School WiFi restrictions prohibit students’ use of social media


The new WiFi censorship has students angry and upset, and rightfully so, because we can’t access our favorite apps during the day.
The county is wasting time, money and resources on the blocked apps because there is now little students can actually do on school WiFi. Not only is it slow, but it doesn’t even work all the time.
The MCPS central office controls all aspects of the internet connection that is used in schools throughout the whole county.
The most popular apps, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and others have been blocked from all of the schools WiFi networks this year, because it was clear that those were the apps that were distracting students during the school day.
Students don’t see the point of keeping their phones on during the school day. “I don’t even leave my phone on most of the time because I can’t use any apps that I want to” junior Simon Bloch said.
In some classes, using data from a cell phone company is unavailable due to the location in the school, so accessing those apps is impossible without a vpn app, such as Betternet.
A vpn is obtained from certain apps, and if it is working properly, it will get rid of all of the restrictions that the school has placed on the WiFi, while still remaining on the WiFi network. If one wants to turn it on, they must be on the WiFi network, then open the app and leave it open until they are done. Then it can be closed until next time it needs to be used.
In addition, games that have become popular amongst students have been blocked by the school. After monitoring the use of computers the last few years, the county blocked the websites that students were visiting most often.
Although the WiFi is supposed to be used for educational purposes only, everybody knows that nobody actually uses it for school related purposes.
Not only do we have 45 minutes during lunch, but we have seven class periods in which we have five minutes to get from one to the other. People also get to school early and leave much later due to their after-school activities.
There are times all throughout the day that students want to use school WiFi for personal purposes, but can’t because of the restrictions put into place by the school.
There are no ways we can use the WiFi on our phones for educational purposes, because teachers don’t typically let students have their phones out during class.
There are places in the school in which the WiFi doesn’t work, so if a teacher wanted it to be used for educational purposes, it wouldn’t be possible. In fact, most teachers will make you put your phone away if they see one. “I have never been asked by a teacher to take out my phone, and I’m sure I never will,” junior Trent Folk said.
This censorship was not something that was seen last year when no apps were blocked on phones, and only a couple of social media websites were blocked on the computer.
A fair solution, although unrealistic, would be to take off restrictions between classes, during lunch and before and after school. If we actually used our phones during classes, then the restrictions would still be in place.


Max Pasternak

Business Manager