School Surveillance of Students Through Laptops May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

My hometown news website recently published an article with the above title authored by University of North Carolina Professor Nir Kshetri. I’ve never met Professor Kshetri but after reading his essay I posted the following comment.

Professor Kshetri is all wrong in his analysis and conclusions regarding monitoring minor students use of district supplied computing equipment and the Internet. He is often citing examples from organizations were computing users are adults and were the organization’s have defined policies regarding the acceptable use of the equipment and Internet access. Kshetri should be pointing out the failure by parents to monitor their own children’s use of computing equipment (especially smartphones) and the Internet. This is not a free speech issue. These are our minor children. These are children (right here in Flagler County) that are being accused of committing ‘crimes’ where the laws they are breaking were often written before the advent of Internet. These are children whose parents should be monitoring their use of computing equipment and the Internet. When a school district supplies computing equipment that can access the Internet it should be the responsibility of that district; working with parents, to make sure that children are educated in the proper use of these tools and in doing so do not come into any harm. Harm that might be something like being profiled and groomed by an Internet predator; but also harm that the child can do to themselves by sending a message or making an inappropriate post. When a parent provides a smartphone or computer and Internet access to their child that responsibility of knowing what their child is looking at; who that child is communicating with ; and what their child is saying should fall squarely on those parents shoulders.