Students Frustrated as BCPS Blocks Google

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Students Frustrated as BCPS Blocks Google

Jakob Decker, Staff Writer

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“We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”  

This phrase (taken from Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace) is a prime example of the Socratic Paradox, or the “I know that I know nothing” principle. Yes, it’s confusing, but with so much information in the modern-day world, it has never been more important—because while the Internet does allow people to share memes and make fun of Elon Musk, it also provides access to near-infinite information. 

For the past two decades, Google has represented the latter. As the world’s most popular website (by Alexa rank), Google is a symbol of modern-day knowledge, but if you’re reading this article, you’re probably already familiar with the world’s most popular search engine.  

For the students that use it daily, it’s a lifesaver. Unfortunately, BCPS has blocked Google, leaving many CHS students frustrated. 

“When I go to get all of my info for topics we are researching, I go to Google—now, I can’t,” sophomore Matthew Wilson said.  

Senior Jacob Sakk concurred, stating that he feels unable to “use [his] computer to its full potential” due to the block, and that the block is counterproductive to “why [students] got the computers in the first place”. 

With Google blocked, students are forced to find alternative search engines to access the information they need; however, they feel that these alternatives limit their academic potential. 

Wilson said that these alternatives (which include Bing, Yahoo, and Ask) are “inferior to Google because Google’s interface and tools are far simpler.” Sakk considered Bing to be “very unreliable”. 

If CHS students are frustrated, BCPS is to blame for blocking Google, not CHS. An official statement from BCPS sheds some light on the reasoning behind the block.  

Basically, the problem was caused by an attempt to fix a different technological problem, specifically a “device disconnect issue”. They stated that “[a] recent change to a network configuration to troubleshoot the disconnect issue is causing Google…to not always work consistently”. 

While necessary, the block on Google has had a severe impact on CHS students, perhaps more than any website block in known history. One can only hope that BCPS will lift it sooner than later, but for now, Bing will have to do.