Can’t Touch This: JHS Blocks Popular Social Media
By SOPHIA ZARIFOPOULOS
Some Jericho High School students and teachers are frustrated by the lack of access to desirable websites and popular social media applications which are blocked on the school’s network.
Students are unhappy with the situation because during free periods, they want unlimited access to social media, fantasy football websites or online shopping.
Students can access some social media sites, like Instagram and Facebook, by going off the school’s wifi. There is also an app called VPM where students can access the applications that are blocked. Senior Jaclyn B. said it has affected her education because she “can’t look up information to help with homework and sources cannot be found.” Jaclyn claims she is redirected to the District’s restricted access page at least once a day when she attempts to search something on Google.
Another senior Lindsey S. thinks that it’s unfair how filters block almost all social media applications. “I’m 17 years old and know what I’m looking at. I’m not doing anything bad. Why can’t I use it in school where I spend the majority of my time?” Lindsey said.
English teacher Dr. Hartnett has had to alter his lesson plans due to blocked websites. Hartnett said, “I am limited with what I can do with interesting bits of scholarship that I usually like to show my students.”
Art teacher Ms. Gilfedder has also had problems concerning this issue. She said, “Students use the internet to find pictures that could help their artwork but they are constantly encountering blocks.” Gilfedder also added how sites are blocked in school that she often needs to use for lessons. Gilfedder explained that she is able to request to unblock websites for a designated period of time if administration allows it. Unfortunately, not all websites are allowed to be unblocked.
Director of technology Ms. Alesi explained how Jericho isn’t the one implementing these rules. Although she is the person in charge of blocking such websites, it is a law instituted by the Federal Communications Commission. Alesi said, “Web filters monitor the categories of websites that are blocked, and teachers can also request that we block certain sites.”
Although it sometimes does interfere with the teachers’ lesson plans, there is agreement between teachers and administrators that there needs to be regulations against providing students with access to dangerous and inappropriate websites.