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Students need permission to surf Net

Some parents must sign persmission slips for their children to surf the Net.

While proposals to protect children from obscene content on the Internet are now being debated in Congress, school districts nationwide are already taking steps to protect students.

Administrators are sending home permission slips that parents must sign before students can take a school-sponsored surf on the Net, according to the Associated Press. School districts in Los Angeles, Virginia's Arlington County, North Carolina's Chapel Hill, and Jefferson County in Kentucky are requiring permission slips and investigating the use of software that can block obscene material.

Other districts are implementing rules prohibiting students from using the Internet to buy or sell items, using obscene language in email, or sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures.

The Education Department estimates that more than half the country's public schools have access to the Internet.