Cyberbullying stops here: Wi-Fi restrictions keep school safe (Editorial)

Having+Wi-Fi+at+school+can+be+useful+for+furthering+education+but+this+poses+a+threat.+The+first+step+to+ending+cyberbullying+is+building+firewalls+to+protect+students.

Mackenzie Miller

Having Wi-Fi at school can be useful for furthering education but this poses a threat. The first step to ending cyberbullying is building firewalls to protect students.

Cyberbullying plagues schools nationwide but it is difficult for schools to combat abuse that is done behind a screen. Allowing school Wi-Fi access to the students committing these acts gives them the resources they need to go to attack others on campus. There is a very simple solution though: create restrictions on Wi-Fi.  

Social media apps, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc.,  should be blocked so that students can’t use the WiFi for harassing other students. Not having Wi-Fi makes students think twice before they have to use their precious data.

Should Wi-Fi be restricted in schools?

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At Carlmount High School in California,  a firewall on Snapchat was installed during the 2015-2016 school year. Although this caused an uproar amongst the students, there was a reason for it.

Robert Fishtrom, the Director of Instructional Technology explained, “Unfortunately, we had a bullying issue at another campus that caused a lot of challenges and there was police involvement and we had to make a decision to block Snapchat. We want to prevent bullying on campuses.”

Many people were confused as to why only Snapchat was blocked because other social media could be used for bullying other too. However, the district argued that things like Twitter and Instagram have proven to have educational value for the teachers and staff. 

East High School principal Mike Hernandez commented on the fact that disengaged students are often found at school walking around with their heads down. He said, “…unfortunately it can lead to students making poor choices on social media.” These poor choices include cyberbullying and posting inappropriate content on their social media.

School Wi-Fi is essential to the students and the school environment. It gives people the ability to use their computers to do work and further their education. I believe that WiFi should be censored to prevent cyberbullying issues and keep the school’s Internet purely educational. But, if a school blocks social media, people will find a way around it.

There are several different sites which teach readers on how to hack and get around the block. All it took was a Google search “schools blocking WiFi” and the many of the top options were how to get past them. The most visited site was one on how to do this on an Android, IOS, or PC. I began reading to see the opinion of the writer. One thing mentioned was “The biggest reason for such restrictions is for the prevention of indulgence in illegal or immoral activities.”  

The part of the article this was said it was trying to explain why the restrictions were unreasonable in the first place, but it just adds another reason on why it should be done. Censoring school Wi-Fi may seem restrictive but it keeps students safe and protects the school atmosphere.

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Editorial” represent the views and opinions of the author, not the 2017-2018 Periscope staff, CHS Administration, or the CHS student body.