By: Sophie P.
The updated web filter for Duxbury Public Schools leaves students frustrated. With a newly purchased firewall, more websites that used to be available are blocked from student use.
“I think it’s unfair that they’re blocking stuff at home that they haven’t blocked before,” said sophomore Alex K. Many students agree the new system is faulty.
Despite the disapproval, some students see the benefit of blocking more sites. “Sometimes it will block me from playing games in class, so now I can’t get distracted during class so I actually have to do my schoolwork,” said junior Steve N. The new web filter can now block a wider range of websites, from games to online shopping.
After replacing the old firewall, the system can now filter more websites than it could before. “Some of the sites are now being blocked that weren’t before; it’s mostly just because it’s a new system and the way that that system is detecting those signatures for sites,” said Mike Woodford of the tech department.
Many websites aren’t necessarily blocked for their content, but just to improve the system. “Normally we’re looking for stuff that chews up a lot of our bandwidth, like Pandora, Netflix, and Spotify. Those types of things really bog down the network, so it could cause problems for kids actually using the Internet for schoolwork,” said Woodford.
With running a new system, there can be some technical difficulties. “The firewall has it’s own security settings… it may be that they’re blocking a few things that weren’t blocked before,” said Director of Technology Mrs. Lewis. “If they’re for educational purposes we unblock it right away. If a student wants something that may not be for educational purposes, I have a technology committee that I bring it to.”
Although the system has improved, some students are still having trouble getting onto the sites they need to. Senior Noel P. said, “Unitedfarmworkers.org was blocked. It’s a non-profit website for US farm workers. I don’t understand.”