By the students, for the students. We want to be relatable, and we want to accurately represent the students of HISD. Anyone can submit – see the sidebar to learn how. Powered by the HISD Student Congress.
Kevin Melendez, Bellaire, 2016
I came home today, determined on finishing my homework before 10:00. Reasoning I had a bit of free time before starting homework, I decided to check my Facebook page using the PowerUp laptop to see if anything was new. What met me was a sight that I had seen a couple of times before: The HISD Logo and the dreaded words: “Access Denied. Your request was denied because of its content categorization: Category: Teacher Client Allowed”. I went to other websites usually banned by the HISD school filters, and all of them had the same result. Imgur and 4Chan were banned due to “Harmful Technology”, and Reddit and Pandora under “Harmful Entertainment”.
I understand why these sites would normally be banned at school. What I don’t understand is why they’re being banned outside of school, at home.
Inside the classroom, these websites are a distraction and I agree that they should not be accessible, as they would take away from the learning environment. Outside of school, however, is a different story. The learning environment outside the classroom is different from the one inside, and as such should be treated differently.
Students should be able to access sites like Imgur for simple things like QR codes and funny pictures, and Pandora for music. I understand that these websites, along with others, may have inappropriate material, but why ban the entire site if only a portion of it falls under the inappropriate content HISD bans? That’d be akin to selling a car for parts because parts of the paint are faded! Instead of applying the entirety of the school’s internet filters at home, why not allow basic access to websites, only banning the portions HISD considers inappropriate? I’m sure a lot of students would find this more agreeable than having the whole site banned.
What I’m trying to say is, don’t judge an entire website by focusing on a small portion of its content. If HISD filters are going to be implemented into the homes of students through their PowerUp laptops, then said filters should be a bit more loose, due to the lack of a typical school “learning environment”. They should allow access to websites like Imgur and Pandora (among others), only filtering things considered inappropriate.