In these dreary school days, I find my sense of humor slowly deteriorating. In the past I looked to “The Onion” as my panacea, but now “The Onion,” “America’s Finest News Source,” has been undemocratically blocked.
I remember the tragedy like it was yesterday. I was enjoying class, and after finishing my school work, I decided to spend some time on the computer. I planned to do my usual engaging activities like check my email, ascertain my grades and then get the latest news.
It was a dreadful moment when I typed in “The Onion’s” URL, only to see the words, “This site has been blocked by the network administrator” and “Block Reason: Humor/Jokes.” Devastated, I immediately encouraged my peers to send complaints to the technology learning center and inform it of its injustice, but to no avail.
I am perplexed by these sudden turn of events. “The Onion” is a great source of news and yet because the network administrator finds it funny, they think it should be blocked. This isn’t a prison; students should be allowed to laugh. Other than making me laugh, “The Onion” keeps me up on current events. It’s my number one source of news.
David Schuster, Ph.D., said, “’The Onion’ is often crass and fantastically funny.”
I spoke to a member of the technology learning center to obtain new knowledge about this crisis. I learned that the high school has a bandwidth amount of space that leaves the district. Currently the bandwidth is 80 megabytes per second. If too much is used then the internet would not work so in order to manage the outgoing bandwidth, certain websites are blocked.
For the 2013-2014 school year the district is paying $14,158 annually to provide 80 mb per second. To increase bandwidth to 100 mb per second it would cost an additional $5,822. Anymore bandwidth than 100 mb and the district would have to buy new equipment, substantially increasing costs.
Of all the websites to block, why the ones that are funny? Laughter relaxes the body, boosts the immune system, and protects the heart. The district is denying students their good health
Senior Sam Short said, “To say I read ‘The Onion’ a lot is an understatement. It’s really funny, and it’s informative. It makes the news fun; they should call it ‘the funion’. You have to be careful about how seriously you take the information though.”
Every day since, I think that maybe, just maybe, today is the day “The Onion” returns to the halls of Webster Groves. I’m learning not to get my hopes up.