Google ban detrimental to productivity

Geoffrey Dochat and Morgan Pierce

Baltimore County Public School’s recent decision to block popular search engine Google has left students like junior Phuong Nguyen struggling to efficiently access reliable and relevant information.

“It makes it [challenging] for me to do research, and it takes longer to use other sites like Bing,” Nguyen said.

On the contrary, computer science teacher Nathanial Cool explained why the banning of Google was necessary for a conducive learning environment.

“BCPS has a responsibility to prevent minors from accessing inappropriate material online. Parents put trust in the school to keep their students safe. It is a careful balancing act between security and user-friendliness,” Cool said.

The key argument for the ban was due to students abusing Google Images. Graphics deemed inappropriate were easily accessible and subsequently disruptive. The quickest way for BCPS to promote and ensure safety was to block the system in its entirety.

Marketing teacher Jamie Bare’s is optimistic for the future of “Growing Up Digital”, BCPS’s initiative for implementing technology in classrooms.

“I have a feeling the ban will be lifted and hopefully, the blocked content on Google will be targeted instead of just generally blocking everything,” Bare said.

Chinese teacher and technology liaison, Matthew Lovett, echoes Bare’s thoughts.

“It’s ridiculous that Google was banned in the first place. It’s the most popular and reliable search engine and the best browser. The vulnerability should not call for such drastic measures. [Luckily], last I heard, they were working towards lifting the ban,” he said.

Despite his frustrations, Lovett empathizes with the theory behind the ban.

“I get it to an extent. But kids are smart. They always find a way around it,” Lovett said.

Junior Alex Kim echoes Lovett’s thoughts on the fault in the ban.

“It’s way too easy to work around the [Google] blockage. It’s not a viable solution to the bigger issue that is at hand here,” he said.

Teachers in the building are not the only ones who have struggled with accepting the recent technological ban.

“Punishing everybody for the fault of a few is unfair,” senior Frank Ruggiero said. “Google is accessible in all facets of our lives, except for school.”

Due to inconsistencies in the blockage, a portion of the student body is still able to use and access Google and Google images. The remainder will continue to cooperate with the ban and rely on alternative search engine methods.