Wilmot UHS administration pauses change to Wi-Fi until meeting

Wilmot Union HSWilmot Union High School administration will not change its student access to Wi-Fi policy until a meeting with student representatives can take place.

The school released a statement on the issue to local media and via its Facebook page Friday afternoon.

On Wednesday, the school announced that student access to the internet via the school’s public Wi-Fi ¬†network would be eliminated due to concerns about circumventing the school’s filters that limit access to inappropriate websites. Students would still be able to access the internet through school owned devices and cell service enabled devices of their own.¬† The changes were set to take effect Feb. 5.

In reaction, an online petition was started expressing concern about the change. The petition had over 1,000 signatures as of Friday afternoon.

The statement released Friday said no change will take effect until a meeting with the class officers takes place.

“Representatives from each class will have the opportunity to speak with Wilmot administrators next week and discuss positive solutions to the proposed Wi-Fi adjustments,” the statement said. “Principal LaFleur thanked students today who have already contacted the school in a positive, supportive effort to help resolve the issue.”

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13 Comments

  1. Get into appropriate websites? says:

    All websites in this day and age are appropriate. By the time a kid is in high school, they should know what they should be accessing and where they should access it. The can procreate, they can serve in the military, they can drive. They should at least be able to see something on the internet if they so choose. If they don’t act according to acceptable decorum, then trying at the high school level to teach them is not the place to be teaching it. That opportunity occurred long ago and is solely the responsibility of the parent. Further, limiting access is NOT teaching. It is merely limiting it until another time. It is time for schools to become educational entities again, and not socially controlling bodies or politically active PACS. Teach. The taxpayers are paying for WI-FI access. That means for the students and administration with a signal strong enough that anyone in the parking lot (school property) can gain access too. There are adults paying taxes that do not have the money for a data plan of their own. Let access prevail. Ditto at the library too. When one starts to limit or monitor access to a product they become like CHINA and other governmentally controlled media outlets. Again, if you are a parent who worries your child will get to a site that isn’t adult enough for them, then perhaps you need to sit down with your kid and have a talk – ooops, please do put your own device down and give your full attention. Censorship of any kind is not the American Way. It might be a liberal way but it is not an American WAY.

  2. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Get into appropriate websites? Pretty apparent you are CLUELESS what goes on in high schools! If you think parental guidance is the key here, and that high schoolers won’t access porn or “inappropriate sites” because mom or dad sat them down and told them not to, again, your are CLUELESS. You maintain that “if they don’t act according ot acceptable decorum, then trying it at the high school level to teach them is not the place to be teaching it”. REALLY? So high schools should expect that all the incoming freshman from whatever grade school they came from should be ready to accept the responsiblities of being able to access WHATEVER THEY WANT on the Internet? Read your posting again. tell me what I missed! Your shot at “politically active PACS” was a cheap one. You maintain “TEACH”. Every try teaching 35 kids in a classroom and 20 of them have their heads buried in their cell phones texting each other? You mention how we are becoming like China, by “governmentally controlling the media”(your words, not mine). Sort of like your pal Trump is doing. Maybe your post is “fake news”. “Censorship of any kind is not the American Way. It might be the liberal way, but it is not the American WAY”. Wow. I’m not sure if you swallowed a Kelly Anne Conway pill, or the whole bottle. Pretty apparent you don’t like having to taxes for education(read your post again.). Don’t worry, your Republican friends have that under control….send your kids to private/parochial schools…..and let the taxpayers pay for it. You know, that old “seperation of church and state” thing our country was founded on, that will soon be ‘Executive Ordered” gone. Just to be CLEAR here, I read your post AGAIN. IF kids are accessing “inappropriate websites” at a high school, it is NOT the TEACHERS or ADMINISTRATION’s FAULT….it’s mom or dads’. I guess we found something we can mutually agree on.

  3. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Get into the appropriate websites? For all you folks reading my previous post that might think I’m a bit jaded, read “get into”‘s posting again: “By a time a kid is in high school, they can procreate, they can serve in the military, they can drive. They should at least be able to see something on the internet if they so choose”. And if it’s porn or otherwise, high school is not the place to chastise them for it. Absolutely INCREDIBLE. So a freshman boy or girl coming into high school can have sex, join the service and drive a car. Man…did I miss out going to high school!!!

  4. J Fal says:

    I am a high school teacher in another district. Running a network for a high school can be a daunting task. Filters are set up to try and keep access on the school network geared to educational sites and activities. Students are smart and find their ways around Cipa filters. Then instead of being engaged in what appears to be school work they are streaming Netflix or gaming. Now the school’s bandwidth is all being sucked dry. When teachers try and boot up a legit site the network is so bogged down they can’t do what was legitimately educational. Solutions are expensive and time consuming. My school issues devices to students and has a student network but they are constantly blocking access to high bandwidth streaming sites and gaming. It took several years, a technology department with at least 6 employees, a lot of rewiring, and we still have issues. Students get on the faculty network where the filters aren’t as restrictive ( by hacking) and then we all have to get kicked off and reset security. Having a bring your own device program only makes things more complicated. So maybe the issues here are more practical / economic than they are about who is looking at inappropriate sites during the school day. The unspoken topic here is that families are going to gasp at their data crunching teens when they get kicked off of wifi and are back on their data plans. Snapchat and Instagram add up. Schools are in a precarious situation. Kids are snapping photos and videos all day. They can go Facebook live anytime they want. This is a liability to teachers, admin and the district. By protecting themselves the school is ultimately protecting the taxpayers from expensive litigation. Keep the network open for education but if kids want to stream or socially network it should be on their own dime.

  5. Bernard Punsley says:

    @J Fal…………you NAILED IT!!! Very well presented. You accurately portrayed what MOST HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS are doing with either their own personal device or school provided: Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, texting, etc. This is a tremendous DISTRACTION for teachers, ESPECIALLY in the classroom. Kids will tell you ” “I can do 2 things at once”, my response is “No you can’t”. Sorry folks, your kid might be an exception, but “Little Billy” CANNOT CONCENTRATE on what his math teacher is trying to teach up in front of the class while he has his head buried in his cell phone texting “Little Suzie”. And according to “get into”‘s post, the math teacher shouldn’t even have to tell “Little Billy” to please put his cell phone down, that’s mom or dad’s job. If you are a teacher reading this, you know EXACTLY what I mean. The internet is a learning tool just like textbooks, calculators, paper & pencils are. There is a place and time for everything. If allowed, kids will be GLUED to their cell phones from the time they walk into the school until the time they walk out at the end of the day. If anyone thinks that’s because they are accessing educational sites to improve their educational awareness, sorry, you get an “F” in the REALITY DEPARTMENT!

  6. Bernard Punsley says:

    At the risk of repeating myself, read “get into appropriate websites? opening comment: “All websites in this day and age are appropriate”. What an INCREDIBLE assertation!!!! For anyone out there wanting to defend that posting and perhaps disagree with my observations, I think a serious “gut check” is in order. Adults in the “real world” workplace can be disciplined or fired for using an employers computers to access “inappropriate sites”, whether “on” or “off” the clock. That also applies in some cases if they are using their own as well. Yet “get into” suggests high school students should be able to access ANY websites they so choose, in a taxpayer supported building using taxpayer supported electronic devices. And the teachers or administrators should not be allowed to tell them they can’t(that’s mom or dad’s job). Folks, ya can’t make this stuff up.

  7. A little burr, it appears. says:

    It does say that the school wishes to add “filters that limit access to inappropriate websites”. It did not at all cite that they had issues with bandwidth or lack of attention by students. All the rest of the commentary is “WOE IS ME, the Teacher”. And “the students are grimy little cusses who don’t want to learn”. I don’t think either is the case. Is it? Allow WI-FI or not. Allow unlimited Broadband, or not. Schools should get out of the censorship game. If the curriculum forces the use of school devices then the door was opened at that time and when the school allowed personal devices, they opened it wider. Personal devices can be checked at the door. Litigation? That is an envisioned issue, isn’t it? Seems to me that if you do something, anything, to limit access, the school would be more open to lawsuits. BO does seem pretty upset in his three, count them, rants for a district he doesn’t belong in. What’s Central doing? What’s Wheatland doing?

  8. Bernard Punsley says:

    @A little burr”….I would suggest you go back to the original posting regarding “getting into the appropriate websites”? You will note that I take EXCEPTION to that poster’s belief that high school student should be able to access ANYTHING THEY WANT, including “inappropriate websites”(AKA PORN) and that the taxpayers should have to PAY for it. Read the original posting again, read ALL of mine AGAIN(I know you read them at least once!) then try and convince me and the rest of the folks who read these posts that you don’t concur with the original poster. The fact that you are upset with my posts(enough to respond to them), and condone taxpayer supported porn access in schools by students, supports my theory that you have earned an “F” in the REALITY DEPARTMENT. Make that an “F+”.

  9. One violates so all have to pay says:

    What I get out of this is that Bernard-Bo (thanks to the writer above) is pissed that he saw a kid look at porn and so wants to ban wi-fi from an entire school. Wow! That is a control freak attitude!

    Tell us, what happened to the teacher-parent relationship? Pick up the phone, document it and get on with teaching.

  10. Bernard Punsley says:

    @One violates”…..nice try. #1…..where did you get the idea that “one violates”?
    No mention of a student accessing porn at the school was ever mentioned in the paper, or on WOTI. Do you have some “inside information” #2 read the original post and my responses. Original poster asserts students should be able to access ANY site they want with NO school intervention. And have the taxpayers PAY for it. Read the posts again. Did I take EXCEPTION to that? YOU BETCHA! #3 “teacher-parent relationship” Yeah….turn it right back on the teachers!!! Even the original poster didn’t blame teachers, but made sure to include the “politically active PACS”. Ludicrous! #4 “Control freak”…..you’re the one trying to limit my “write” to free speech. You are freaked out that the school tried to address students accessing porn.
    #5 If you can read this, THANK A TEACHER.

  11. Bernard Punsley says:

    Given the chastising I’ve taken for my assertion that 1: high schoolers should not be able to access porn sights at their school and 2: taxpayers should not have to fund it, I’m thinking maybe kids should be allowed to text and drive as well. While it may be illegal, they certainly should have the right to make up their minds as to whether or not they want to abide by that law. And if they don’t, mom or dad should be held accountable…they should have “sat them down for a talk”. If they want to drive a vehicle while watching porn on their portable device, what’s the big deal. Kids have rights too.

  12. Dear Bernard (Teacher?? Bosanko) Punsley says:

    I must step in and comment when a comparison of downloading something that you don’t agree with to texting and driving. The first affects the child’s ability to learn if in a classroom and irritates teachers (and you) to no end but there is no potential for death. (As we can all see! Look at all the posts taking on all comers!) The second may affect another person with loss of life, maiming or other major inconvenience, while the student is texting and driving a potential weapon. There is no comparison. I must say, however, that you have tried very hard to put them in the same bucket. The jump is unreasonable. It shows you like the idea of controlling people. (Wasn’t there earlier reference to “control freak”? Perhaps that is an appropriate and astute observation? ) If you do think that they are the same, then perhaps teaching should be removed from your daily schedule. Teachers are not school gods and neither should they be control freaks. Teach, no bias, no politics, no intimidation, no control, teach what you love. find a way to connect or leave the building.

  13. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Dear Bernard(et al)…..listen to your words, in response to my contention that kids should not be able to download porn while at school, and have the taxpayers pay for it(pretty sure I’ve made that CLEAR). Your response: “the first(downloading porn-my words)affects the child’s ability to learn in a classroom and irritates teachers to no end”. If you read the ORIGINAL POST (get into appropriate websites)..that’s what started this whole conversation. You are hung up on “controlling people”…look at your numerous posts under different names. I have to admit I’ve been called a lot of things on this website, but “teacher” is a new one!!! Looks like I “taught” you a lesson on fishing, cuz you took my “let kids text and drive while watching porn” post HOOK, LINE, and SINKER!!! You have a very obvious repulsion for teachers, read your various posts again…I’m guessing you got sent to the principal’s office more than once in the 3rd grade, and it still haunts you. Right now, I would say that I DO have the ability to “control you” as you read my posts, then respond to them. I do remain “Bernard Punsley”..to the delight of many, the chagrin of a few, yourself included, but I’ll admit I can’t control that.

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