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    John Melville-- MD

    I think I'll be a little bit of a maverick here.  I really think the risk is quite minimal.

    Point #1 -- child abuse by a complete stranger is rare.  I work as a pediatrician, including a stint in a child advocacy center where we evaluate child abuse, and I've never seen it.  The overwhyelming majority of abused children and abused by close associates or family members.  (The rare cases of random kidnappings strike at a primal fear in every parent, including me, and get lots of media coverage.  Theys till are, mercifully, quite rare.)

    Point #2 -- kids are everywhere.  If a perp really wanted to find a random kid to go perp on he (or she) really doesn't need the internet for help.  There are far better ways, like listening to kids play at the local park to get names and interests of kids who are local, without the travel requirements of looking up kids on the internet.  (Most of the children who are "lured" over the internet are middle and older adolescents, looking for sex with an adult, and in interactive contexts.  Your project has none of these attributes.)

    Point #3 -- the information you are talking about providing (picture and names. maybe some of the parents educational history) is pretty innocuous.  There is concern about perps playing the "confidence trick" on young kids, but young children are very easy to trick even with minimal information you can get with observation, and very few older children will be impressed by a stranger who only knows their name and their parents' names.

    In summary, I think a photos of your classmates with pictures and names of their kids are pretty safe.  What I worry about more are websites that advertise that children will be vulnerable or away from their parents (like the birth registries that hospitals used to put up,) than websites that merely identifyt the existance of certian children.

    PS: For all the niners who I know will flame me for thinking like a perp.  Yes, I do think like a perp, as revolting as it is: it's my job!  There really are monsters out there that prey on children and it is my honor and my duty of protect kids, and so I do my job well.  So thanks in advance for processing this information like the adults we all are.