Why is Social Media Blocked?


A student holding a chromebook with a blocked site.

Anna Tisdale and Chloe Price

One day while you are sitting in class, you get sidetracked and look up Instagram on your Chromebook. But you are hit in the face with a page that says it has been blocked. You try to go on our social media site but almost all of them say the exact same thing. 

Although not all sites have been blocked, there are still a couple that are open to us, like Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Youtube. Even Whatsapp is available after school hours for HHS. However, the most popular sites like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Tiktok are still blocked. There are many reasons as to why these are blocked. 

“Different sites are blocked at different buildings based on age and restrictions. We block many social media sites on school-issued devices because of the expectation that students are engaged and focusing on school-related activities during the School Day,” Technology Department Michelle Dirksen said. 

According to HPSD Network & Systems Administrator Kevin Buerk, these sites are mainly blocked because of age guidelines, lack of school relevance, mature content, and misuse. 

School hours are meant for students to be learning but it makes it difficult when social media sites are right at their fingertips. 

We experienced cyberbullying and off-task behaviors where students had multiple tabs open for social media and were not doing coursework,” Principal Shelly Vogler said. “As a team, (the) district admin and the tech department conferred with other school districts who went 1:1 before us to see how they combatted these issues and it was strongly recommended to use strong filters, using our network for school-related sites during school hours.”

It may seem strict as to why only school websites are allowed during school hours, but it is for the own safety of the students and the staff. 

“I think it’s a good idea (to block Social Media) however, for those that do have a phone on them and go on them during class, it kind of makes no point to block it because they can still access it with and without the site being blocked,” Sophomore Angelyna Luong said. 

While other students feel the complete opposite.

“I do not like how social media is blocked. I want to be able to get on Instagram on our Chromebooks. Service is horrible in this school and I can not get on it (social media) on my phone for most of the day.” Sophomore Nylah Portell said.