This website is blocked by your network operator.  These are the words that appear on students screens when they come upon a blocked website.

Only 4% of the internet has content that contains material that should be blocked; Netflix and other streaming websites are just some examples of websites that have been banned.

“As a district, Lee’s Summit does not filter heavily.  We are required by law to have a filter in place for certain categories and we also have to filter some for bandwidth utilization,” executive director of technology Amy Gates said.

Netflix and other streaming sites are blocked due to how much bandwidth is used when downloading the site and when streaming a TV show or movie.

“All content filters use technology that blocks sites by categories.  So, for example we are required to block any website that has a categories of pornography, gambling, etc,” Gates said.

Some of these categories include anything that is obscene, pornographic in nature, and/or harmful to minors.  This could include pictures of nudity, graphic descriptions of sex, or extreme acts of violence.

“No content filter is 100% accurate all the time because they all run off of the ‘category’.  If a website is miscategorized, then it could potentially get through the filter,” Gates said.

Sometimes inappropriate websites will come up if they are labeled incorrectly.  When this happens the site will be reported and quickly blocked.  However, with this accident also comes the opposite end of the spectrum.  Websites that students should be able to access get blocked.  When this happens teachers have to request for that website to be unblocked or to be reviewed again.

When websites are blocked, it is done for the best of reasons, to keep students minds on track with school, that is why websites like Netflix are typically not allowed.  These blockings can also be good to keep the school’s internet running smoothly by preventing the use of too much bandwidth.  However, sometimes websites slip through, and sometimes sites that should be viewed are blocked.

 

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