LGSUHSD, tear down this bookmark!

May 4, 2021 — by Shaan Sridhar

For students attending schools in Saratoga and Los Gatos, Google is God.

The Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District (LGSUHSD) uses GSuite for writing essays, creating project portfolios, designing group presentations and sending emails; the Saratoga Union School District (SUSD) uses Google Classroom, a learning management system; and The Falcon uses its own GSuite for all of our writing, editing and organizing (this article was written on Google Docs).

And so, I was enraged when I found a big, ugly and permanent bookmark on my Chrome browser. 

I want it gone.

First, some background: I have five email accounts that I regularly check and use, so it’s a bit insane to stay logged in to all of them — four Google and one Yahoo! — on the same browser; I decided to make Google Chrome my school browser (two emails) and Safari my personal browser (three emails).

Since I use Chrome exclusively for school purposes, I decided to log in with my school account; this way, all of my bookmarks like Canvas and tabs would sync with the Chromebooks at school (at those times when it mattered). 

But signing in with my school account means I’m subject to all of the district’s ridiculous online restrictions. 

A little while ago, I was navigating to my Chemistry class’s Zoom link — under the first bookmark folder — when I discovered the unforgivable atrocity: a massive bookmark folder labeled “lgsstudent.org Bookmarks” had appeared with a single useless link to Zoom.com.

Julie Grenier, a tech administrator with the district, said in an email that the bookmark was added by the IT department. She said the Zoom link was the result of the high number of Zoom issues that students were reporting — having the link in an easy-to-access location would make it easier for such students to access the Zoom login page. Grenier said, “The bookmark [folder] will remain on the Chrome browser for the time being.”

It’s frustrating, especially considering the sacrifices I’ve already made to the district’s technology preferences. Every time I have to watch a YouTube video for class, I have to go to Safari since TedTalk videos are not appropriate by the district’s standards. And because I’m logged in with their account, the district is able to see all of my search history.

So LGSUHSD, hear my desperate calls, solve this admittedly first-world problem and get rid of the “lgsstudent.org Bookmarks” folder.