In the beginning of March, one of the most popular websites that students use to share and explore became blocked by the district’s Internet filter.
If you’ve ever logged into the BHS computer system you’ve encountered the schools filtering system. From logging into the desktop, to logging into the Internet countless times, all students and staff have experienced the reminder that what they look at and what they do online is being monitored every second of the day.
The most popular site to be blocked is Facebook. It comes as no surprise because as fun as it may be, it can distract people from being on task. Many students have found ways to get around the filter for academic purposes by having teachers log in for them – because Facebook is not blocked for teachers.
“I think Facebook being blocked does have it’s disadvantages because I use it for Hoofprint and Yearbook business but for the most part I don’t mind it. Kids waste a lot of time on Facebook and it being blocked isn’t too big of a deal.” said Junior Emily DeVore.
On March 8, Tumblr was blocked by Lightspeed during the school day. Tumblr is a blogging site where people are encouraged to show off and express themselves without the fear of being ridiculed for it. But for those who tried to log into Tumblr saw that they no longer could.
“I used Tumblr all the time. I wanted to cry when I found out. Not only are there tons of educational blogs that can benefit students and teachers, it’s a good place for you to just be yourself.” said Senior Kala Czanstkowski.
Even teachers can no longer access this site, and for those who use it, it became quite frustrating.
“I knew it had to be coming, because there is some objectionable content on it, and the district has a responsibility to protect students from seeing potentially damaging things,” said Journalism Teacher Ryan McCallum.
According to the District Head of Technology Josh Swanson, the School District must monitor all online activities of minors and adults. Anything containing obscene materials, child pornography, and harmful pictures or videos, such as sex, will be blocked.
However, students do have the choice to not go looking for such things because users only see the content they choose to follow.
“I makes me sad to lose such an amazing source of creativity and inspiration and a place for students to express themselves,” said McCallum.” Tumblr was vibrant and easy to use. I would rather students spend their free time on a site like Tumblr than Bubble Shooter. It would have been nice if Tumblr had a better way to separate objectionable content from the amazing stuff they have on there.”