Is restricting websites from students fair?

In the beginning of the coronavirus, as people were going back to school, the school banned certain websites from students. This ban has led many to wonder whether it is fair for students to be restricted from certain websites.

The welcome page when a new user downloads Instagram.

Courtesy of: Alanna Gallagher

The welcome page when a new user downloads Instagram.

As kids were coming back to school in September of 2020, Kinnelon High School banned certain websites as kids were using their computers in school to do assignments. This was supposed to be a benefit, but instead it has been something of controversy among students and their parents.

Many people believe that this policy is unfair since many parents pay for their students’ devices and some students even pay for theirs. Senior Sophia Seier says “my parents pay for my phone and I pay for my computer. I get somewhat annoyed when I am on my own device and I am being restricted from certain websites I need for school work. There have been a few times when I needed to access Instagram for a school assignment and couldn’t because of the restrictions.” 

Additionally, senior Ashley Colombo says “In some of my art classes, I try to go on social media to access pictures for projects and cannot because of the restrictions.” The original intent of the ban has led some students to be annoyed that their personal devices themselves and their families are paying for, are being controlled by the school. 

However, despite the announcements, many students and parents like this ban. Some believe that these restrictions are fair. Although the restrictions ban certain websites and social media platforms such as Instagram or Hulu, it helps keep kids attentive during school after so much loss of learning due to the pandemic. Kinnelon student mother Jill Oldfield likes these restrictions and says “my daughter was home from school during the pandemic and sometimes during her school work while watching Netflix and I felt as if she truly wasn’t learning. I like these restrictions because I know at school my daughter is actually paying attention in her classes and not off in her own world on her computer.”

 It is not only parents that like these restrictions, but some students as well. Sophomore Jack Gallagher says that “I get easily distracted so having something where I am only allowed to focus on my assignments instead of having the option to watch movies, helps me get done with my work faster. Of course it would be nice to access those websites, but it helps me more than it hinders me.”

The school wifi policy banning certain websites has been the center of scrutiny from parents and students, but some people do enjoy these restrictions. Even though it bans certain websites, it does keep students attentive while learning. It is up to you, however. Do you believe that these restrictions are fair?