Content filters are put into place in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to address concerns about children's access to obscene or harmful content over the internet. Filters work by vendors categorizing sites into buckets, and then the organization applies settings to block certain categories (e.g., weapons). Content filters are not utilized to block all sites other than those used for virtual instruction. Additionally, due to the sheer number of internet sites, it is important to recognize that content filters are not infallible. However, anyone can request a site be reviewed and considered for recategorization. You can review the categories that are blocked and find the link to request review on the Student Technology Resources page.
HCPSS has blocked the category “weapons,” which means the filter will block sites that have been categorized this way because the web content is dedicated to guns, swords, knives and/or other weapons. It does not guarantee that a site in an accessible category will not have content related to weapons, for example, YouTube. As a content hosting site there is a wide variety of content. Because YouTube is an allowed site, a video with weapons could potentially be accessible alongside a video showing how solar eclipses work. Currently, HCPSS does not have technology that filters specific videos on that site.
Nuke.zone is blocked under the category of Mature-Games. Websites are continuously being added, evolving or changing ownership, and so a site’s category may change, which would potentially change their accessibility.
The content filter on an HCPSS device is not customizable for individuals and the settings are universal for students. HCPSS does not have technology that allows parents to customize settings on a school system-issued Chromebook. If you wish to put further restrictions on your home internet, you may find it helpful to look for personal network-related content filtering/security technologies such as Circle or others. You may also find it helpful to apply Internet access time restrictions to your home network. Please note that any optional applications or home network configurations are the responsibility of the family and not supported by the school system. Instead the family would need to seek any necessary support from the Internet service provider.
We encourage parents/guardians to continue to monitor their children’s use of internet sites and services. Students using an HCPSS device cannot clear the browsing history and parents can review it by following directions on the Student Technology Resources page. Additionally, please feel free to reach out to your child’s school counselor to discuss non-technology-related strategies that may support your efforts.