Students upset with blocked websites, phones

Netflix, a commonly used app and website for streaming services, was blocked by the school earlier this year. Many students are calling for this restriction to be lifted.

Nearing the end of the semester, final projects and tests are coming into view which means that stress levels will increase. With the inevitable procrastination that sets in, students would much prefer to watch their favorite movies and shows and be able to roam around social media than complete the projects and tests given to them.

Students are voicing their opinions regarding blocked websites and allowing the use of phones during school hours.

“Some students perform better on their assignments if they have some sort of background noise such as their favorite movies or shows,” said junior Aiden Parsons.

Concentrating in crowded rooms or in complete silence may not be a student’s first choice.

Having a show or movie playing in another tab or in the background, on the other hand, is the preferred choice. It’s a noise that students would prefer to hear rather than the awkward silence or distracting conversations by fellow peers.

Teacher’s however, establish rules of their own about movie/TV show websites in their classes. Some teachers are more lenient than other teachers who apply more strict rules.

“While working alone or with the teacher’s permission, there should be no problem with allowing music and movie websites,” said junior Hunter Naglack.

Another topic students are discussing is having phones out during lunch and in class.

“I understand that it is a legitimate problem while teachers are teaching, but when there is free time or moments where the teacher is out of the class printing, talking, or any other reason, having phones out as a distraction should not be a problem until it becomes a major distraction,” said Hunter.

Furthermore, allowing phones in class and at lunch has restrictions that are there to affect students in a positive way.

“The school Wifi already restricts us on some of the main things we want to do on our phones but given this shows us that the school doesn’t just worry about our education, it also shows us that they can help us maintain our work life and our social life during school hours,” said Aiden.

The restrictions are not there to harm students, but to help them. If students cannot access the main things that want, the school should allow phones to be out.

As long as issues do not spark from phones and movie/TV show sites, there should be no problem with allowing the use of phones. Teachers can limit the time on phones and laptops which can prevent major distractions in class.

Talking with administration about the controversial topic, the explanation given should help students understand why there are restrictions on blocked sites and having phones out.

“The FCC regulates what students can or cannot access on their laptops,” said Principal Brandon Bitting.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulates interstate and international communications which means there are restrictions that apply to what the students can and cannot access on their laptops.

There are complex explanations as to why students can and can’t access certain websites.  A simple explanation is to protect students against websites wanting personal information that in turn can become a major issue. Identity theft and viruses are two major problems that are caused by people giving untrustworthy websites their personal information.

Another important issue pertaining to blocked sites is bandwidth usage. If a large number of students were to access movie/TV show sites which use up a great deal of bandwidth, the internet would be slower due to the high amount of bandwidth it takes in order to watch the movie or TV show on a laptop or phone in this case.

“Lunch is a time to socialize with other students, we wouldn’t be promoting the idea of social interaction if students were on their phones during lunch,” Mr. Bitting said. “Students have asked about having phones at lunch and the reason we do not is because the half-hour spent should be focused on socializing with peers rather than that time being spent on a phone.”