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Westlake parents pushing for stricter YouTube access on school devices

The concerned parents cite the possibility of students accessing inappropriate content, as well as of students being distracted during the school day.

AUSTIN, Texas — Some Westlake parents are pushing for stricter YouTube access on the devices provided to Eanes ISD students, according to a report from KVUE's media partners at the Austin American-Statesman.

Eanes ISD students can be issued an iPad with limited online access for schoolwork and YouTube videos. But some parents want stricter restrictions.

According to the Statesman, the concerned parents cite the possibility of students accessing inappropriate content, as well as of students being distracted during the school day.

The district devices already have a series of monitoring tools in place. Eanes ISD's chief technology officer told the Statesman that the devices have three web filters in place that limit content based on a range of categories including gaming, weapons and violence, and drugs and alcohol. The iPads also have YouTube restricted mode turned on, which blocks comment sections and suggested videos. 

According to the Statesman, Eanes ISD elementary schoolers are issued so-called "green iPads," which have the most comprehensive restrictions in place. The green iPad setting was created in 2019 when a 6-year-old viewed inappropriate content on a school-issued device.

But despite the restrictions already in place, some parents believe the district can do more to further restrict what students can see on their school iPads. Some have called for the district to limit students' YouTube access to only teacher-approved videos or to switch to a video platform that only contains more limited educational content.  

To learn more about the parents' concerns and read more of the district's response, read the Statesman's full report.

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