Blocked Websites: Should Students have a Say?


Have you ever wanted to visit a website while in class? Whether that be for research, or passing time playing video games instead of paying attention to your teacher (The Stinger does not condone this behavior, you should always pay attention to your teacher while in class). Well, you may have come across how there are certain websites that are blocked from being viewed while connected to the Cam High’s Wi-Fi, or on the Chromebook.

Some of these make sense, like some social media, adult sites, and video game sites as mentioned before.

But sometimes even important resources that some students may want to use for research may be blocked. Brittany Doling, a senior at Cam High, recalls an experience: “I was trying to do research for an essay and one of the sites I was trying to get information on was blocked for no reason at all.” And even though the school has databases, sometimes students find other information not on these databases.

Although you’d think most social media are blocked, some that aren’t blocked include: Tumblr, Twitter, and, for those who would like to see your mother’s post, Facebook. And some others are banned on Chromebook but not on the Wi-Fi, like Instagram or Reddit.

Many teachers and clubs/organizations make good use of these social media platforms, so it might make sense for them to be unblocked. But this reveals a bit of hypocrisy within what websites are blocked. An example of some websites that are blocked but also used by some clubs within school includes Discord, which even has made advances to become more student friendly like the student hubs that were released last year (learn more here).

“I mean it would be nice if the people had a vote, I guess. I mean yeah some of them are blocked for the greater good, but I think people should have a vote [on the matter],” said Michael Ortega, a Freshman at Cam High.

“I think that the school has blocked some websites that they think should be blocked, but yeah students should have a right to ask for some websites to be unblocked.” Brittany Doling, Senior at Cam High.

Overall it seems that students are in agreement that some blocked websites are blocked for a reason but on the other hand,  students should have input in whether a site is blocked or not.

However, there could be some negative consequences of allowing student input for which websites are blocked or not. For example, social media; it is obvious that people could abuse this and slack off mid-class and not pay attention (though, an overwhelming majority of students have phones anyways and often use them in class).

Like most proposals, there are pros and cons. Most students and teachers are familiar with the idea of blocked websites but allowing them a greater say in what gets blocked or not could create positive change.