TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites

Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites

Fred Atkinson (
Fri, 3 Jun 2005 21:10:03 -0400

A couple of years ago, I was teaching special college courses for the
local technical college here in the area. The courses were part of an
alliance between our college and the county school system. We were
offering the students a chance to get college credit while they were
still in high school. And we taught it at the county career center
rather than the college campus. The students had to pass our college
entrance exam to be eligible, of course. I was teaching them 'PC
Maintenance and Repair' and 'Computer Networking'. For those kids who
were willing to work, it was a great opportunity to get a headstart on
college. Some of them did quite well, too. Of course, there are
always the students who show up thinking that you are just going to
pass them for showing up and taking the tests. About three or four of
them did not complete both courses. I told them up front it wasn't
going to be a free ride.

I was an adjunct at the college and I wasn't a staff member of the
county school system. Therefore, I did not have an email account from
either one of them. I do have Web access to my email account on my
domain ''. I would pull up a browser at the school to
view my messages with some of them from the college, some of them from
folks at the school district, and some of them my own messages for
different things I was involved in.

One day (after I'd been teaching there for about a month and a half),
I tried to pull up the Web access for my mail server and got the
school district message saying that the site had been blocked. I
called and asked why. I was told it was because students were not
allowed to access their personal email from school district computers.

I pointed out that there was only one email account on that site, that
it was my account, and that I had no other email address to use for
college and school correspondence. I assured them that I was not
going to give students email accounts on my mail server.

It took a couple of weeks, a written justification, and a few phone
calls and emails to the right people, but finally they lifted the

On another note, I later discovered that they had QSL Net blocked as
an 'inappropriate site' (I know the ham radio operators on TD will be
quite shocked by this). I wrote up a justification for unblocking it
and made a few phone calls and emails. But before the end of the
semester, I convinced them that there was no justification for
blocking it. It took a good fight and I got a lady ham radio operator
at the school district headquarters involved. But we got it done.

Sadly, they do these things without looking at how it adversely
affects faculty and staff and what it may deprive the kids of. On the
latter, ham radio is a very educational hobby and they shouldn't be
denying the kids access to information about it.




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