Snapchat Tensions Remain High


Corbin Nguyen and Anna Roemerman

City High classrooms are aiming for a higher productivity level compared to previous years. With the start of this new school year, many things have been changed, some for the better and some for the worst. Students were surprised to see that the widely used app “Snapchat” was blocked on the school internet and only the website is accessible, in order to cut back on the use of cellphones in class. The reaction from students came in almost completely negative.

“I don’t see a point to having Snapchat blocked,” Mikayla Lacey ‘17 said. “People are just going to use their data or download a VPN to get around it.”

Annoyed at the new block, students searched for ways around the problem. Soon students learned of VPNs, which stands for Virtual Private Network. They allow for the use of the Internet as if you were present at the VPN’s location, which has some benefits if you’re using public Wi-Fi or want to access geo-blocked websites. Some students didn’t even bother to get a VPN, because they didn’t want to pay money for the VPN, or simply used their data to use Snapchat instead of using the school wifi.

“I don’t want to use my data at school, so I usually don’t even use Snapchat when I’m at school, plus with the new phone policy, I put my phone away during class and use it during my opens,” Fischer Kimm ‘17 said.

Though the block proved to be semi effective because of the students that didn’t want to use their data or the VPNs trials ended, A new policy followed with the block, phones were to be stowed away during class time, unless told otherwise. This new policy so far this year has been shown rather effective, and according to City High teacher John Burkle, it has so far shown improvement compared to previous years.

“In the past, phones have been a big problem. You get kids who are on them all the time, and the communication can be a problem, taking pictures of assignments and sharing them, and just the integrity of your class can come into question,” Burkle said.

With the combination of Snapchat being blocked and the new phone policy occurring this year, it is apparent that cell phone usage is being cracked down on in classrooms.

“More kids are attentive, more kids put them away and keep them away,” Burkle said.