the "American experience", but cultures are different and if you are raised thinking something is okay whereas your new family disagrees, then you could have yourself thrown into a difficult situation.


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Re: Should they be able to? - May 5th 2009, 10:45 PM

Theres always the library and such. She can use another computer somewhere else, so I still think she can contact her family. But is she in a country where that's not available?

As for the situation...Yeah, I think they're going overboard. Since they allow students to stay with them, they should allow them at least some freedom over the internet.
   
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Re: Should they be able to? - May 5th 2009, 10:56 PM

I don't see the problem. I assume she is allowed to go out of the house, supervised or unsupervised, so go to a library, internet cafe, school, etc... and just use the computers there. Presto, problem solved.

The parents have every right to do what they did. I'll admit, it seems a rather silly reason, however, they could be trying to protect her or the host family isn't one who takes their clothes off much for bathing suits and such.

So, the parents' reasons are silly but the girl can easily use computers elsewhere, so I don't see the problem.
   
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Re: Should they be able to? - May 6th 2009, 12:10 AM

As stupid as I think the host family is being, it is their house, so their rules!


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Re: Should they be able to? - May 6th 2009, 12:43 AM

As ridiculous as the reason behind it is, I have to admit that it's their house, their computer = their rules. Personally, I'd think that if they cut off her main communication back home, they should at least compensate by paying for a phone call or two. Of course, if they were unreasonable enough to ban her from the computer because of a swimsuit picture, I doubt they'd go for that. Like YourNightmare said, there's a number of other places where she could access e-mail. She could even go for the old standby - snail mail. It's slow and inconvenient, but at least her family back home would know what had happened.


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Re: Should they be able to? - May 6th 2009, 01:17 AM

I agree, it sounds silly, but they do own the computer. I would suggest that she goes to a library or internet cafe or the like. Or, she needs to tell them that she needs to contact her family, and if they won't let her use the computer, then they need to pay for the phone calls.. but.. that could go over not so well.



   
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Re: Should they be able to? - May 6th 2009, 01:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugez View Post
Theres always the library and such. She can use another computer somewhere else, so I still think she can contact her family. But is she in a country where that's not available?

As for the situation...Yeah, I think they're going overboard. Since they allow students to stay with them, they should allow them at least some freedom over the internet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by YourNightmare View Post
I don't see the problem. I assume she is allowed to go out of the house, supervised or unsupervised, so go to a library, internet cafe, school, etc... and just use the computers there. Presto, problem solved.

The parents have every right to do what they did. I'll admit, it seems a rather silly reason, however, they could be trying to protect her or the host family isn't one who takes their clothes off much for bathing suits and such.

So, the parents' reasons are silly but the girl can easily use computers elsewhere, so I don't see the problem.
The problem with both of these, is really she's not allowed out unsuprovised. Which would be an entirely different situation. Our library is 20 minutes away, and though she could come over to my house, I'm not particularly fond of that idea every day, as much as I love her. Haha.

But even if she could use computers elsewhere, does that still make what the parents did okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlurrySunset View Post
As ridiculous as the reason behind it is, I have to admit that it's their house, their computer = their rules. Personally, I'd think that if they cut off her main communication back home, they should at least compensate by paying for a phone call or two. Of course, if they were unreasonable enough to ban her from the computer because of a swimsuit picture, I doubt they'd go for that. Like YourNightmare said, there's a number of other places where she could access e-mail. She could even go for the old standby - snail mail. It's slow and inconvenient, but at least her family back home would know what had happened.
Again I ask the question does that still make what the parents did okay even though she can "evade their ban" so to speak?
And while it is their rules, should they have invited her into the house if they weren't willing to talk things out with her. They understood at the beginning that her family was in Germany and she'd need to be talking to them. So they understood that she'd need to have computer access.



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Re: Should they be able to? - May 6th 2009, 01:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidig View Post
Again I ask the question does that still make what the parents did okay even though she can "evade their ban" so to speak?
And while it is their rules, should they have invited her into the house if they weren't willing to talk things out with her. They understood at the beginning that her family was in Germany and she'd need to be talking to them. So they understood that she'd need to have computer access.
Your original question was about whether or not they had the right to do this. I answered yes. Does that make it okay? I also answered this by saying that the reasoning behind the punishment was ridiculous. And rules go both ways. By going to live with a host family, she agreed to abide by their rules. What if she had been doing something that really had compromised her safety, or the family's? Should she still be allowed to use the computer, simply because she 'needs' it?


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Re: Should they be able to? - May 6th 2009, 02:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidig View Post
The problem with both of these, is really she's not allowed out unsuprovised. Which would be an entirely different situation. Our library is 20 minutes away, and though she could come over to my house, I'm not particularly fond of that idea every day, as much as I love her. Haha.

But even if she could use computers elsewhere, does that still make what the parents did okay?
Not allowed out unsupervised? Makes it sound as though she's some wild ferocious beast. Regardless, you said she has access to a computer at your house. You may not be fond of that idea but that is irrelevant when listing out possibilities. You list out possibilities then you eliminate non-possible ones.

The parents have every right to do what they did. It's their house, their rules, not her house, not her rules. So, when you say "did it make it okay", this can be either 1) Did they have the right to do so (which inevitably is yes as I just answered) or 2) Was their rationale for their decision an acceptable or logical or appropriate one. The second one is debatable as first, background knowledge of her and of the parents is so far unknown to me. Second, the parents may simply be trying to protect her from potential online predators and care a lot for her well-being. So, I believe that they mean well, however, at a superficial view, it may not appear as such. So, in answering the second question, with the extremely limited information that has been provided, I say that they were looking out for the girl and their rationale, although rather extreme, is still appropriate because it is protecting her. That being said, banning her from the computer is rather silly and to me indicates that they have very little trust in her (either the parents don't trust many people, she did something to lose their trust in her or both). However, they are permitting her to use the telephone to communicate to her real parents, which, although is an expensive alternative, still provides her with freedom to talk to the parents.

Now, you mentioned that the parents understood her wanting to use a computer in order to communicate to her real parents. Unless the stay-away parents (the current ones, whatever you call them) signed some written agreement saying that they would always permit her to use the computer, if that did not occur, then it is difficult to prove that they have to let her. A verbal contract would also suffice but is harder to prove. Without any contract having taken place, then the parents are very much allowed to do what they did. The issue in this, one which I'm a bit confused upon and one which is very important, is does she WANT the computer use or does she NEED the computer use? To me, it sounds like it's a want, however, as I am not in the situation, I want you to clarify if it is a want or a need. But do remember, they are allowing her to call the parents so it's not complete restriction from her real parents.
   
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Re: Should they be able to? - May 6th 2009, 05:44 AM

That's wrong.
I have an exchange student in my house right now and the internet is the only way she can communicate with her family and friends over in France.
And believe me there are alot worse pictures of her in the computer, but who cares as she doesn't get my computer with virus I am fine :P


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