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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, How to punish Proxy Bypassers? in Technical; Hello all. We have a persistent problem with students who want to use proxy bypass sites to access Facebook / ...
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    Angry How to punish Proxy Bypassers?

    Hello all.

    We have a persistent problem with students who want to use proxy bypass sites to access Facebook / Bebo / MSN etc. The way we use our Internet here is that its on 24/7 and students can access everything apart from the obvious, and things like social networking and anything that could relate to bullying etc.

    Students who abuse the trust get put in a restricted list, but then I have teachers saying 'can you put them back on for one lesson and then take her off again' etc. In the past I thought OK, I'll get them and their parents to resign their AUP and then put them back on. I do this and sure enough the same names crop up withing a few months.

    What do you guys do? Do you send letters home to parents? Do you just leave them off the Internet and inform their parents what's happening and why?

    I'm thinking about putting the whole school on a lockdown for one week to restricted sites, and let them see that we're actually being NICE to them! Just because they cant access their facebook account isnt the end of the world!

    Anyway... some feedback really would be appreciated.

    Adam

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    We have appropriate filtering in place (whitelisted), but any offenders have internet disabled.

    If they/the teacher comes and sees us they are politely told to see the head of year.

    Disciplining kids is above my pay scale - let the people who are paid to do it do it.

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    We don't punish them as such for accessing proxy sites, we do block all uncategorized content though. Some get through if they fall into the wrong category but if I do a search on internet use for known 'offenders' I soon find the latest threat.

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    We had this issue for quite some time. I spent about 6 months looking at different filtering solutions which could actually block proxy sites even if they weren't categorised (Proxy sites appear/reappear on new domain names daily). In my search I came across Smoothwall. We no longer have a problem with proxy sites.

    Smoothwall performs dynamic content analysis on sites which haven't been categorised. This flags up all proxy sites instantly. We haven't had a single issue with proxy sites for the last 2 years.

  5. Thanks to markberry from:

    tom_newton (26th November 2010)

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    We now have a member of SLT who deal with this stuff. As soon as we spot it, they get their computer account locked. This stays locked until they've seen the member of SLT responsible, no 'can you put them back on' requests are accepted under any circumstances. The SLT keeps a log of any violations of AUP and the punishment increases depending on number of incidents, so they start off with a warning, then letter home, the detention plus letter home, then complete network ban for a fixed period, etc.
    Getting a member of SLT involved seemed to crack this problem, especially the very firm line he takes in not allowing them back on until they've seen him.

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    We drop them to an "educational only" whitelisted filter - so they can get to specified educational sites - but not to most stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamtate View Post
    Hello all.

    We have a persistent problem with students who want to use proxy bypass sites to access Facebook / Bebo / MSN etc. The way we use our Internet here is that its on 24/7 and students can access everything apart from the obvious, and things like social networking and anything that could relate to bullying etc.

    Students who abuse the trust get put in a restricted list, but then I have teachers saying 'can you put them back on for one lesson and then take her off again' etc. In the past I thought OK, I'll get them and their parents to resign their AUP and then put them back on. I do this and sure enough the same names crop up withing a few months.

    What do you guys do? Do you send letters home to parents? Do you just leave them off the Internet and inform their parents what's happening and why?

    I'm thinking about putting the whole school on a lockdown for one week to restricted sites, and let them see that we're actually being NICE to them! Just because they cant access their facebook account isnt the end of the world!

    Anyway... some feedback really would be appreciated.

    Adam
    We got computer based "offences" written in to the regular list of other offences so depending on the severity - letter home, detentions, isolation all the way up to exclusion.

    We got rid of banning them from computers/internet access a few years ago. I felt (and the IT strategy group agreed) that it is not an appropriate punishment as it usually ends in 1 teacher banning and the next asking for them to be put back on.
    There seems little point in having 2 sets of punishments when it all comes under misbehaving - if they graffitied somewhere we wouldn't stop them using pens, if they ripped up a text book we wouldn't stop them using other books so if they abuse IT in anyway they still get to use it but are punished in other ways.

    Seems to work for us here.

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    The problem with locking accounts is, as the OP says, that the kids cannot do their coursework. In these days of VLEs and the like we're not doing them, or ourselves, any favours by doing this. We're certainly not teaching them how to use the web properly. In fact we found that locking their accounts simply encouraged them to use someone else's account and thus avoid further detection or else get the blame put on someone else. Also, as mentioned, is it really OUR job to discipline children? I seem to remember the teaching unions producing a list of 25 jobs that teachers shouldn't do - disciplining children is one of the few remaining jobs that IS theirs. It's certainly not ours and neither is Classroom Management, i.e. locking accounts to prevent pupils misbehaving.

    For the past year we've simply refused point blank to do the teacher's job for them (like they've done to us). As far as we're concerned if a pupil misbehaves in class it's the teacher's job to sort it out - if a pupil can't behave on his/her computer then the teacher should remove them from it (not the IT Support staff). It's made our lives far easier and we're not laying ourselves open to any future claims of interfering with any child's education by preventing them from completing coursework.

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    4 week total internet ban for those that offend, but has to be something strong, normally head of house is the one that punishes.

    This was before the VLE came in, harder now though as they need internet for class work to access the VLE.

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    I've said it before and will say it again. Stop thinking you are the judge, jury and exectutioner!!!!! The school has a discipline policy. Use it. IT is usually a classroom management things and should be dealt with as such. The same way you deal with truancy, smoking, bringing in pr0n mags, bringing in offensive weapons ... it is not the role of the IT Support team to decide the punishment, just to help identify what the problems are and to possibly help provide evidence.

  12. 2 Thanks to GrumbleDook:

    srochford (29th November 2010), Sylv3r (29th November 2010)

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    We follow our IT Policy (ohhh hark at us!), they go on an educational whitelist for a period of time, depending on how many times they have offended before. They can still access VLE, intranet, Bitesize and few other online resources as specified by staff that were essential. Any staff asking for special cases are judged on merit but 99 times out of 10 told no, it is a sanction and if it was that important for them to use the internet, they know the rules, they shouldn't have got banned.
    SMT either have a word or a letter gets sent home, explaining what has happened and what will happen.

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    As Grumbledook says its not for you to decide. Thankfully we have managed to get the support of SLT but I do know how annoying it can be. SLT ban kids, and only SLT can unban them. If this means they can't do any work as SLT are not availible then tough. Although this is easier said than done, the teacher should have alternative lesson plans for if the internet is down anyway. All you can do is document how much time you are wasting by putting them off and on all the time and refer it to SLT. If they are happy with you spending an hour or two per week doing it then they must accept that other jobs will go undone.

    Also as has been said get a good proxy. If this means moving away from the county supplied one then so be it. We are currently budgeting for smoothwall next year as our current one has already wasted around 60 hours of our time since Sept.! Our last proxy was slapped together by myself using Dansguardian (which Smoothwall is based on). After the kids realised there was no point in trying they gave up. Yeah there probably was some sites that got through, but they were so few and far between the kids couldnt be bothered. Unfortunately SLT didn't like the fact it was unsupported - they are regretting that decision.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 29th November 2010 at 01:50 PM.

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