Ghosted: Snapchat banned from ICCSD WiFi

Students will not be able to access Snapchat on the school wifi this school year in response to a decision from the administrative council.


The Iowa City Community School District’s technology department announced that they had the ability to block social media apps from the district’s WiFi. Through a “pretty unanimous” decision made in the Spring, the administrative council, which is composed of principals and other administrators district wide, voted to block Snapchat from the WiFi network. It was enacted this school year.

There are three reasons it was chosen to be blocked: they did not find that teachers or students were using it educationally, it slows down the WiFi and was at the “nexus of the most dramatic incident last year involving cyberbullying,” as said by Principal Dr. Shoultz.

“Cyberbullying was impossible to follow up on with Snapchat,” said Shoultz. “The victim is left in a situation where they are having to describe what it was and they can’t unless they are a quick actor on their phone.”

The “most dramatic incident” Shoultz was referring to was in November of last school year when a student allegedly posted a Snapchat threatening the safety of the students and faculty at West. Refer to the related stories tab for the full story.

“We followed up on it rigorously, but given the nature of Snapchat, you get into a situation of ‘I didn’t do it.’ ‘Yes, you did.’ ‘No, I didn’t.'”

The district does not plan to at the moment, to Shoultz knowledge, to block other social media. Students are still able to use the app with data, but can’t use district’s resources to access Snapchat.

Featured image by Isabelle Robles.