Q) Why internet filtering?
A) With the implementation of Technology Enabled Classrooms, there has been an increase in the number of personally-owned devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops brought into the Board’s schools and workplaces to connect through the Board’s wireless network. While digital citizenship is still an integral component in teaching students appropriate use of technology, the Technology Enabled Classrooms initiative has resulted in the number of personally-owned devices exceeding staff’s ability to supervise usage. Also, with the expansion of the Board’s WiFi, students can access the Halton District School Board wireless network from areas outside of the classroom, which may not be directly supervised by staff.
Q) Who is impacted by this filtering?
A) All staff and students while on the HDSB network.
Q) What categories will be filtered?
A) Websites are filtered based on categories. A third party categorizes all websites found on the Internet. The Halton District School Board will filter adult-content websites (pornographic websites) for all staff and students when on the Board network.
Q) What will students see when accessing a filtered site?
A) An Internet page will be displayed identifying "This website is blocked due to HDSB filtering rules".
Q) What constitutes pornography?
A) The definition of pornography as defined by the filtering vendor is “Mature content websites (18+ years and over) which present or display sexual acts with the intent to sexually arouse and excite.”
Q) What are proxy sites?
A) Proxy sites are separate websites that provide information or tools on how to bypass an Internet filter.
Q) What if there is a request to filter additional categories?
A) Any requests or concerns will be reviewed and may require Board approval before implementation.
Q) What about personal devices not using the Halton District School Board network?
A) Responsibilities regarding digital citizenship are integrated into the curriculum to help guide student usage. However, those devices would not be filtered by the Halton District School Board. Parents may wish to put website filtering tools onto those devices.
Q) Will this impact student learning?
A) This should not impact student learning since only pornography and proxies will be filtered.
Q) What is digital citizenship?
A) Students learn digital citizenship to understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology, and through this learning are able to practice safe, legal and ethical behavior. Digital citizenship teaches students to:
- advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology;
- exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity;
- demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning; and
- exhibit leadership for proper technology use.
Q) Would filtering follow the student home?
A) The blocking is provided through the Board’s Internet network for Board and student owned devices using a wired or wireless connection at Board schools and workplaces. It would not impact home use.
Q) Will this filter filter sites like facebook, YouTube?
A) These types of social media sites would not be filtered since they are not categorized as pornography. YouTube’s “community guidelines” state no pornographic content is permitted on their site.
Q) How will this impact search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo)?
A) Filtering does not impact search engine results. Safesearch is not enabled on Board devices. We are investigating the implementation of Safesearch for Kindergarten to Grade 6.
Q) Will this filter stop inappropriate internet use?
A) No. The purpose of the filter is to block access to pornography and proxy websites. Activities such as cyber-bullying cannot be blocked using an Internet filter. Responsible digital citizenship practices are always encouraged.
Q) How effective is filtering?
A) It is not 100% effective; however the filter provider continually reviews and categorizes websites to ensure accuracy.
Q) What is the process if there is a dispute of a website inclusion or exclusion from filtering?
A) Users will be able to request a review by emailing
If you still have questions, please email