BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions

During+class%2C+Mark+Merino+takes+a+quick+break+to+check+his+email+in+the+hallway.+Thankfully%2C+the+district+wifi+restrictions+do+nothing+to+hinder+access+to+Gmail+and+Google+Drive.+
During class, Mark Merino takes a quick break to check his email in the hallway. Thankfully, the district wifi restrictions do nothing to hinder access to Gmail and Google Drive.

During class, Mark Merino takes a quick break to check his email in the hallway. Thankfully, the district wifi restrictions do nothing to hinder access to Gmail and Google Drive.

During class, Mark Merino takes a quick break to check his email in the hallway. Thankfully, the district wifi restrictions do nothing to hinder access to Gmail and Google Drive.

Lily Ellzey, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






More and more, the internet is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity. This is especially true in school as districts switch from traditional to online assignments and from handwritten to typed papers. As a result, most schools have wi-fi available on campus. School wi-fi is usually restricted, much to the chagrin of the students and teachers seeking unlimited access to the web.

These restrictions aren’t without reason, but more often than not they are far too limiting. Students need to access the entirety of the web, whether distracting or not, in order to develop a complete computer literacy for their careers, and the restrictions put in place limit student’s internet access excessively and unevenly.

Schools are required to block certain content from students. This is called the Children’s Internet Protection Act, or CIPA, and it requires that schools prevent access to obscene content, child pornography or anything else that is harmful to minors. What CIPA does not do is require schools to block social media and games. School administrators make that decision on their own– and it’s a poor one. Teachers find themselves unable to access educational games or interesting websites for their students while the students find workarounds to the system and end up on social media anyway. For example, in AP psychology, the teacher was unable to show the students an informative powerpoint on Freud’s stages of development. Why? Because Freud named one of his stages the “anal” stage. Despite the material containing no obscene or even distracting content, it could not be accessed. Additionally, at BHS, most organizations and teachers have a Twitter that distributes information during school hours, but Twitter is on the district’s blocklist. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? The school is clearly aware of the usefulness of social media beyond entertainment, yet they restrict students from utilizing it.

There’s another little kink in the system– it’s discriminatory. Students with internet access at home are simply inconvenienced by the restrictions, but those who can’t get online outside of school never get exposure to blocked material. Social media may not seem like a vital part of someone’s education, but in this day and age, it’s a major part of many people’s lives, an effective and common method of communication, and even a potential way to turn a profit. By restricting access to non-harmful but also not educational websites, schools create a disparity between lower income students, who are less likely to have internet access at home, and those who can afford internet. This lends itself to inequity and hurts students down the road. What if a future employer communicates via Twitter or Facebook, even to its employees? The student unable to gain an understanding of these sites in high school would have considerably more difficulty communicating with these potential employers, and it could cost them a job.

Yes, getting students to pay attention in class is important. That’s why most district officials elect to use wi-fi restriction beyond the minimum required by CIPA. However, wi-fi restrictions certainly won’t stop students from distracting themselves when they should be paying attention in class. Before phones, did every student always pay 100% attention? Didn’t think so. Even if phones are a significant problem in the classroom, blocking wi-fi really won’t stop students from getting to the sites they want to be on. For the most part, students who grew up with the internet are going to understand it a lot better than the lines of code that block the wi-fi and the people who write the blocklists. If it’s so important that students aren’t on their phones when they don’t need to be, take them up at the start of class. It’s pretty difficult to be on Twitter when your phone is six feet away and in a box.

Wi-fi restrictions are pointless at best and harmful at worst. The methods used by BISD and many other districts to restrict internet access are outdated, excessive, and unfair. The district should revise their restrictions to limit only what CIPA requires they block, allowing for access to social media at lunch and during downtime, while encouraging teachers in rigorous courses to manage cell phones use by taking up phones during direct instruction or work time.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lily Ellzey, Reporter

Junior Lily Ellzey is a reporter for BHS Today. Her favorite subject is English and she would like to attend St. Edward's University to study finance.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions

    Campus Life

    Formal Senior Pictures too Risqué?

  • BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions

    Commentary

    Undocumented and Unheard

  • BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions

    Campus Life

    Long time traditions end due to political incorrectness, practicality

  • BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions

    Campus Life

    Bear Tracks yearbook staff excelling in 2019 yearbook creation

  • BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions

    Entertainment

    Night School: Everyone deserves second chances

  • BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions

    News

    Computer Virus Creates Longer Term Frustrations in the District

  • BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions

    Campus Life

    New Coaching Staff Brings New Opportunities for Success

  • BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions

    Campus Life

    Bastrop’s Most Inspirational Athlete

  • BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions

    Campus Life

    Changes in grade weight create new opportunities for incoming students

  • Campus Life

    AP vs. Dual Credit

Navigate Right
The student news site of Bastrop High School
BHS needs fewer wifi restrictions