Pawan Jajoo 0

HISD Power Down

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While the safety and security of school children on the Internet should be paramount in any environment, such systems employed by schools today hinder (out of paranoia) collaboration among peers, stopper creativity and learning by limiting the resources students and even teachers have at their disposal within the classroom, and thus inadvertently disadvantage those without access to personal phones and data plans or necessitate productivity lost on bypassing said proxies.

Although some social media sites may act as gateways to recreational activities, schools should recognize their value in terms of instant file-sharing and real time peer-to-peer collaboration and simply trust students to get the work done instead of reinventing the wheel (by setting up their own, unpopular and error-prone servers).

Instead of pretentiously preventing access to all third-party media (even on established YouTube channels) or meticulously responding to censorship requests, schools and districts should place faith in the ability of students and teachers to keep each other on task – social pressure and the inherent publicity of a school environment have long proven to deter many off-task actions (like cell-phone usage), if not preventing them altogether.

Infringing on a student’s right of access to information (especially in this digital day and age) almost certainly leads to an unhealthy reliance on wholly unmonitored cellular data connections, valuable time spent looking for alternate sources or illicit means to basic privileges – or in the case of the underprivileged / less tech-savvy; utter reliance on their peers for the simplest of assignments.


Thus, we the students / faculty / parents of the Houston Independent School District hereby electronically sign this petition in order to once again appropriate access to potentially beneficial networking sites outside of the school environment, before and after school hours, especially in regards to the PowerUp Laptop initiative.

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