As August approaches thoughts turn back to school. While parents are concerning themselves with papers and pencils, there is one more thing they should be worried about, their family’s privacy.
The question is often asked about how many of the data points are going to be collected. Watch this video:
Next, go read this lengthy put important post by Restore Oklahoma Public Education:
At the end of the post Jenni gives some important bullet points
Here are the problems with these kinds of surveys:
- Parents MUST be notified that minor children will be exposed to this survey as part of the PPRA – Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment. If you are not notified, you have legal recourse.
- This information is simply no one’s business but the parent.
- Who’s to say teenagers don’t get more ideas from this kind of detailed survey than they had before they took the survey –education on sensitive issues should be done AT HOME BY A PARENT, not at school by relative strangers.
- Brooke points out in her video that ‘they’ (the school) is trying to separate children from their parents. The questions asked on these surveys are probing to say the least. Many would be considered embarrassing by many students. Once the child is exposed to this information it can become hard for them to tell their parents about it. This creates a division between parent and child which is real and unconscionable.
- The data for the YRBS is provided to the CDC which provides it to numerous other agencies such as the National Center for Education Statistics, and who knows whether individual students can be tracked through this survey.
I think I’ve proved Brooke’s video statements true on all counts. I hope, in the process, I’ve awakened any parents who are reading this to the eminent privacy dangers your child is exposed to in public schools. WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Homeschool (without using a K-12 – or other – online program which are public in nature and therefore responsible for the same types of data collection and policies), or privately educate your children if possible. Removing customers from the system is the only way to change the system.
- Accept the evidence and realize your child’s privacy is in jeopardy in public schools and work to change that.
- Realize YOU THE PARENT have ALL the control. If you don’t want your child taking these surveys, inform the school – IN WRITING – you want your child opted out of the activities you desire and tell your child not to participate if the situation arises.
- When you find misuses of your child’s privacy, inform your school board in writing and then show up at the meeting to address the board with your grievances (FYI: you should attend your child’s school board meeting every month anyway as one of your parental duties). Also inform your state representative and senator because they can help with legislation to help stop data collection.
- Do not sign a computer release for your child to use the internet at school unless you know EXACTLY what programs will be used and what data will be collected during their ‘on’ hours.
- Enforce your parental right to direct the education of your child/children. No matter what school officials say, they cannot induce a child to do something that is against the wishes of the parent (for the most part – your child cannot be truant for example). Parental rights are universal and not granted by governments. Know your rights and be prepared to stand for the privacy of your student when necessary.
Jenni White – 7/30/14