Middle School Streaming Ban
By Hailey T.
February 26, 2019
Whether technology is being used for school or recreation, it has always played a large role at Westridge, especially in the Middle School. On the afternoon of December 4, 2018, Ms. Heydorff, Dean of Student Activities, announced that a streaming policy that had fallen into destitute had become re-enforced. Heydorff’s announcement received a mixed response from the middle school students.
Page 10 of the Personal Respect and Behavior section of the Student Handbook states, “Don’t Overuse Bandwidth. Don’t stream media that is not required for educational purposes at school.” Such overuse includes watching non-assigned YouTube and Netflix films and streaming on Spotify, two popular pastimes among students. The limited bandwidth supplied at school is the main reason for the streaming ban, which applies to all middle schoolers, regardless of whether they are in class or not. “[The rule] is not new, but people need to be reminded about good use of technology... We want to make sure people are using the time with their Yoga in the best possible way to enhance learning,” explained Mrs. Tuck, Director of Lower and Middle School.
The way administrators are enforcing the ban is by examining websites to see if you’re on them, such as Netflix, during school, and how frequently you visit the site. Some students feel this new way of enforcing the rule is an invasion of privacy. “I know the computers belong to the school, but we still pay for them. Why do they need to look through everyone’s search history? Just look into any repeat offenders, or if their parents specifically ask the school to,” stated Clara Chen, ’23.
During study hall, students can be seen watching Netflix once they were done with homework or listening to Spotify music while doing in-class work. They are now unable to do so, and some students are unhappy with the new changes. One student explained her frustration surrounding the ban. “I mean, there’s a reason for the ban, but I don't understand why it wasn’t enforced like this in the first place,” noted Bellamy Seals, ’24.
On the other hand, some students understand the actions of the school and support its method of enforcing the ban. “Since it’s the school’s computer, we have to follow their rules. It’s perfectly fine for the school to look into our search history, because again, it’s their computer,” said Arden M., ’23.