Blocked websites interfere with work

The internet, the dark hole containing unethical content, but also a lovely source for those thirsty for knowledge. In Woodstock, however, our internet usage is heavily restricted thanks to the beloved TigerNet.

Once upon a time, a very bored reporter so-called Nalin Mahajan was browsing through the net came across an article on “Why Men are Attracted to Breasts.” Turns out that the website was blocked under the category of “Sex Education.” I was confused and amused by the reason anyone would put a restriction on curious minds, which simply wants to learn more about the heterosexuals. Here, neither Health class nor PSHE (Personal, social, health and economic) educates students on sex by limiting and restricting any information which might not be “appropriate” according to the school.

When the world was watching the second season of Stranger Things, I was trying to figure out how to make my crappy 4G to work. ICT does it again, they have blocked Netflix for god-knows-what reason. A staff member for the Woodstocker suggested that it’s blocked because the wifi can’t handle the heavy amount of streaming, they might as well block YouTube if they can’t handle the streaming, It does have educational content, but unless you have all the time in the world, who actually watches the educational videos?

“I wanted to watch K-drama really bad…” said Huijeong Lee, class of 2020. “They blocked the entire website because the show had a lot of kissing.” I fail to understand why hormonal teenagers are not permitted to see characters exchange saliva while I am constantly disgusted by the overwhelming amount of couples on the way up to Midlands.

It is unfortunate how unreasonable it is for so many websites to blocked for incredibly absurd reasons. I was once researching for Islam for a project once in 8th grade and a website happened to be blocked under the category of “Indigenous Beliefs’, I was shocked and upset. Why in the world would that website be blocked? That is shamelessly disrespectful for a school that considers itself open and diverse.

“Some advocate group websites are blocked because some hate groups have messages we don’t want students to look at,” said Ethan van Druden, Vice Principal. Which does make sense, but once I thought about it, I questioned whether it is prudent for us. We are allowed to have our own mindset and thoughts about something. It makes complete sense for some of the MY (middle years) students, but people in high school should be permitted to have an internet access if they do want to get educated on something that might be considered ‘hateful’ or controversial.

“Sometimes the Amnesty International website is blocked, which is completely bizarre.”, said Nicole Last, “For some reason ‘activist websites’ are blocked.”  Which I thought was completely unnecessary and absurd because it interferes with work. And why does the school discourage us being ‘activist websites’

Most people would find it bizarre as to why some websites are blocked for strange and random reasons but thanks to Mr Anil Jain, Head of ICT, I have found out that no one in particular actually controls the internet blocking. It is a pack that the school purchases. The people at ICT are not even aware of how and why certain websites get blocked. It is inconvenient that the school pays for something that is not a good match for us.

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