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New filter blocks websites at school, home

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At the beginning of the year, Leander ISD added a filter to all school-issued Lenovos for sophomores that extends the restrictions to use at home as well as school.

The pilot program now includes freshmen making it impossible to view content such as social media, streaming, games, adult content, alcohol/drugs and dating, not only at school but at home too.

“It’s all blocked at home, and the reason why is these are school-issued laptops, and ultimately the school is responsible for what is viewed,” librarian Karen Brown said. “So if they can’t watch it here at school, they shouldn’t be able to access it [at home]. They need to use their own personal devices.”

Websites that seem harmless like Pandora and Instagram are blocked because they are not instructional.

“I don’t know if there are sites that are blocked that aren’t really inappropriate,” senior Camille Watkins said. “Even on my phone on the school wifi, I’ve come across a website that’s just about like, squirrels or something. That’s a super random example, but it’ll block it, and I just think, ‘Okay maybe there’s a reason that it picks up red flags for this website.’”

Some students are saying that the filter is blocking things that can be helpful.

“Certain websites don’t need to be blocked,” sophomore Ethan Howard said. “I guess a lot of websites that could be helpful, like writing websites can be blocked sometimes or really helpful stuff just gets blocked.”

For now, only the freshmen and sophomores have this filter, but in the future, it could be rolled out to everyone. Vista Ridge is the only campus in Leander ISD piloting the filter.

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New filter blocks websites at school, home