The Gaucho Gazette

Internet Filters

Camille Mantoani, Reporter

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   In the age of technology, school administrations have been faced with a highly controversial question: should internet filters block students from certain websites, and are they too restrictive? Internet filtering has been brought to schools due to the Children’s Internet Protection Act, which requires schools and libraries to block websites with material that is obscene or considered harmful to a minor. Here at school we have been plagued with the unfortunate annoyance that comes along with that internet filtering. Although it is considered a safety precaution, blocking websites can be extremely impractical when trying to do research or assignments that require certain websites.

   Now, you may be wondering why internet filtering is such a pest to students; it protects us from the inappropriate and damaging depths of internet, right? Wrong. The filtering works by categorizing websites into certain groups based on their content. However, many websites useful to teachers and students that have any similarities with blocked pages, have also been blocked. This raises many problems for teachers as well as their lesson plans, and students with homework. This is especially frustrating because schools have distributed iPads to all students for a more useful and effective way of learning. zteachers will sometimes create a whole lesson plan surrounding activities that require iPads or Chromebooks. When we come to find that we are unable to do these activities because websites are blocked, teachers’ lesson plans are ruined.

    Not only have inappropriate and harmful websites been blocked, but students have also been restricted from the most ridiculous searches. I have come to find that the the letter “x” is blocked and not allowed to be searched when on campus. If a student is to look this letter up, they are faced with the dreaded blue page inscribed with the words “Sorry, x is not available. You have been identified as anonymous.” Now why would the letter x be blocked for students? We don’t know, and we may never know. Along with “x” being blocked from us irresponsible students, searching the words “fanny pack” is also prohibited. According to the filter, fanny packs are too harmful for high schoolers to look up.

   I myself have dealt with the annoyance caused by school internet filters. I do understand that it’s considered a safety precaution in order to protect students from the harmful and inappropriate content on the internet. However, I will never understand the blockage of words and letters like “fanny pack” and “x.” I do know the one thing that will defeat the high spirits of a student is watching the search bar turn from the loading blue line to the words “pcsgate.org.”

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Internet Filters