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As you all know, Spotify was recently blocked on March 17, 2017 during 7th block for Henrico County Public Schools and is now categorized as a "Staff-Only-No-Student" website. Spotify was a frequently used application when students had independent work time (such as worksheets or projects). Now, students are having more problems trying to find ways to listen to music due to the disappearance of Spotify. Now, students are more likely to search inappropriate websites or hack websites in order to search for music. Studies have shown the benefits of music on learning and growth, and how music increases focus as well as productivity. According to several scientific studies, music increases memory as well. Not only does music provide developmental benefits, it also makes working more fun, and surveys have shown that people feel better and are more productive when they listen to music while working. One study concluded that a group of teenagers (13-17) got more questions correct on a math worksheet while listening to music and were also more focused as compared to when they completed a math worksheet of similar questions without listening to music. Furthermore, the HCPS Student Code of Conduct follows the Children Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to filter websites on county computers. The HCPS Code of Conduct and the CIPA rules both state that technology should be used for educational, legally obtained, students will keep and use their own usernames and passwords, and websites deemed harmful to students and their education will not be permitted to access. If examined carefully, Spotify does not violate any of the HCPS Code of Conduct and the CIPA rules. Additionally, after careful exploration, Spotify does not violate the Code of Conducts of Chesterfield County, Richmond City, Goochland County, and Hanover County either. Spotify allows students easy access to music and there is no reason why it should be blocked. It is, in fact, used for instructional purposes and better focus. From a teacher's perspective, Spotify might be misused, but if someone is misusing this privilege, then they should be punished solely instead of everyone having to deal with the outcome. There are also clean versions to songs in Spotify and teachers can recommend the usage of headphones for everyone's benefit. Additionally, Spotify and headphones should be used with a teacher's permission, so there is no reason why Spotify cannot be available to students. Also, unlike when students are using their computers to play games, when students are using their computers to listen to music, it is evident since they are either wearing headphones or music is audible. All websites and technology is used with a teacher's permission so if your teacher feels strongly about listening to music during class, then that is their decision to make. If Spotify is unblocked, then it will be the teacher's decision when music is allowed, as it was before Spotify was blocked.
Please help us to unblock Spotify. Share this with fellow HCPS students who are struggling through these tough times. Please share with all grade levels and schools, and if possible try getting this petition to teachers as well. If you have anything to add in the comments, feel free to do so as long as it is helpful and useful to our cause.
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