Student Privacy Rights
Technology is fully embedded into our education system, and there’s no going back. Students now receive tech from their schools for the online portion of their education, be it a light-weight laptop, a tablet, or otherwise. But as the IDH is already aware, this new digital tech that’s given to students brings new threats to their privacy. How do we protect and educate our children, while still allowing them access to cutting-edge digital tools?
Thankfully, some school districts have tackled these complex issues, though with questionable methods. Students are required to sign a contract when they check out one of these devices. Recently, a student was young as 8 was handed a contract to sign in order to receive their necessary school equipment. For your education, the IDH has obtained a real-world example of one of these contracts.
Some of the points on these contracts are excellent directives for digital privacy and ethics, such as “treat others online like you want to be treated” and “I will be a good online citizen and not do things that will hurt others.” In addition to these values, the contract also has questionable aspects, such as asking students to “understand that everything he/she does online is a digital footprint.” Without much elaboration, that simple statement requires students as young as 8 years old to understand a vast concept that many older students and adults don’t even fully comprehend.
We understand and appreciate that the contract is designed to keep students accountable and safe. However, we also recognize the responsibility we have to teach our students about these modern problems, not just making them sign a contract.
We agree that students need to be protected online, but can we really expect every student, parent, and teacher to be experts on a topic that our politicians, professors, pastors, and other professionals are still in the dark about?
Students spent 7-8 hours a day, 5 days a week at school. Their educators have a massive influence on them. We recognize the amazing work our educators do everyday, and we can’t even begin to express our thankfulness for their contributions. We also recognize our educators can’t do it all. It’s no secret our educators regularly face difficulties in terms of funding and otherwise, which is why the IDH wants to support our educators with our educational materials and curriculum.
The cost may seem a burden, but it’s an investment.
Join us in providing opportunities for students K-12 and their families to be educated on this generation's biggest issues. Help us provide modern ways to practice a healthy internet lifestyle and create a new digital environment.