Blocking Inappropriate Content

Request Blocking of Inappropriate Content

To request that an inappropriate web address (called a URL, or universal resource locator) be added to the APS content filter, click here to fill out a Google Form that will alert the appropriate personnel.

The APS content filter is not directly managed by the school, but if you have questions about the filter or the process described below, you may contact Mr. Reeves at keith.reeves@apsva.us.

Content Filtering

APS-issued student iPads in the Personalized Learning program are not the same as devices purchased by consumers. They include additional security and network controls that are “built in” to the device. Consequently, the iPad uses a content filter, controlled by APS, no matter what network the iPad uses. While some families use content filters of their own on their home networks – which will certainly still work with the APS iPads – even on unsecure, public networks, the APS content filter is still in place.

When a student attempts to access instructional, appropriate content, the system works like this:

The iPad makes a request (through, for example, a Web Browser), and that request travels through the network (no matter which network), and reaches the APS content filter. Under the Children’s Internet Protection Act (a Federal law called CIPA, pronounced SEE-pah), APS must filter three major sets of content:

  • Obscenity, as defined by the Supreme Court in Miller v. California,
  • Pornography, as defined by 18 U.S.C. 2256, and
  • Content that is “harmful to minors” or “inappropriate matter,” as determined by the local school agency, in this case, APS.

The first two categories are clearly defined by the Supreme Court and by Federal statute. The latter category is left to local control, and as such, APS may block content that it considers inappropriate, in addition to the materials that it must block under the CIPA statute.

All of these categories of filtered or “blocked” content are listed in the APS content filter.

When a student attempts to access inappropriate, blocked content, the system works like this:

ipad_blocked

Again, no matter which network the iPad is on, or whether that network is filtered or not, the APS content filter is still in effect, and cannot be disabled.

Because the content available online shifts constantly and incessantly, the filter needs human input. If you identify any content access on a student iPad that you feel is inappropriate, please click here to fill out a Google Form that will alert the appropriate personnel.