Opinion: Blockages on Chromebooks go too far


Bre Kozusko

While having certain inappropriate websites and words blocked from the Chromebooks is both necessary and understandable, some of these blocks are much too generalized and directly affect students and teachers with their education.

For the past two years, students all over Fayette County have been given Chromebooks to take to school. This was an incredible opportunity — students of all levels of income can have access to their very own laptop for school and at home.

[T]he blocks limit students from being able to complete their schoolwork by not allowing websites, links, articles, and many other forms of research that are essential for their assignment.

— Op-ed Editor Victoria Sponar

This made many, if not all, teachers post online assignments more regularly and revolve their classes around much more computer-based work. The problem lies in the blocks placed on these computers.

Many times, the blocks limit students from being able to complete their schoolwork by not allowing websites, links, articles, and many other forms of research that are essential for their assignment. 

I have no problem with a school making sure that the students do not look up anything inappropriate or distracting on the Chromebooks, but the Board should revise exactly what they are blocking. 

For example, my journalism class requires me to do research on the things I write about, and many times I find the perfect article to back up my statements, but I am unable to use them due to the Fayette County Board blocking the website. 

Just last week, I had to do a movie presentation for my dramatic writing class, and was unable to click on any link at all regarding the movie I was presenting due to it being labeled as “entertainment.” 

If I were trying to watch the movie or play online games, then I would understand why a block on this form of “entertainment” would be placed, but if I am trying to do research for a class, I should not be restricted from that by my own board of education. 

I can’t look up basic information…

— A&E Editor Jordan Owens

Arts and Entertainment Editor Jordan Owens spoke out against her problem with these blocks. “I can’t look up basic information such as directors or producers for my stories,” she said. “If I find a story at home that I can link to on my review, I can’t get to it at school because it’s blocked.”

Another problem with these blockages are their complete restriction of YouTube. This prohibits students from being able to watch educational videos, whether it be tutoring, a review lesson, or simply a short clip that a teacher wants their students to view for the class. 

Having certain blockages is an obvious necessity for school Chromebooks, but they are too generalized. These blocks make it harder for students and teachers to gain access to things for educational purposes. 

Seeing exactly what is being blocked on these Chromebooks and lifting some of these blockades will help students and teachers better attain educational resources for school.

Opinions expressed in editorials are those of the writer(s).  These views may not represent the adviser, The Prowler, advertisers/sponsors, the Starr’s Mill High School administration or staff , or Fayette County Public Schools as a whole.  Please see our FAQs for more information pertaining to the rights of The Prowler’s staff members.