Respect For Students!

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Big Picture

Join us in safeguarding our children from growing assaults on their privacy and dignity.

Respect for Students means that custody of personal student records is a solemn public trust that our school should not delegate or outsource. Personal information ought not be surrendered to vendors as part of commercial deals; rather, respect means that individual student information is closely and confidentially held within the local school district, where access can be locally supervised and controlled.

Respect for Students means that students and their parents retain ownership of the works they create for school assignments.

Respect for Students means not forcing them to use technologies or systems that spy on them as they prepare their schoolwork, monitor their every keystroke, record what pages they read, or when, where, and how their written work is done. Without safeguards, modern technology affords nearly unlimited opportunities for surveillance.

Respect for Students means that students and parents should not need to agree to licenses, contracts, terms of service, new accounts, or other conditions merely to participate in the normal program of study.

In these days of rampant data mining, calls for national student databases, and unfettered government spying, Respect for Students means strong, thoughtful policies that guarantee that our children cannot become victims of unwise or even capricious technology choices. The school has neither legitimate need nor authority to make sweeping privacy decisions for us all. Some folk are fans of Facebook and other social media; others are not. Should the school's pursuit of this year's technology fads deprive us all of our privacy and basic human rights?

Did You Know?

Our school's technology initiatives may arise from a bumbling pursuit of tech fads without much clue about the privacy implications. Or they may arise from deliberate plan to herd students and parents into a darker, less private, less empowered future. The truth is likely somewhere in between. Our school board needs to choose between adopting simple, strong policies that unequivocally protect students and retreating into toothless half-measures that publicly show "concern" without any substantive effect.

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