School District Eliminates Public WIFI, Students Inconvenienced


Before the student WIFI was terminated, students had the option to connect to a password free network. Now they are unable to access any network to utilize their non school commissioned devices.

Olivia Moody, Newspaper Editor

Students had an unpleasant surprise when they came to school several weeks ago and were unable to connect to their coveted public school Wi-Fi. 

Although the reason behind the termination is still a mystery, district superintendent Michael Kilne noted that, “Our number one priority is to have a strong and safe internet signal for students and staff to provide all the beneficial aspects of the world wide web.”

When the district had a public network, they had to block certain sites like YouTube and social media sites to ensure that students were not disrupting their learning time. While many staff members found this beneficial, the lack of a public network now makes it harder for students to access most of anything on their private devices.

Because the high school is made of concrete blocks, without the public Wi-Fi or a hotspot, even data does not always work. 

“I use my phone a lot to check school related emails anyways so it [Wi-Fi] kind of needs to be there,” noted Lydia Sandbulte. 

“I think the fact that they took away the public Wi-Fi is absolutely dreadful. I can’t even text my mom in school anymore. How am I supposed to contact my family if there is an emergency?” stated Michael Shane. 

While many students are upset over this, Matt May noted, “My data works in the high school, so I’m really not [that impacted by it].” 

Students that take online DMACC classes, as well as other online classes, often struggle to view their classwork. Students Alexis Dorsett and Victoria Nerem have to use non-school-issued chromebooks because some of the websites they need for their online classes are blocked by the school. 

Nerum expressed her concerns, “I am so outraged by this Wi-Fi issue because now I can’t use my MacBook. Why did I spend money on a computer that I am not allowed to use in this building?” 

While these students are only mildly impacted, students with medical conditions, such as diabetes, rely on monitors or programs on their phone to track their glucose levels. These devices require data or Wi-Fi in order to fulfil their purpose. 

Sabrina Fields is one of these students that is impacted by the termination of public Wi-Fi. “I am still able to view my glucose levels if I use cellular data (which is what I have to do now). So, in short, Wi-Fi would be very nice for viewing my blood sugars, but it is not required.” 

Fields previously relied on the schools public Wi-Fi to view her glucose levels, and thankfully she already had cellular data to switch to after the termination. Unfortunately, not all students have cellular data or data that works within the concrete walls of the school. 

Many students also posed the question of whether guests, such as referees and presenters would have access to some sort of connection that they would require. “We will be adding a Guest Network that is separate from the Staff and Student ones,” Kline explained. There will be a network that is password protected for outside guests to utilize. Because the network is password protected, the school does not have to block any sites such as social media and YouTube.

Kline would like to note that, “students will not have access to this network because they already have access to the Student network with their school device.”