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Lightspeed Explained

Since May of 2013, Lightspeed has been filtering the Internet content that students can access to protect them from certain websites.  Because each student at NCHS has their own school-issued MacBook, Lightspeed is in effect both at school and at home.

During this school year alone, students have made numerous complaints about websites being regulated at home.  Most students believe that if they are given a laptop to take home at night, they should be able to access it how they wish.  Jenna Macke, jr., says, “I think we should be able to get on whatever websites we want at home because it’s our personal time…obviously with some restrictions against inappropriate use.”

Students and parents seem to get the idea that Lightspeed should not be in effect after school hours because the laptop handbook states “Internet filtering will not be provided at the student’s home.”  However, what often goes misunderstood is that this statement means the school will not provide special restrictions at home for students (i.e. keeping Susanna off of Facebook because her parents requested it).  The handbook explains, “This will be the parent/guardian’s responsibility.”

Though students appear to disagree with Lightspeed’s limitations, Clint Heideman, NCHS’s Information Technology worker, believes that it is useful.  Heideman says it ensures that “students are protected from malicious websites.”

The use of MacBooks places a lot of responsibility on the students to use them appropriately.  Consequently, Lightspeed is in effect to enforce safe Internet use.  Heideman explains, “the school is required by the state to do that or we will lose funding.”

Although Lightspeed can be a burden, it is in place for just reasons.  The school receives funding and also protects us, as students, so it is here to stay.

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