Internet Filtering


Image Courtesy of Kenneth Hora

Kenneth Hora

It is well known that Legacy High School blocks access to certain websites and other content. Some examples include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as many non-approved videos on YouTube, even ones published by credible sources such as Crash Course. While it is necessary for schools to block access to certain content, I believe that filtering websites too much can negatively impact students’ learning.

By law, it is required that all schools and libraries filter content that is “obscene, child pornography, or harmful” because of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). However, this law is extremely broad and is left open for individual districts and schools to interpret.

An article in The Atlantic talks about how many schools block access to Facebook and other social media sites even though the FCC has released in this statement that allowing access to Facebook, on the whole, is not a violation of CIPA.

As an L2K student, I’ve discovered that Facebook and other social media services can be used as an important tool to reach out to experts for interviews, especially for College Study, where I had to interview people who attend the colleges I chose to research.

I think that Legacy High School should allow access to appropriate Facebook pages because it is such a great educational tool that people can use to communicate. I would much rather have the ability to access this at school rather than have to do all of this at home, especially because teachers can support you in reaching out to people and make projects easier.

In addition, many other students and I rely heavily on the YouTube Channel Crash Course, which is designed as a purely educational channel to be used as a study aid. However, many of their videos are blocked as a study source for students. I’ve found Crash Course especially helpful for AP World and L2K for review and research for projects.

I think that the filters being used at Legacy High School are too restrictive and hinder our ability to learn outside of teachers’ lectures. Instead, I think that there should be more open access to the internet because it affords so many opportunities for learning and to communicate with other people for projects, especially those in L2K. We should block only parts of sites that would be deemed inappropriate, but allow access to the many potentially helpful parts of these sites.

What is your opinion on filtering content at Legacy?

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