Security filters change Internet experience for students


Jordan Helenkamp
Students like senior Jordan Helenkamp, use school computers and Internet daily and are affected by new Internet security regulations. (photo by Cristina Vasquez Muniz)

Cristina Vasquez Muniz
Opinion/News Editor

This year has brought on new Internet security rules for WGSD, and with it a lot of speculation and changes to the technology department.
“They’ve changed the way we do searches,” said Dan Broshears with TLC in early September. Then, Google and most email websites were still blocked. It wasn’t until late September that Google and a few other websites were unblocked.

Principal Jon Clark came to sophomore classes to talk about changes in the school, and a major topic was emails given through the school.

“You might not know it yet, but you all have emails through hotmail. We’re working on establishing them with the teachers, and some classes, like the E-mints have received them already,” said Clark to the students.

“It’s a new age, and you guys need email,” continued Broshears. “We’ll be putting up fliers sometime next week, and there’s a meeting this Thursday about it.”

Broshears said this over a month ago, but students still haven’t seen emails or fliers to fix this major problem.

“Yes, there are some things we need to block, but emails aren’t one of them,” said Libby Pacatte, sophomore. “I’m glad Google’s been unblocked, but we need emails to send our teachers assignments and homework,” said Libby Pacatte, sophomore. “It’s limiting everything we do.”

Perri Edwards, junior, talked about Google, “Now we can actually use this important tool. This makes it easier to find information for projects, and things we need for classes.”

Some classes, including Entrepreneurship require Internet use. Sarah Hoffer, sophomore, explained the problem. “We need to look at some shopping websites for entrepreneurship. It’s essential and a major part of the class.”

In 2000, Congress enacted the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) which gives federal funding to schools and libraries who uphold security filters on their computers.

Missouri law requires public schools and libraries with access to computers to equip them with software to prevent minors from seeing or gaining access to inappropriate material.

“There’s certain rules we have to follow,” said Broshears, “No one likes it, but there’s nothing we can do.”

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