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Censorship in HCPS

Karigan Wright

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HCPS provides computers for student use, whether it be for classwork, homework, projects, or any other schoolwork. Many teachers assign work for student to do in class, expecting them to do research they need in class. While students have computers to research, many times HCPS blocks websites that they deem to be inappropriate. While there are certainly some websites that should be censored, many websites are unnecessarily blocked.

Recently I was writing a persuasive essay for my creative writing class. I wrote to persuade people to approve of federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Needing to do research to make my argument accurate, I went to plannedparenthood.org for information on the services they provide. Unfortunately, instead of a page on their health services, I received the message “Web page blocked”. Looking closer I saw “category: sex- education”.

Realizing the website was blocked because it was considered “sex education” is a problem in itself, but now I was forced to do all of my research at home, because website after website was blocked because of its association with “sex education”.

This is only one example of students being blocked from websites while trying to do work. Several times my teachers have put links on worksheets only for us to find HCPS has recently blocked them for some reason.

Ironically, in years past, our own school newspaper website has been blocked because it has links to social media on it. Its association with a social media site has caused students to not being able to access an online paper from their own school.

National geographic has also been blocked in the past because of “nudity”. It seems as if many websites are being flagged for content that is not really there. Maybe a more specific blocking system could be put into place to actually block what is being intended to block.

Social media such as Twitter is currently blocked. While it is understandable for teachers to not want their students on Twitter during class, most of the time this isn’t even the case. Most high school students have smart phones that allow them to access social media without using a school computer. All blocking Twitter does is also block students to school twitter accounts, such as @CMiltonStandUp, @cmwsga, and @CMW_Fans.

Aside from the points of what computers should and shouldn’t be used for, high school students should be mature enough that they do not need to be constantly sheltered from what is happening in the world. Should HCPS really be worrying about blocking youtube.com when students are looking at videos to help them in class?

How will teenage students be prepared for the real world when they are constantly being sheltered from the internet?

 

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The student news site of C. Milton Wright High School
Censorship in HCPS