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New restrictions placed on computers.

Junior+Maggie+Lehto+is+met+with+a+restricted+screen+as+she+attempts+to+open+Netflix.+This+has+been+very+frustrating+for+many+students.+%0A
Aurora Doll
Junior Maggie Lehto is met with a restricted screen as she attempts to open Netflix. This has been very frustrating for many students.

Over the summer of 2023, teacher department leaders made the decision to tighten up the restrictions placed on the school-provided computers. The ban included all social media sites, streaming sites, and most games. 

While the new policies of “away for the day” and the website bans are not the same, they are ultimately working towards the same goal. This was done in an effort to improve student work and prevent computer misuse. Some- site were also blocked due to possible security threats and the websites’ privacy policies.

When a student attempts to open one of the blocked sites their search is redirected to “block.goguardian.com” and they’re met with a screen displaying “Restricted, This website has been blocked by your Administrator.”

Go Guardian is the site used to block these sites as well as monitor computer usage, keystrokes, and searches. It also allows teachers to view their student’s screens in real-time.

According to teacher and SHS Technology Leader, Keith Johnson, the way websites get blocked is through the technology department. A group of teachers meet, they then enter a general idea of the types of things they want to be blocked, and based on the categories within the sites, it blocks all in that category, or that use any of the inputted keywords. 

Dean of students Brian Denninger says that the school has been slowly blocking things that they have noticed problems with for a long time, but now with the no phone policy, they wanted to make sure that students weren’t able to access social media, and wanted to remove any additional distractions. 

Junior Maggie Lehto says that this has been very frustrating, as she used to use her laptop to watch shows when she got off of school.

“I do think it has made me personally a better student, but not for a lot of other kids I’m sure. The bans should be removed when the school day ends,” Lehto said. 

Some students have had issues accessing websites needed while researching for a class. 

“If a student thinks there is something educational that would help you for a class that you can’t access, then be sure to tell your teacher, because then your teacher can put in a request to have that unblocked,” Johnson recommended.

Lehto thinks that the bans are too harsh and sudden. 

“Certain things are allowed, we know kids like music, we wanted to make sure that kids were still able to access that from their computers (in regards to Spotify). The computers are a tool for school, and if we hadn’t provided them kids wouldn’t be able to do these things anyways,” Denninger stated.

It is unknown if all of these restrictions are going to stick as the administration continues to see whether or not they are improving student work.

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