Students caught for passing the word on Wi-Fi

Junior+Josh+Higa+uses+his+computer+for+online+resources+in+completing+his+coat+of+arms+for+World+History.+Kamehameha+Maui+has+a+1%3A1+laptop+program%2C+and+students+regularly+use+computers+to+do+school+and+classwork%2C+but+recently%2C+about+150+students+were+found+in+violation+of+the+school%27s+Internet+access+policy.

Photo by Destinee Murray

Junior Josh Higa uses his computer for online resources in completing his coat of arms for World History. Kamehameha Maui has a 1:1 laptop program, and students regularly use computers to do school and classwork, but recently, about 150 students were found in violation of the school’s Internet access policy.

Vice-Principal Leo Delatori has caught high school students accessing the administrator Wi-Fi, and he has been pulling students into his office for questioning.

“Most students were very honest, and I’m thankful for that,” Mr. Delatori said.

High school administration asked the Information Technology department to investigate, and they discovered about 150 students logged onto the teacher Wi-Fi.

IT is the group of technicians contracted by the school to help solve technology problems and to service and administer the laptop program.

Kamehameha Schools Maui has two Wi-Fi connections: one for faculty and one for students. Over the past month or so, the password for the administrator Wi-Fi was leaked among the students.

“It slowed down the Internet connection that teacher’s use for their work,” Mr. Delatori said about how he first knew something was wrong.

Although no specific original culprit was found, students have confessed that they got the password from an unnamed friend. Once the log-on was out, it became a game of Telephone — one student shared the password with one friend, and that friend shared it with another, and so on.

As the number of students logged onto the Wi-Fi increased, it became more noticeable that something was wrong with the administrator Wi-Fi.

One junior* said, “The student Wi-Fi was too slow, and I wanted to listen to music,” as his reason for breaking the rules.

The student Wi-Fi access is more limited than the administration access. The school blocks students from certain websites to provide a better learning environment, Mr. Delatori said. Sites like YouTube, Facebook, and other social networking sites distract students from doing assigned work, he said.

Some students who were questioned said that they were using these sites for school assignments.

Mr. Delatori said he didn’t see that as a reasonable excuse to do something that was wrong.

He explained to students that were called into his office that if they were caught again on the next IT report, they would incur additional consequences, up to and including suspension from school.

For now, administrators are keeping a close eye on the school’s Wi-Fi.

*Although Ka Leo o Nā Koa has a policy against using anonymous sources, we chose not to name this student because he is a minor and is admitting to violating school rules.