Securly in Place

Boundaries are being overstepped by sending home weekly internet search history emails

Max Fensterman, Investigative Editor

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Students are all too familiar with the restriction of sometimes useful websites, as the Wentzville School District feels the need to preemptively block helpful websites for learning.

Recently, administration has decided to encroach on students’ home life by sending home a weekly email to parents detailing their entire out of school internet search history for that week.

An email sent home to students and parents on October 16th outlined the basics of the new policy including a link for parents to sign up for the Securly parent portal. Parents and guardians can monitor and control their student’s internet browsing as much or as little as they like.

This policy would make sense if it included both students’ at school and at home search history from their school issued chromebooks, but there is not a clear benefit to providing just the at home search history.

This service that the school district offers to parents even includes the option for further restriction of content during non-school hours, as if the current school filters are not doing a good enough job.

All of the same non-school-appropriate websites are still not available, even at home, so there seems to be no clear reason as to why such close monitoring of a students’ out of school online activity is necessary.

If anything, this shows the Wentzville School District is distrustful of their own website blocking procedure. They are not confident enough in their own process that non-school-appropriate content has been blocked.

The district has come to a point that they are not trusting in their own online policing and have turned the responsibility over to parents to avoid any potential conflict.

This problem has a relatively simple fix. All the school district needs to do is hold up their end of the bargain when it comes to online safety. The weekly Securly email needs to either not happen at all, or include students’ total search history, in and out of school, for the whole week.