Sugar Beet Staff Reporter
“Safari cannot open the page.” This annoying phrase pops up on Internet browsers all over Garden City High School. Students have shown their frustrations and concerns with the Internet browsing restrictions that are put on the computers at the high school.
USD 457 has had its fair share of technology issues in the past year. Virus after virus would infiltrate the district’s system time and time again.
Recently, the Internet usage at the high school has gone up over the course of the past month. It has come to the time for students to write their research paper and the Internet is a valuable tool and resource for all students at GCHS. With the research paper process comes many hours spent on the web during school hours. Students started to notice that fewer and fewer websites could be accessible while browsing on campus due to some restrictions. The Google search engine was blocked from student and administration use for a short period of time and is now back up and running. The blockage of Gmail (Google’s e-mail service) is what has stirred the most commotion at Garden City High School.
“In early November, a staff member received a virus in an e-mail disguised as a Word Document. This virus was the same type of virus that shut the Finney County network down this summer for weeks,” Director of Technology Roxie Schafer said.
The struggle with these types of viruses were coming in regularly through personal e-mails such as Gmail as well as through Microsoft Exchange, the school issued e-mail for administration and students. Microsoft Exchange blocks most viruses, but one got through to a staff member causing a shutdown and needed clean sweep on all USD 457 computers.
“Due to the severity of the virus, we took action to protect our network. We began blocking the other e-mail systems, which includes Gmail, other than the district supported system of Microsoft Exchange. We also began quarantining any message received that has an attachment,” Schafer said.
While this blockage of websites and e-mail services was needed, students were frustrated with the decision.
“It is just kind of frustrating because I do my schoolwork on my personal laptop and not being able to work on my personal work at school stinks. I can’t access emails that colleges send me to my personal computer and then incorporate them in with my high school work,” Caitlyn Harman, public service senior, said.
Administrators seem to not mind the blockage and don’t have any issues with mixing e-mail usage.
“In all of my 13 years of working at GCHS, I never mix my e-mails when I am at work. I keep my personal e-mail personal, and what is school related dealt with at school. I am not very comfortable associating work and personal e-mails,” public service secretary, Adel Parr, said.
Tyler Morren is a public service academy senior. You cam contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.