CPS website blocks are overused


The error message that appears when you try to log on to a blocked website.

Kasey Carlson

We’ve all been there. You have a YouTube link embedded in a school presentation that won’t play because of a website block. You try to offset the sounds of ackies playing Halo in the computer lab with music from Pandora, only to be stopped by a website block. A teacher tries to show a movie on Netflix, halted with yet another website block.

CPS blocks websites that could cause a distraction to students, and often those websites have an entertainment value. However, CPS does not see the harm in what they are doing. Many blocked websites are able to be used for an educational use, while some sites just shouldn’t be seen as any sort of threat.

Some websites and applications that are blocked through CPS do have legitimate reasoning to be blocked. I mean, when has Facebook or Instagram ever served as a classroom tool? But when CPS goes block-happy with sites like these, they end up blocking the things we can utilize the most.

YouTube may have plenty of silly, funny, and sometimes inappropriate videos, but it is the blocked website that I hear complained about the most. In school, it is often used for not only showing educational videos, but also for other tasks like listening to music.

Same with websites like Pandora. There are websites play only music but have been blocked by CPS, and for what reason? This is where it appears that CPS overreaches its boundaries in trying to tackle means of distraction and instead is just trying to tackle means of entertainment.

So, Chicago Public Schools, you need to change your view on websites. Look for some of the good instead of all of the bad. Don’t assume the worst in your students when thinking of how they will use these sites. Assume the best.