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O BSERVER THE may/june 2012 Jewish Community High School of the Bay “Audemus jura nostra defendere” free speech Memes Intervention Raises Free Speech Issues Inside the Facebook Blocking illustration by the observer This article was written by Micah Fenner & Arno Rosenfeld The administration announced on Wednesday, April 25, that it had blocked access to websites it said consumed too much bandwidth on the student wireless network. The emailed announcement said a handful of websites, including Facebook, were consuming the majority of Renee MacDonald ...On Sports Building Staff Have Rich Sports Backgrounds W e’ve all seen the signs on the bathrooms, telling us to wait while they get cleaned. We’ve seen the windows being cleaned by men in blue shirts. We’ve seen the garbage bins being emptied throughout the day and lined with new black bags. We’ve all experienced the security guards letting us into the parking lot, or greeting us in the morning. But what we don’t see are the people behind these jobs walking home, seeing their families or partaking in their favorite activity. One of the many talented people on our staff here at JCHS is Alvaro, a member of the janitorial service. Throughout the course of a normal day at JCHS, Alvaro can be seen washing the windows, whistling as he works. But if you take a closer look, you can see Alvaro’s Adidas that he wears everyday. These shoes aren’t merely worn for comfort, but allude to a side of Alvaro that is rarely considered by the average student. Please turn to page 5 the bandwidth, compelling the school to block them. The student reaction to this announcement has ranged from outrage to understanding. “It gets extremely irritating when I need to get work done and it takes so much time to load any webpage,” says Yonah Tor (‘12), who has been frustrated recently by the speed of the AirStudents internet connection. Tor is not alone in her sentiment. When sitting in the Commons, it is not uncommon to hear frustrated students banging on the table, or worse, their computers, bemoaning the condition of the school’s internet connection. Bandwidth, for the less technically knowledgeable among us, means the maximum amount of data that can run through the internet connection at one time. Every internet connection has a limited amount of data that it can handle at any given time, and it would appear that the constant connections to Facebook as well as the other sites that were blocked, have been clogging the bandwidth, making it difficult for students and teachers alike to access the internet. The school has been actively working to improve the state of the internet for some time. In February, 2011, The Observer reported that upgrades had made the internet ten times faster. Un- sacremento bee Bill Leonard authored the “Leonard Law” during his time as a fortunately, though the speed of California State Senator. The law grants students at private high the school’s internet connection schools the same first amendment rights as their public school was increased, demand for bandcounterparts. width also increased, as students increased their consumption of maybe through a cartoon, but not online media such as Hulu, You- By ARNO ROSENFELD on the information super-highTube and Pandora, as well as OBSERVER EDITOR way,” said Kertesz in an interview. various internet gaming websites. Kertesz said the administraIt started as a way to mimic In December, 2011, Assistant tion met and reached a consenwhat some students noticed colHead of School Mallory Rome sus that the memes were accepttold The Observer that the ad- leges doing: creating “meme” able but decided to meet with the pages on Facebook as a way to ministration was aware of probstudents in charge of the page poke fun at things about a school lems with internet speed but and request that no names of inneeded “more data” and infor- that only students could relate to. Since the “JCHS Memes!!!1” dividuals be used in the memes. mation from teachers before tak“We felt…that there was a cerpage posted the link to a meme ing any action. According to the tain number of them that made generator on the night of Februannouncement, signed by Rome fun of people,” Kertesz said, addand Director of Technology Tony ary 13 with the message, “use it ing, “Anything that intentionwisely,” the page has garnered Gruen, a “regular analysis of the ally or unintentionally makes network” revealed the websites 142 fans and published over 50 fun of, or humiliates someone responsible for the slowdown. “memes,” a few words over a in public is wrong and shouldn’t In the past, Gruen has been simple background, in this case happen in a Jewish school.” one featuring the JCHS logo. reluctant to increase network Ben Oreper (’12), who creBut beyond attracting fans capacity, saying students simply ated the page, said Kertesz met and laughs, the page caught the needed to use it responsibly. At with him about not using indithe start of the Technology Ini- eye of several JCHS parents vidual’s names in the memes. tiative, the program launched at who alerted the administration, Oreper said this “brought up the start of the 2010-2011 school which then proceeded to talk to an issue I’d already considered year requiring students have lap- several of the students involved posting on the [page] about.” with the meme project and lay tops and encouraging the use of This amenable attitude was out guidelines for acceptable technology in classroom, Gruen common among the page admeme creation. The involvesaid the network was “more than ministrators who the deans adequate” so long as students ment of the administration, spespoke to, and it was agreed did not download large files and cifically the student deans Rabbi that names would be banned otherwise abided by the internet Dean Kertesz and Michelle Matz, from memes on the page. the online-speech of students guidelines set forth in a contract But the issue brings up the raises first amendment issues. all students were required to sign. “[This] was something I would have done in the pre-comPlease turn to page 4 Please turn to page 5 puter age just in conversation or observer investigation Israel Journey Tour Provider CEO Harbors Right-Wing Views Strong political views on Israeli-Palestinian conflict published online By MICAH FENNER OBSERVER STAFF WRITER The Junior Journey to Israel began three years ago as a joint Junior-Senior trip, and in all past years the Israeli tour company Keshet has overseen programming and assisted the school in planning the trip. The trip was first organized by former JCHS faculty member and Chair of Israel Education, Igael Gurin-Malous, in coopera- flickr Yitzhak Sokoloff, founder & CEO of Keshet, said that Israel leaving the West Bank would be a ‘retreat to the borders of Auschwitz’ copyright the observer 2012. volume 3, issue 6; 10 pages tion with Keshet. “They all start the same,” Gurin-Malous, who has years of experience planning and organizing such trips, said of the planning process. Rabbi Dean Kertesz, who took over the trip planning this year after Gurin-Malous left the school, said the planning process is pretty standard: the school sends a list of goals or themes that they would like to have represented in the itinerary, and Keshet will propose an itinerary based on those goals. The itinerary is then edited and modified by JCHS so it fits the needs Please turn to page 6

Observer May 2012

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