In response to the national controversy caused by their website blocking policy, Nonnewaug High School and the Regional School District #14 have issued a statement outlining a response. Instead of reversing the policy of blocking websites, however, the district has doubled down and imposed more “fairness” – leading to Nonnewaug blocking more websites.
In the statement, issued June 20, the Board of Education reiterates that their web filtering policy is an “essential protection” for students and that they must enforce it more “uniformly and fairly”. Thus, they announce that more sites will be blocked – without specifying which sites will be blocked to make it more “fair”.
It strains credulity to think that the Catholic League of Connecticut will be satisfied with the excuse that, essentially, they still think the Vatican is hate speech, but we’re going to designate other religions as hate speech as well so it’s totally fair now.
The pertinent sections of the statement:
OUR CONTENT FILTERING TECHNOLOGY
The content filtering appliance used by Region 14 (Dell’s SonicWALL) is the same one used in many other school districts throughout the state. Web filtering and the policies enforced by this technology are essential protections which must be applied uniformly and fairly. In that light, the following conclusion and follow up actions are being taken concurrently:
On Region 14’s computers, some websites were blocked while others were not. The Board of Education, Administration, and Technology Director have been working with Dell SonicWALL to identify the root cause for this. We now understand this was a function of how the parameters were set in the filtering criteria, and we are now confident it has been remedied. Specifically, our filtering criteria allowed websites that were “Not Categorized” to be accessed, which has since been changed and these have now been added to the list of blocked categories. We will report in more detail regarding the filtering categories at the next Board of Education meeting …
So in essence, they admit to the selectivity with which the policy was enacted by saying that the problem was caused by how the filter parameters were set. Instead of fixing the real problem, they arbitrarily add more sites to create the appearance of fairness.
If you believe that Superintendent Jody Goegler is attempting to skirt this issue and run out the clock over summer vacation, he can be reached at 203.263.4339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.