Access denied

A blocking frenzy circulates around SHS, limiting students’ ability to do schoolwork

Access to resources is a student’s best friend. Although, with the new blocking issue that has been traveling around SHS, it has brought problems to students and teachers.

Matthew Willey, Chief Technology Officer of Perry Township said that they use a filtering service that is national for blocking websites. Recently, they have had more requests for more categories to be blocked on school computers.

“Our schools have asked us to filter more,” Willey said. “We’ve been blocking sites that the filtering company hasn’t heard of.”

Before winter break, they were receiving a lot of requests to block websites, which could explain why many websites that would usually be available were now blocked.

They had quite a few teachers asking to block sites but the requests have been slowing down.

“If students want websites unblocked, they just need to let their teachers know,” Willey said. “If it is a site we can open, we’ll get it open.” 

Speech teacher Sara Berghoff sees how having websites blocked is causing issues for her students.

“For a while, there were a lot of blocking problems I got emailed from students,” Berghoff said.

The result of blocked websites encouraged some of Berghoff’s students to start trying alternative ways to do their work with their phones.

According to Berghoff, it does get frustrating when technology access stops students from getting their work done. 

“We find work around it which is fantastic and that’s what you have to do sometimes,” Berghoff said. “But also, you shouldn’t need to do that all the time.”

Berghoff encourages her students to send her screenshots whenever they come across a blocking problem.

“As a district, I feel we are fairly progressive when it comes to technology,” Berghoff said. “We’re still trying to figure out the best ways to deal with problems.”

If it is a site we can open, we’ll get it open.

— Chief Technology Officer of Perry Township Matthew Willey