Internet access at schools: Cat and mouse is the game

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 15, 2017

This month the State Auditor’s Office issued a statement that inappropriate content was found on computers in middle and high schools.

One concerning aspect of the release is that more computers in middle schools than high schools had evidence that such content had been viewed.

The release states filters and policies were in place at the schools, but were somehow circumvented.

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Regardless of who they do it, students are using school computers to browse things on the Internet their parents would certainly restrict. Some parents might become incensed by this news, and try to blame the school’s administration for a lack of foresight.

The thing is, each time a filter is established, someone finds a way to circumvent it.

For the uninitiated, a filter is essentially a set of parameters for the hardware in a computer network to block. An example would be websites that include “adult” content. 

And just like with any rule, law or restriction, people find ways to skirt the technology that would block it.

So, it’s not that the schools aren’t doing their best to keep their students from visiting sites not curriculum approved.

It’s just that someone figured out how to bypass the system and shared that information with others.

Still, that’s not to say the school shouldn’t continue to keep students from accessing these websites. One of the local school district’s superintendents said that each time they find an exploit, the district finds a way to fix the problem.

That means as more exploits are used by these students to gain access to inappropriate content, the more secure the system becomes.

It’s basically just a game of cat and mouse. Even though the cat caught a mouse today, there are always more mice out there.