Seeking high schools that block access

James Levy, president of the Social Media Society at Northwestern University, emailed me to ask if I could help him identify high schools that are blocking students from accessing social media sites.

…like in Danah Boyd’s essay on the subject, we think it affects the way students learn, and the increasingly important network of contacts they develop. We’d like to find specific schools where there is a practice of blocking Facebook. We’d like to find specific schools where there is a practice of blocking Facebook.

Do you know anyone who attends, works at, or knows of a high school that blocks access? Help out a student and leave your information as a comment here.

43 comments ↓

#1 iamcoel on 09.26.07 at 9:52 am

I am a TAFE student in Bendigo, Australia. I am not sure about Facebook, but I know myspace is accessible from the classroom. YouTube is blocked however, as is any number of other sites.

The worst thing is, the largest majority of students are adults, and should be able to make their own decisions about their web browsing, not be dictated by the IT department (or education board, or whoever makes those decisions).

Even our teachers are blocked from sites.

I will be happy to support any campaign to have Internet access unblocked in all schools and workplaces around the world.

#2 katherine on 10.17.07 at 1:42 pm

WHATS A URL THAT ACTUALLY WORKS TO UNBLOCK FACEBOOK?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!

#3 cody on 02.01.08 at 1:57 pm

my school blocks almost every thing we cant go on any website. evan wiki is blocked. its so stupid and not rite is their a url that stops blocking myspace???

#4 aj on 02.21.08 at 10:49 am

currently i am writing a persuasive essay for my grade 12 english class, against the banning facebook. i don’t believe it’s fair that this privlige be taken away from us. we access it only when we have free time, so really what is the harm? in fact, students had found a way to access the site from school and when administration found out recently, they blocked that too! students use it as a form of communication, so isn’t it benificial in the end? they are constantly telling us that technology is the future, but with all of the bans aren’t they controdicting themselves a bit? i understand their point to an extent, but this situation is double sided, and a compromise needs to be made!

#5 peeoed on 05.09.08 at 5:55 am

Blocking clean stuff should be illegal, blocking stuff that cant harm anyone should be illegal, if i ever become president (like thatll ever happen) my first move after elected is to ban filters like bess. Windows Parental Control is ok especially if you dont want your kids to access porn. if your gonna block it you might as well not even make it known on the server.

#6 Lolita on 05.13.08 at 2:15 pm

it stupid dat muh skool blocked everything! plus i don know why they gave out laptops if they don’t want us to be on there! i just want sum advices for un blocking dem websites! Even proxy is block which sux! BIG TYME! :):P;)

#7 Cornelius on 07.01.08 at 6:45 am

Seems that some of you who have such a gripe about Facebook being blocked need to pay attention to your grammar and spelling…your comments are an English teacher’s nightmare. We built schools to learn, not socialize. Leave the socializing for the rest of your day. Yours skills don’t get downloaded or come in a text message, they are actually attained through experience. Get real peeps!

#8 chew on 09.17.08 at 2:38 pm

I really don’t know what is the reason they block these sites. I find it very frustrating, especially the webpage you need is blocked. However, I found a Paid Proxy which has a special secret proxy for members only. I tried this and it’s pretty useful. Now the IT department will have a difficult time trying to find these proxies. XD

#9 anonymous on 02.06.09 at 11:00 am

My high school, Fox Lane High School in Westchester, has facebook blocked.

As the school president I have been fighting to get it unblocked, but am pessimistic about my chances.

#10 JTwi on 04.21.09 at 11:06 am

I’m a senior in a West Mifflin Area High School, in West Mifflin PA. We have many things blocked and one of those is deviantART. I used to use it frequently in my graphics class for uploading/viewing art. It is all blocked because it’s an ‘online community’
It’s rather ridiculous for them to block a site based on the fact that you can use it to contact other people, while destroying access to an amazing asset for anyone who does ANY type of art.

#11 IT Pro at a HS on 09.02.09 at 9:03 am

I am the IT Administrator at our school and yes, we do block social networking sites like facebook and myspace.
We don’t block these sites because we want to be funny, cruel or just unreasonable. We do so because the CIPA laws, which allow us to bring internet into the classrooms, tell us we have to monitor anything in schools that can be interpreted as bullying or plain harmful for minors.
I agree that it seems ridiculous to block many of the great content and the resources that make the internet worthwhile, but the law is very clear: Do your best to protect minors while they are in your care OR LOSE INTERNET FOR YOUR WHOLE SCHOOL.
If you were in our shoes, what would you do? Allow students to access filtered content or take the chance that it will all be taken away?
Thanks for listening to the other side.

#12 admin on 09.02.09 at 2:01 pm

@IT Pro: Since this post goes back to 2007, I don’t think the folks at Northwestern are still looking for this info. You raise a good point, though. And most of my arguments are aimed at the corporate world, not the academic.

I would hope there would be a middle ground between completely open access and complete blockage. Education of students, reporting procedures, management by exception…

After all, most students can probably access Facebook on their mobile phones anyway. What liability does the school face if bullying occurs through that medium?

I would also argue that advocating an update to the CIPA laws sounds like a proactive step in the right direction.

I appreciate your comments.

#13 Sammy on 09.23.09 at 2:52 pm

Hi! I attend a high school that blocks Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, SocialVibe and a number of other websites. Even email domains like Yahoo!, GMail and AOL. It’s a problem, because I have to way to do computer homework at home, like for my Commercial Art class, because I can’t send the file to myself at my email like I used to. It’s ridiculous and it needs to stop. It’s a giant inconvenience for everyone here.

#14 tony uminski on 10.02.09 at 7:34 am

As a high school teacher in Texas, my experience with kids using laptops in the classroom is mixed. Many do use them to take notes and access information relating to assignments or to just learn stuff! But most of the kids who, again, my experience only, have laptops assigned to them, are interested mainly in playing online games, shopping, and videos. I mentioned once to a friend that Bill Gates is thinking all these donated laptops are helping to educate the youth of America, and that’s true — on the best values at Macy’s. I wish the kids would use them appropriately, but the reality is, they are just like many adults — find the fun sites and waste time.

#15 Steven on 10.19.09 at 11:06 am

Yes, my highschool is also blocking access to many social networking sites, but we always find other websites to use, such as http://www.6rounds.com.

There can never be blocking and as long as we’ll want to play, we’ll find a way! Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone.

#16 Holly in luv! on 11.18.09 at 2:57 am

oh mi dayz right bruv,i wish mi skl cud jst b mmore relaxed wiv blockin’ stuff it sooooo anoues me we cant have no funn!even proxy is blocked!:@ if aneyone no’z how to unblock stuff wiv out usin proxy plz plz plz telll me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LUV uu all frm holly in luv <333

#17 Nikki on 11.24.09 at 10:46 am

This is SUPER stupid! They have blocked EVERYHTING! Face book, Photobucket, Youtube, tinypic! I mean its not like we are gonna go on some porn website or something! They blocked Cartoon net work from the little kids and the Category was “Games.” GAMES! Why would you block a site because it has games?!

I have things i need to do that involve pictures and Google Image doesnt have them! I have nothing. This is SUPER reatarded.

#18 Sandra York on 12.11.09 at 10:16 am

I know they always have it blocked but when ever I am in my library I notice that the Librairian is contantly on Facebook, that is sooo not fair!

#19 Khoa212498 on 01.05.10 at 9:45 am

My school dosen’t only block websites like myspace and facebook. I mean that kind of makes sense. But they block other websites like wiki pages and different learning capable pages. It’s crazy! They run mad with their power and there’s no way for a teacher to un-block a website. No YouTube or ANY other video websites. So there’s no way for any videos to work at school. This problem has come up in multiple project presentations, almost crippiling student’s grades.

#20 alex on 01.13.10 at 10:38 am

i accually found a third party website that got me links to myspace, facebook, youtube, bebo, aim, yahoo messenger and all that. Its nt-history.com. I although, got caught in the act of doing this and the school put me on a technology violation, and they blocked that wedsite. Hope it works for you! :) pass it on.

#21 Ladrell on 01.22.10 at 9:55 am

Hi, im surprised to even be able to access this site. I am a senior at Monroe High School in Monroe, Michigan and I find that the current ban on our internet ludacris. Not only is facebook unacessible, but all social sites, forum sites, games sites, and even informational sites have been restricted! Makes 100% no sense that we have been limited to the basics of internet. If my mere presence in this school is worth $1,000+ a year shouldn’t I at least be able to enjoy the internet to its fullest extent?

#22 Dillon on 02.22.10 at 12:09 pm

Go to google canada and you can view pictures.
thats really the only trick i know.

#23 sonia on 03.17.10 at 6:29 am

i hate it when teachers block facebook because if you have no credit on your fone and ur locked in a school room facebook would help you by u telling your mum to rting the school and tell them were you are so why doont they just fuck off and unblock facebook

#24 LENNY on 04.26.10 at 7:21 am

IM A STUDENT IN RHODE ISLAND, ND I THINK THIS IS SO MESSED UP WE DESERVE TO ATLEAST BE ABLE TO ACCESS OUR EMAIL BUT NO THEY WANT TO BLOCK EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! UGH!!! SO MESSED UP!!! LIK UGH!!!! IM SO HATIN THIS!!!!

#25 brittany on 09.24.10 at 6:29 am

i go to a school in pennsylvania and i have to say that my school has gotten rediculous about blocking every little thing that you type into google!! its gotten so bad that they even blocked ask.com! more examples: facebook, myspace, youtube, twitter, even music websites are blocked! you type in radio and every option you push is BLOCKED. im tired of being told what i can and cant look up! its like they dont think that maybe SOME of these websites will help us!!

#26 Nick on 10.06.10 at 12:34 pm

im from wyoming and oour school blocks most of the sites we use including youtube, facebook, and myspace. But none of those matter because most of the time i am not even able to complete my homework but my resources and other things on the web are blocked, i am writing a paper about these things and i need feed back.

#27 Tyler Hoover on 12.15.10 at 6:58 am

Personally i beleive that the school system has gone overboard. They have moved from blocking items that are innapropriate, to blocking items that help us get through the day with our sanity in tact. I personally focus much better on my school assignments while i am listening to some kind of music, and the fact that i dont have an MP3 or Ipod should not mean that i have no way to listen to music. All music sites are blocked at my school, and it is very annoying while sitting in a computer class and trying to work on something when all you hear are the idiots in the room talking about random stuff. Before the school became ov=bsessed with bloacking things, i could easily find refuge on the internet through various music sites, though now all connections to online music have all but vanished completely. I mean seriously, they have grooveshark and pandora blocked under the catagory “music appreciation”, why in the name of f*ck, would they block something under a catagory like that, perhaps then they should stop the class “music appreciation”.

I really beleive though that if we band together we might be able to find a way to tend the madness that have overtaken most US school. If you agree, send me an E-mail, at either tyler22play@yahoo.com or hiddenspells@live.com .

Come together to end the madness………..

#28 SOLUTION :) on 01.27.11 at 9:44 pm

YOOOOOOOOOOOO. Ultrasurf download it and put it on your USB take it to school and put your USB in and download it there. It will bring up Ultrasurf which stops the stupid school blocking crap. Problemooo solved. :)

#29 tallman little coat on 03.11.11 at 10:44 am

since web sites are blocked to protect minors thoes of us like my self who are 18 are gettting scrwed over by the schools i am in computer class right now with nothing to do and all the web sites are blocked so i have to sit here and stare at a blank computer screen for over an hour

#30 DD on 04.13.11 at 8:12 am

I go to Malcom X shabazz high in New Jersey.Most of the students here are adults and it doesnt make sense for MOST of the sites on the internet to be blocked,due to ignorance and laziness.They need to just go thru google and the internet and ban induvidal sites instead of just banning sites with certain words on them.Such as if im doing a project on Hitler,sites shouldnt be blocked because of ‘racism and hate’ WE KNOW HITLER HAD RACISM AND HATE!!!

#31 chris on 04.19.11 at 11:00 am

my school constantly blocks more and more websites. mostly music sites. but then again we have a music class where students learn to express their feelings through music. plus, music can also be a great therapy session. i dont see why school constantly block websites. when i could just pull of my phone. and do the same thing. if the school thinks that the blocks are there to take away content, they are so wrong. phones can transmit information alot faster and plus it puts the information right into peoples hands faster.

#32 brickmaster on 04.29.11 at 1:16 pm

My school sucks..Pioneer Middle School, Arcade, NY. they block facebook/myspace/ myYearbook/Skype…/Some body better get a law to disallow school admidistators from blocking sites like Facebook!!!!!!

#33 morgan on 05.11.11 at 7:23 am

the school i attend is Ysgol Bro Myrdddin in wales and most subjects we studey require the internet to search for information as we have a very poor collection of books in our library but most of the websites that give us the right information for the themes that we are studying within our subjects are blocked and therefore cannot study nor gather as much information as we would like to. if you can help out or report our school that would be fantastic, please let me know if you plan to take any action.

#34 Nihal on 05.24.11 at 3:38 pm

In high school, I just hacked my school active directory’s server (could access anything) and installed a proxy server on their main servers and I just type in the server’s IP address and then could access any website.

Seriously, I think these IT managers who block websites are stupid idiots who revolve around domain passwords as the most secure thing. I think schools shouldn’t block websites. Its just like a Saddam Hussein vs a Democracy. Everyone wants democracy, no one likes dictatorship. Why not liberate the computer from the IT managers system? Because the administration doesn’t want students accessing uneducational content? Thats stupid.

Friends, just create a public proxy and route it to Port 8080 (or whatever port the school is unblocked) and then at school, try to find a way to circumvent the desktop restrictions and then set your IP address in the IE/Firefox settings and then you are liberated!

#35 anonymous on 05.26.11 at 11:02 am

cspgno school board block all game site facebook everything the only thing we got is youtube hotmail and educational sites! im freaking tired of it like serously why do they give uss pc if we cant do anything we cant even change are backround whitout hacking in the system!

#36 Kait on 09.30.11 at 6:03 am

when i try to access deviantART, it says its blocked because of “nudity, art/culture, image hosting”. well, i can understand the nudity part, but ART AND CULTURE? they don’t want us beautifal art and fan art?..thats just wrong…and google images is an image host but they don’t block that..meh.

#37 JOEl on 10.05.11 at 6:06 am

here at Yukon High School they’ve blocked facebook my space wiki and even the children sites all we can get on is math games and the schhol site pretty much and they have wifi for ipods and stuff but still blocked the only cool thing unblocked but was blocked is pandora it needs to be changed and now they’ve started to hand out ipad and laptops its pointless

#38 Neko on 12.13.11 at 6:05 am

I can understand blocking Facebook and MySpace.. but really deviant Art, I’m in a computer/art class and all i do is draw. I’ve got a great grade and i had a proxy then the school banned it.. all i used it for was going on deviant Art… really why must we block A FRICKEN ART SITE! Its getting annoying, Yes there’s nudity but I’m a senior.. we’ve had health class okay, you can block the mature content and not the site I’m sure you could. so why can’t they just do that. I can access manga sites and YouTube still.. MANGA IS LOADED WITH RANDOM NUDITY! >.> yet they don’t block that(which they shouldn’t…)My school is currently trying to make itself better do to a new principle but we really need to unblock Good sites like Deviant Art. I’m going to make a petition and get it unblocked.

#39 Arron on 01.18.12 at 8:59 am

Some of you people need to learn how to spell and type correctly. Anywho, I am trying to do a persuasive essay on how they should unblock websites, but here’s the catch, I can’t get on any websites that will allow me to acquire information FOR this assignment. What’s the point? Imma break a principle’s leg!

#40 Megan on 04.11.12 at 10:19 am

I too think these school districts have gone overboard when it comes to blocking content on the internet. I am an art student at my high school and finding images online that I’d like to draw is difficult when I can only view its thumbnail. Plus, sites labeled “music appreciation” are also off-limits. Dear IT Department – I’m not looking into obscene rap lyrics, I just want to be able to read sheet music online before buying it.

#41 fabianduenas on 05.14.12 at 9:53 am

i hate south dade middle it blocks everything

#42 David D. on 05.15.12 at 11:24 am

my school i can’t go to playlist i work alot fast with music but it’s block. i’m very mad at my school.

#43 ashley diane on 03.06.14 at 12:08 pm

i attend a high school in San Diego California and i’m literally surprised that this website isn’t blocked. It’s unfair and annoying that ALL websites are blocked, even ask or wiki. Why the fuck do they block that?? Like come on! Facebook/twitter/ask/youtube/pandora/ EVERYTHING is blocked. There’s little to no way for me to find an interesting thing to do, I have to sit here in class for 2 hours staring at the stupid Chromebook. The only websites that i know of that aren’t blocked are : Iheart.com (music) and Pacxon.net (pacman game) They blocked Tumblr and categorized it as ‘porn’ ARE YOU SERIOUS. Tumblr is my favorite website, and it used to be unblocked i wish it still was. I admit, there are some inappropriate pictures but damn, it gets annoying! They even blocked the websites that ‘help’ unblock like that proxy thing. Someone fix this ASAP please!

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