School web filters should be taken down a notch.
Debate Rounds (4)
I am for this! School web filters are way too restrictive.
I contend that school web filters should be removed, and not remain in order to be gradated.
But, the web filters only need to filter these things:
The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors) (fcc.gov)
So, the web filters are way out of line, blocking things that could be beneficial to the students. Students need to have the ability to analyze information from at least all educational sites.
The excess blocking stresses students out even more.
This is why I reject the resolution and argue for the removal of school web filters.
Pro points out:
"the web filters are way out of line, blocking things that could be beneficial to the students."
Yeah, I know. I usually don't like arguing from experience, but I must point out that this resolution directly associates me, because I am a public high school teacher in Maryland, USA.
I have had at least 50 sites blocked that I tried to incorporate into lessons that were completely legitimate, but the filter detected them as inappropriate. We can appeal the blocked site to the district's webmaster, but by the time the site has been allowed, if it ever is, we've moved on in the curriculum.
I agree with you Pro.
Beneficial sites shouldn't be blocked, and they wouldn't if there were no blockers; it's a good reason to remove them.
"Students need to have the ability to analyze information from at least all educational sites. The excess blocking stresses students out even more."
It stresses teachers too. There's nothing more frustrating then trying to execute a lesson that completely functioned at home on your laptop, but fails to work for your students trying to access it on their laptops with the school web filter; all because the filter detected some word it didn't like.
Without these filters, none of these detriments to education could happen, and we wouldn't need to "take them down a notch" if we got rid of them.
Pro quotes the FCC claiming that to remove filters would be to violate law, specifically the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
Well according to the FCC:
"Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-rate program unless...they have an Internet safety policy that...blocks or filters obscene content."
So, there's no law being violated, rather a discount MAY not be received by the school.
Also, if an authorized administrator were monitoring--not filtering--and correcting student internet behavior, we could be satisfying the requirement for "an internet safety policy" and need no web filters.
The FCC also says:
"An authorized person may disable the blocking or filtering measure during use."
This doesn't sound like a violation of the law to me; if an authorized person can disable the filter under the law, then an authorized school administrator can disable filters for the school under the law; school web filters should be removed, not "taken down a notch."
I reject the resolution, because:
1. School web filters should be removed not decreased.
2. Beneficial sites are being blocked frequently at the expense of student retention, and simply reducing web filtering will not address the unnecessary blocking; as long as there's blocking, there's potential for unnecessary blocking.
3. Schools can maintain an internet safety protocol without web filters by an authorized person monitoring and correcting internet activity.
4. Removing web filters is not against the law, it just possibly leaves the school without a discount on the E-Rate program (cheaper internet access for schools), and, on FCC's site, the FCC mentions that an authorized person can disable the filters.
On to Pro.
My opponent argues,
" I'm arguing that school web filters should be removed..."
I instigated this argument and I am attempting to argue that the school web filters should not be so restrictive.
I never once stated that they should be taken down completely, because that would be violating a law, and It would most definitely be outrageous and detrimental to the learning to students.
It would seem that you are arguing for the wrong thing.
Beneficial sites are blocked, and I am arguing that those sites, which are clearly educational, should be unblocked.
Again, I argue that they should not be so restrictive. But students definitely need web filters, because schools are supposed to block the obviously inappropriate.
I understand that this also frustrates teachers, which stresses my point that these web filters should not be so restrictive.
Now, disabling these web filters would, let's not forget, outrage parents also. They have the impression that all mature content is blocked.
I reject your arguments, because:
*We filters SHOULD be reduced, not removed.
*Beneficial sites are being blocked, so school web filters should be taken down a notch.
* Students are not fully mature and therefore cannot be trusted not to go on inappropriate sites.
* If it is not Illegal, which I acknowledge that, parents would be outraged. Any good parent would not want their children to be on inappropriate web sites.
* Enforcing web filters would also be in lieu of enforcing school policy.
I also argue, that reasons that you may provide for reducing web filters also apply to removing web filters.
I'm not arguing the wrong thing; I'm negating Pro's argument.
I know that Pro "never once stated that [filters] should be taken down completely," which is why I, not Pro, am advocating for such.
Pro brings up:
"students definitely need web filters, because schools are supposed to block the obviously inappropriate."
Pro assumes that the only way to block students from websites is to use a web filter. However, along with the suggestions provided by the FCC, an authorized person MONITORING student internet activity can stop a student from accessing inappropriate material. This would negate a need to make web filters less restrictive, because we would not need web filters at all, instead we need a human web monitor.
Pro argues first:
"[Removing web filters] would be violating a law"
Then Pro later argues:
"[Removing web filters] is not Illegal...I acknowledge that"
So, which is it?
Let me tell you that removing web filters is not illegal, in fact the FCC says that "an authorized person may disable the blocking or filtering measure during use."
"Beneficial sites are being blocked"
So let's remove them.
Pro also concludes:
"Students are not fully mature and therefore cannot be trusted not to go on inappropriate sites...enforcing web filters would also be in lieu of enforcing school policy."
The law requires that schools have some sort of internet safety policy to ensure appropriate educational access to the internet like "monitoring the online activities of minors."
School policy could be simply monitoring students' internet activity and manually, not with a web filter, stopping them from accessing obscene sites; we could remove the filters, and still regulate student access "in lieu of enforcing school policy."
"Any good parent would not want their children to be on inappropriate web sites."
I know, that's why we should monitor their activity like the FCC suggests. By doing this, we eliminate unnecessary blockage and ensure appropriate internet activity.
I continue to reject the resolution, because there should be no web filters, they are inherently restrictive, thus allowing web filters to remain is allowing for unnecessary restriction.
Pro which is it, are the filters too restrictive or are they necessary?
Filters either filter content or they don't; by allowing filters to stay, you allow the restrictions which Pro believes are too restrictive.
i reject the resolution...Pro?
So, I thought that my opponent would argue for the web filters to stay , not to be removed completely.
So, I will continue to argue against that,
They should only be taken down a notch, because if we were to remove them, the students would have access to mature content, and they would be distracted, and the moderators would not be able to watch them.
Removing them, would be, in a sense, breaking a law.
What do you mean by a human web monitor? Have an example of that?
Beneficial sites are being blocked, but lets remove the blocks on educational websites, not on all websites.
Let me push that taking the web filters down to the correct intensity while still protecting them IS possible.
"[Web filters] should only be taken down a notch, because if we were to remove them, the students would have access to mature content, and they would be distracted, and the moderators would not be able to watch them."
Without filters, we can monitor students' internet activity. An authorized administrative user can access any computer on the network remotely and see what's being viewed on it. This can also be done on a macro scale, such that all computers on the network can be monitored at one time. As long as all student computers are on the network, an authorized administrator can view those computers remotely at all times and override access if need be.
"Removing [web filters] would be, in a sense, breaking a law."
Nope, the FCC said that an authorized user can disable the web filters in a public school.
"What do you mean by a human web monitor? Have an example of that?"
I mentioned it at the beginning of this round, but an authorized human monitor, usually the IT person at the school, can remotely access and override ANY computer on the school's network; you can check the link below to see how easy it is to do. With this ability, students' inappropriate internet activity can be regulated WITHOUT restrictive web filters.
"Beneficial sites are being blocked, but lets remove the blocks on educational websites..."
I agree. By removing web filters, we remove the blocks on educational websites.
"Let me push that taking the web filters down to the correct intensity while still protecting them IS possible."
I don't know how you would reduce the intensity of a filter. A filter either blocks a site or it doesn't. You can reduce the AMOUNT of blocked sites, but reducing the intensity of a filter seems impossible.
Could a web filter only partially block access to a site?
No, if it allows access, then the access is not blocked.
If it doesn't allow access, then there is no gradation of blockage; it's blocked.
I maintain that for the reasons both Pro and I provided, we should remove the school web filters, and not allow them to remain to be "reduced." Instead, there should be remotely monitored student access to the entire world wide web of educational material.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.