The Netflix Ban

Cassondra Flanery, Staff Writer

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Netflix is not so chill at Helix anymore.

Over the summer, Netflix was blocked on school chromebooks. As students returned to campus, they soon noticed how they could not access the site anymore, which is causing annoyance and outrage among some Scotties.

According to CNN, Netflix is a more than 70 billion dollar company, so it is no surprise that everyone either has it or wishes they did. Their online streaming service is particularly popular with Helix students who, last year, enjoyed using it throughout their day.

Brian Kick, Director of Data System & IT at Helix, said that teachers and parents had been encouraging the administration to prohibit students from accessing Netflix for a while, but, “didn’t block it until the end of May.”

Sofia Martinez, a sophomore at Helix, realized the change pretty quickly. “I used it all the time last year,” she said wistfully, “I don’t really know why they banned it.”

The big question of why they banned it was answered by Executive Director, Kevin Osborn, who pronounced that the goal is to, “ban anything that gets in the way of learning.”

Indeed, administration tracks which sites garner the most visits, and Netflix was up at the top. “We’re gradually creating boundaries,” Mr. Kick stated while Mr. Osborn added with a smile, “we’re still learning.”

Overall, administration wants to focus on education, not entertainment.

The banning of certain YouTube channels has both positive and negative effects, which complicates the issue.

Emmy Long, an avid YouTube watcher and Helix sophomore, expressed irritation at the fact that many YouTubers’ channels had been blocked off from viewing, stating, “it’s dumb that they did this because many other people just want to watch YouTube in their free time, not in class.” However, Mr. Kick clarified that ultimately, he wants the chromebooks to last the full four years of Helix, and doesn’t want them to be burned out by viewing nonessential videos.  

“Our goal,” both clarified, “is for students to use their chromebooks for more powerful learning.” Mr. Osborn introduced the idea of leverage with using technology, to get the most out of what we have. Binge-watching your favorite show for the third time is not necessarily using the chromebook to its fullest advantage according to Osborn’s definition.

“We can’t change the way the future is heading,” Osborn followed up, “but we can transform the way we relate to technology.”

Conclusively, the chromebooks were given to help with learning in the classroom, not for discovering new movies to watch.

Nevertheless, both students interviewed agreed that they just want Netflix back. Maybe, with time, the administration will let Netflix back on the chromebooks, but for now, Scotties will have to chill on their own.

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