Another Teen Who Stands Up to School Gets in Hot Water Over Internet Antics

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Aunty’s dear readers will remember the story of Eliazar Velasquez, the high school student who caught his principal smoking – on camera – and posted the evidence to the Internet. Velasquez was suspended for his trouble, although he was ultimately reinstated.

Now another high school student, Conrad Sykes, of Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Washington, has felt the heavy lean of the Man, as he was told by his school to take down one of his websites. The site in question, BadDog, was set up as a proxy server, allowing students from the school to end-run the school’s Internet content filter, known as “Bess”.


According to Sykes, he created BadDog and made it available in order to “help every one at my high school to regain there [sic] internet freedoms and be able to use the internet in a productive way without the censorware system interfering in the educational process.”

Seems a laudable goal. But apparently the school didn’t think so, and Sykes was suspended and ordered to take the site down, which he did. Sykes’ computer teacher, who had invited Sykes to speak at a class about the traffic on BadDog, was also reprimanded.

Said Sykes of the incident, on his blog, “I also feel grateful that I only got a suspension and not an explosion [sic].”

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Hmmm….perhaps if the school concentrated more on things like..writing and spelling, rather than penalizing an otherwise bright kid for a brilliant piece of coding sleight-of-hand, we’d all be a little bit better off.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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6 thoughts on “Another Teen Who Stands Up to School Gets in Hot Water Over Internet Antics

  1. That is completely rediculous. The school can very easily block the ‘baddog’ website just as it can any other website that baddog was trying to help students get to. And, why did he have to take down a personal website, on personal webspace, for the school? He could have fought this one. Had it been taken high enough (i.e. out of his school, and into the board or education) and everyone followed the right rules instead of violating them when they deem more convienant (as schools often do), he would have won. There is nothing wrong with a proxy website. If the school doesn’t like it, they can block it. This isn’t even hacking, it’s just website creation. If the schools “Internet Terms of Use” specifically say “don’t go to proxy websites” (and it may) then he is only guilty of visiting the website he created.

  2. The student probably violated the school system’s Internet Acceptable Use policy and should have been subject to the consequences of his actions. School systems are required by law to have a content filter in place in order to qualify for federal funds to support technology. Also, school systems must protect all ages of students from objectionable material. The vast majority of educational content is acceptable for all students. Personal browsing should be done on personal time, not in school.

  3. The only reason I actually agree with the school, is that the student actually “hacked” around a security feature…. Might have been a reather stupid, I remember my high school’s ridiculous filters, but they are put there for a reason and his website had the only purpose of getting around it.

    My question for the school: Why didn’t you just add a filter to your “protection” software which blocks his server??

  4. There are hundreds of other proxy servers the students can use. What is the school going to do then? Can schools (or your boss) make you take down a site that they do not like?

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