Blocked web sites, filtering, and "why can't I override this?"...

I've had a bunch of questions lately about blocked web sites and overriding the block; I thought I'd take a little time here to clarify the situation.


I. Rationale:

From the It Services web page:
 

The Minneapolis Public schools filters for three reasons:

• It is required for Federal funding
• We have an obligation to block inappropriate information
• We need to limit our network bandwidth
There is a misconception that all blocked sites are being blocked because of content, but the reality is that many sites are blocked due to bandwidth. Video and audio sites tend to tie up our network with too much traffic...thus slowing down everyone else.





II. Overriding the block:

Currently, staff can override blocks on Youtube, Vimeo, and Twitter, and then only for professional/curriculum related reasons.  Navigating to other blocked sites will bring up the same page with override button - but the override will not work.  See below for details on what to do next.



III. What to do if you feel the block is in error:

MPS uses an automated system to set up web filtering; it can and does make mistakes as far as which sites get blocked.  If you have a site you feel should be available to MPS students and staff (or conversely, one you feel should be blocked), please go to the following web page and fill in the request form:

https://staff.mpls.k12.mn.us/Depts/its/Pages/Block-Unblock-Requests.aspx

IT Services will then investigate and make a decision on blocking/unblocking the site in question.



I hope this clarifies the situation for everyone.  Please feel free to let me know if you have questions or concerns about any of this.