The Good, The Bad, and the Blocked

Websites that are meant to help are considered unsafe. Why?


Ashhar Khan

Coolmathgames is a victim to the blockage in the Wentzville School District.

Ashhar Khan, Reporter

It was a bright school day in 2018, students were finishing their work, talking, or playing cool math games for kicks. Students however, would come to a shocking realization, that it hit coolmathgames. Not a virus, not a hacker, but the school’s website blocker… it was the great website block of 2018, the casualty? Coolmathgames. 

This wasn’t the first time a website, similar to coolmathgames, was blocked. Websites, which helped students for the sake of education or creating enjoyment after a stressful day at school, was blocked. Blocked websites always had that rep for usually being video downloading sites or unblocked game sites, but it’s more than that. These websites blockages also negatively affect teachers, such as when they need to get their students to do an educational activity on a website, or show them a video which benefits their learning and growth.

Such blockage frustrates teachers like Mr. Liston, who in his words feels that “it takes some of the educational tools that we like to use, and sort of limits our ability to engage our students on different levels.” Liston also feels that if parents trust teachers in making sure their students gets educated, these teachers should also be trusted for choosing which websites students can and can’t use. And with the teachers that work at our school, I believe that they wouldn’t have a problem, or be a problem when it comes to stopping us from going on bad websites.

However, this begs the question, what makes non-inappropriate websites blocked from the district? Well, it’s simple; the school and the district itself has a privacy policy based on a criteria all websites should meet, they’ll get blocked if they don’t meet it. “The sites themselves actually have to sign an agreement with the district that they’re not giving our information away,” Dr. Kiely, one of Liberty’s assistant principals said, who’s also had trouble with the infamous website blockages.

As mentioned before, the websites need to meet the requirements to the aforementioned agreement and sign it – doing so proves they aren’t attempting to take information from those who use the websites, for their own malicious purposes. While some people consider the good education-related websites to be helpful, some people will obviously have claims to counter this given the districts unbiased justice when it comes to blocking websites. Such people, like Liberty’s tech guy, Mr. Meyer claims that “it makes no difference to him.”

Other people that support the claim of Wentzville being bad when it comes to blocking non-inappropriate websites would be the students themselves. Senior Landon Duvall claims that websites, such as coolmathgames, should be unblocked as “students get bored.” Upon asking them about how they felt about educational websites being blocked, they too have had experience in getting those websites blocked when using them.

All in all, it’s what happens in the long run that hurts others, in my opinion. While most students will try and move on, and keep doing what they need to do, there will always be those who desperately try to find a little piece of nostalgia. Which although it is good, trying to find an unblocked website in a sea of blocked ones will not help, but in fact hurt. Making you waste precious time, as Mr. Liston said, teachers should regulate what students view. If people trust them to keep their children educated and safe, then why not trust them now?