Is the Blocking System in Schools Really Necessary?

Mary S., 10th Grade BC ECHS

At all schools in Brunswick County,  Chromebooks are distributed to all students. These Chromebooks are only for school purposes; therefore, they have blocking systems to ensure students stay on task.  But are these high precautions entirely necessary? 

The wifi provided in these schools possesses a firewall that blocks all sites, including social media, commonly used websites for cheating, and online games that can cause a distraction for students. Blocking these sites is reasonable, but there are downsides to restricting so many sites. 

When interviewed, student Yazmine Franco-Santana said, “The firewall is frustrating because it blocks sites we need to finish assignments.” Other students that were interviewed agreed with this statement. 

Because of these restrictions, teachers struggle to find good videos to show in class and sound sources to provide students for assignments. Students also experience challenges finding effective sources for research papers and/or presentations. 

However, there are also many positives to this firewall. Since all of these sites are blocked, it limits distraction in the classroom. Students are less likely to cheat because most cheating sites are blocked. Social media and games are restricted on Chromebooks, which limits class distractions. 

In conclusion, the firewall has many ups and downs and is controversial. However, without this firewall, students wouldn’t have Chromebooks, so some restrictions should be tolerated.