I wonder how many false positives will result in grief for parents as the consultant attempts to “prove” its worth to the school district and to expand their activities outward? I also wonder about their connection with law enforcement and other aggressive government services like child protective services?
In their fervor to prove their corporate worth, do these people even know what a joke looks like? Or is this the thought police?
California school district hires firm to monitor students’ social media
A suburban Los Angeles school district is now looking at the public postings on social media by middle and high school students, searching for possible violence, drug use, bullying, truancy and suicidal threats.
The district in Glendale, California, is paying $40,500 to a firm to monitor and report on 14,000 middle and high school students’ posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media for one year.
Frydrych’s firm scours the social media postings of Glendale students aged 13 and older — the age at which parental permission isn’t required for the school’s contracted monitoring — and sends a daily report to principals on which students’ comments could be causes for concern, Frydrych said.
The company won’t disclose its methods and practices in gathering the students’ messages, but it does use key words in its searches. The firm also didn’t disclose how it confirms the youths are indeed students of the district.
Some experts in digital media and privacy, however, take exception.
“This is the government essentially hiring a contractor to stalk the social media of the kids,” said Lee Tien, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit that defends privacy, free speech and consumer rights.
“When the government — and public schools are part of the government — engages in any kind of line-crossing and to actually go and gather information about people away from school, that crosses a line,” Tien said. He disagreed with school officials who say they are monitoring only public postings.
“People say that’s not private: It’s public on Facebook. I say that’s just semantics. The question is what is the school doing? It’s not stumbling into students — like a teacher running across a student on the street. This is the school sending someone to watch them,” Tien said.
Bottom line …
The progressive socialist democrats, once again, are monitoring students. Who knows if they will expand the program to include political activities that might be harmful to the regime in power.
And, again, the public taxpayer is on the hook for any malfeasance or bad act connected with the consultant’s activities in monitoring student activities outside of the classroom and off school property. This is a potential disaster waiting to happen. One can only imagine a swat team doing a dynamic entry on a home and accidently killing a child over something they posted outside of school?
Unlike the NSA spying scandal, there is no pressing national security need for this level of surveillance of private citizens by any government organization, and certainly no legal justification in profiling or targeting children. I wonder if the firm will be compiling dossiers on certain students, say those with republican or libertarian leanings?