VPN users blocked on Guest Wi-Fi

District places limits on internet use

Sam Orloff

Student use of Virtual Private Networks to circumvent Wi-Fi restrictions has resulted in many devices being blocked, according to district information services director Tom Marble.

Marble, who was interviewed via email, said Virtual Private Network (VPN) use would constitute a violation of the Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy.

VPN and Proxy software are used to circumvent restrictions placed on business and corporate networks,” Marble said.  “Therefore, the use of these applications or services is in violation of the district’s acceptable policy.”

According to senior Carter Schmelzle, VPN use allowed students to better take advantage of internet services.

“They should bring back VPN use so I can watch things like Netflix again,” Schmelzle said.

Marble said students with blocked devices can request for the device to be reinstated in the media center.

Junior Ilana Meisler connects to Guest Wi-Fi. Many students have responded to slow internet connections and social media blockages blockages with VPNs.

Esther Gendler
Junior Ilana Meisler connects to Guest Wi-Fi. Many students have responded to slow internet connections and social media blockages with VPNs.

Media specialist Ellen George said the media center was chosen to be the location where devices could be reinstated because it is a convenient location for students.

“It’s gotta be written down so they decided it would be easiest for use to take it down,” George said. “It’s just a matter of identifying the device.”

According to George, students must provide the media center desk with their name, student ID, the name of the device, the device’s Wi-Fi address and the name of the VPN app.

Sophomore Ashley Severson said she used a VPN because of slow Wi-Fi speeds, only for her device to be blocked.

“I tried to get around it but they got me,” Severson said. “I didn’t know you could go to the media center (to get devices reinstated).”

Marble said students face additional repercussions if additional violations are incurred.

“If the student is blocked a second time for violating the Acceptable Use Policy, they will be referred to the High School administration,” Marble said.

Marble said student connection to other wifi networks also constitutes a violation of district policy.

“If we discover non-district owned devices that are connecting to networks other than the SLP Guest network, the device will be blocked,” Marble said.  “Disciplinary action would be considered depending upon the situation.”