Web filters and student resources

Staff editorial

One of the biggest advantages to being in school is having the access to a multitude of information on a broad range of topics. At BHS, all students are given chromebooks to work on school projects and use tools like Google to complete their assignments. Since students can bring their chromebook home, they have access to it at all times, meaning they can do other tasks on it as well. While other tasks might mean learning about different topics outside of the classroom or playing games, there is a legitimate concern that unrestricted access to the internet derails the attention of kids in class. To try and contain this, BHS has a web filter that blocks certain listed websites. 

Websites that are blocked are generally categorized as inappropriate and the intention is to better orient students to avoid unnecessary websites or videos. However by doing this, some media is blocked that is arguably helpful for students. Some informative and educational YouTube videos and websites are blocked because they are misinterpreted to be inappropriate under the BPS web filter. 

It should not be up to the schools to decide what is or not a useful source for students. If the concern is that students will waste their time, whether in-class or at home, it would happen regardless because phones are unrestricted. Restricting websites is not a definitive solution and acts more so as an obstacle for students to find resources that help them. 

It could be beneficial to redirect the resources and energy that restrict information to students to instead allow more resources to students. Funding students to access tools, like information outlets or programs, that are behind a paywall gives students better content to use during school instead.