So, I was listening to a couple of conservative radio personalities this morning on my way to lovely Victoria, Texas. The guy on from 7-9 is a local guy who talks mostly about city politics (Houston). He mentioned a flap developing in our fine city over Go Ask Alice. The website is linked on the "Teens Only" sections of the City of Houston and Houston Public Library websites.
One of our news stations did an exposé on it last night. The website is run by Sandie's alma mater, Columbia University, and appears to be a site where people can submit anonymous queries about sexuality, drugs, relationships, etc., and have their questions answered [Sandie's edit: by health-care professionals the University employs]. The reporter informed a city councilman about the link on the two websites, and he ordered that it be removed in light of the graphic nature of some of the information on the site.
I called Sandie and asked her if she was familiar with it, and she revealed that she had worked as a work-study student for the site [We got paid to read through long lists of anonymous posts and suggest which ones "Alice" should answer] while at Columbia. She said that it was an excellent service intended to benefit college students, and that most of the questions were of a quite benign nature, like "is it ok that I'm 22 and a virgin?" We chatted about it briefly and hung up. At 9:00, Laura Ingraham (my fave) came on, and she mentioned it also. She is planning to discuss it in more detail tomorrow.
I reserved comment, since I had not had an opportunity to look at the website until just now. I just looked at it, and I have to say, I am shocked. It contains some extremely explicit and graphic information that I am embarrassed to look at as a 28-year-old non-prudish married woman. It certainly isn't something I think a city or public library website should be linking for teenagers. I am all for educating kids about sex and whatnot, and I heart the First Amendment, but is there really any reason for a city or public library website to target 13-year-olds with a link to a website with information about beastiality and the like??? I mean, I know kids are smart cookies and could find the information if they want it, but there is just something stinky about linking it from a city or public library website.
As Mr. Hendee said on his show this morning, I don't think that this is going to destroy our society, but I think it is an indication of what is wrong with the moral fabric of the United States.
I am interested to see, particularly, what Sandie, as a Columbia grad and left-leaning -- but also extremely moral -- person has to say.