Blocking blues – high school tightens up Internet access


“You’ve been suspended for 5 minutes.” “Access denied.” These are only a few things the students have been seeing pop up on their computer screens after trying to access certain websites at school.

Students have been very opinionated about the “new blocking thing”, as most have been referring to it, or the proper term, content filter.  According to technology coordinator Brandon Jones, this filter has categories that it either allows or disallows. The filter then reads the website code and puts it into a category.

Depending on the users’ rights it will then be allowed or blocked. Students, as well as teachers, say they are being kicked out of websites that they need in order to do their work or even teach a lesson.

“I think students are getting kicked off of certain things because of the possibility of cheating” Stephanie Hill said. “Students need these websites to get stuff done for school and some students don’t have access to the internet at home. Something needs to be done.”

When in class, a teacher will assign something to the students and will give them a link to a certain website, but occasionally they can’t get on it because of the content filter. Many students explained that this is preventing them from being able to do some of the assignments in class.

However, Jones said that hasn’t been told about any issues for students.

“I was not aware that any students were getting kicked from any websites,” Jones said. “This has yet to be brought to my attention.”

Even teachers are being kicked off of websites. Whether it’s an educational video on YouTube or something that needs to be Googled, teachers say they can’t always get on the websites they need to teach their classes.

“I’ve been kicked off of YouTube, I can’t see all of the videos on the History Channel, and I’m always searching for some sort of history topic and occasionally I get kicked off,” teacher Julie Hatch said.

As frustrating as this may be at times, Jones explained that the reason behind the blocking is to do away with anything that may jeopardize the integrity of the education that Buffalo Island Central provides.

“I will only block websites to better the educational resources that we are trying to utilize,” said Brandon.