Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged children

Washington County public school officials announced they will be using new software to monitor students’ social media posts.

The county will be one of only four school districts in the nation to enlist a new software program called Social Sentinel that tracks social media accounts for certain keywords.

To those that question the legality of such monitoring in the face of privacy rights, school officials said the software uses “geofencing” protocol to only track posts that are made while the student is on school property.

School officials said the goal is to protect student safety. Examples of such posts that will be tracked include those that feature keywords like “kill,” “bomb” and others.

Some student will kill it on that Science test while others bomb it. This system will be completely useless as soon as everyone figures out euphemisms for search words.

School officials said they will also be consulting with parents and members of student government for feedback on what additional keywords should be added to the watch-list.

Threats will be flushed out, officials added – if a keyword is caught, the post will be read to check for threats of violence, bullying or harassment, reference to using drugs or alcohol, references to weapons, and the like.

One of two things is going to happen. The school is going to quickly be overloaded and realize what a waste of money this systems is. The students will not communicate on any system that’s monitored by the school and will have a “school” social media account and their real account.

Neither of these situations should be happening. The first forces students to protest a system that is hindering their free speech. The second forces them to either self-censor or be deceitful.

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Child-tracking wristbands, drug-delivering implants and wearable computing devices are popping up and promising to make our lives better. The question of the effects these new technologies will have on children’s development and society at large remains largely unanswered though.

If a parent tracks their child with a GPS, how will they react when they are a teenager and no longer constantly monitored? RT’s Lindsay France seeks to answer this and other questions by speaking with Shiv Gaglani, editor of Medgadget.

Source.

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A school district is investigating claims a teacher caused a student to wet their pants at school.

At Mill Plain Elementary in Vancouver, third grade students earn play money to buy treats.

Some students said they have to use that money to get bathroom breaks, too.

Source.

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The NSA has nothing on the ed tech startup known as Knewton.

The data analytics firm has peered into the brains of more than 4 million students across the country. By monitoring every mouse click, every keystroke, every split-second hesitation as children work through digital textbooks, Knewton is able to find out not just what individual kids know, but how they think. It can tell who has trouble focusing on science before lunch — and who will struggle with fractions next Thursday.

Even as Congress moves to rein in the National Security Agency, private-sector data mining has galloped forward — perhaps nowhere faster than in education. Both Republicans and Democrats have embraced the practice. And the Obama administration has encouraged it, even relaxing federal privacy law to allow school districts to share student data more widely.

At least in Nevada, it will cost a parent $10,000 to learn what data the schools are collecting on his child.

Read more.

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BBW13_CoverArt

With Banned Books Week approaching, Reddit user AndiArch has created a fantastic list of banned/challenged books that everyone can enjoy. I reproduce the list below, so that parents can have a look at the books and start a discussion with their children.

Toddler/Nursery School

  • In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak; Reasons: nudity
  • The Family Book, by Todd Parr; (Reasons: homosexuality, racially-mixed families)
  • My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler; Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  • Everyone Poops, by Taro Gomi; (Reasons: obscenity, misleading illustrations)

Pre-K

  • King & King, by Linda de Haan; Reason: homosexuality
  • My Princess Boy, by Cheryl Kilodavis; (Reason: homosexuality, gender line blurring)
  • Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle; Reason: nudity
  • Bumbe-Ardy, by Maurice Sendak; (Reason: death, too sad for children)
  • Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak; Reason: witchcraft, supernatural elements

K

  • And Tango Makes Three, Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson; Reason: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  • The Pain and the Great One, Judy Blume; (Reason: animosity between siblings)
  • A Light in the Attic, Shel Silverstein; Reason: unsuited to age group, inappropriate subject matter
  • The Rabbits’ Wedding, Garth Williams; Reason: interracial marriage
  • The Story About Ping, Marjorie Flack; (Reason: spanking)
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig; Reason: police officers depicted as pigs

Early Elementary

  • The Magic Tree House, series, Mary Pope Osborne; (Reason: encourages dishonesty)
  • Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling; Reasons: anti-family, occult/Satanism, religious viewpoint, violence
  • Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson; Reasons: occult/Satanism, offensive language, violence
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Judy Blume; (Reasons: child lacks discipline, bad parenting)
  • Freckle Juice, Judy Blume; (Reasons: bad parenting)
  • The Boxcar Children, series, Gertrude Chandler Warner; (Reason: anti-family, depictions of criminal activities)
  • The Witches, Roald Dahl; Reason: unsuited to age group, occult
  • Blubber, Judy Blume; Reason: Bullying
  • James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl; Reason: violence, occult, anti-family, language
  • The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein; Reason: unsuited to age group

Late Elementary

  • The Boy Who Lost His Face, Louis Sachar; (Reason: bullying, occult)
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Patterson; Reason: anti-family, unsuited to age group
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry; Reasons: violence, unsuited to age group
  • Flashcards of My Life, Charise Mericle Harper; Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group
  • The Golden Compass, His Dark Materials series, Philip Pullman; Reason: religious viewpoint
  • The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss; Reason: inappropriate language, depictions of war
  • Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes; Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit
  • Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause; Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group (Note: I read this in elementary school, but it is likely better suited to late middle school at the earliest)
  • Captain Underpants, series, by Dav Pilkey; Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group
  • Number the Stars, Lois Lowry; (Reasons: setting, inappropriate to age group)
  • Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George; Reasons: unsuited to age group, violence
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell; (Reasons: anti-family, violence)
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume; (Reasons: puberty)
  • Crazy Lady!, by Jane Leslie Conly; Reason: offensive language
  • Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz; Reasons: insensitivity, occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group
  • Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher; Reasons: homosexuality and offensive language
  • Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine; Reasons: violence, occult, satanic themes

Middle School

  • Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going; Reason: depression, suicidal thoughts
  • Earth’s Children (series), by Jean M. Auel; Reason: violence, anti-family, (scientific inaccuracies)
  • Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher; Reasons: racism, offensive language
  • The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien; (Reasons: satanic themes)
  • The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier; Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age
  • Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous; Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit
  • Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers; Reason: offensive language
  • Taming the Star Runner, by S.E. Hinton; Reason: offensive language
  • 13: Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen, by James Howe, ed.; (Reason: unsuited to age group)
  • ttyl, Internet Girls series, by Lauren Myracle; Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (late middle school); Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  • My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier; (Reason: violence, depictions of war)
  • Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher; Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  • Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds; Reason: sexual content
  • A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck; Reason: violence, girl, (explicit descriptions of animal mating behaviors)
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain; Reason: offensive language
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie; Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, unsuited to age group, and violence

Early High School

  • To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee; Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group
  • Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya; Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, sexually explicit, and violence
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker; Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit
  • Forever, by Judy Blume; Reasons: offensive language, sexual content
  • The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green; (Reason: depression, too “deep” for age group)
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky; Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit
  • Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene; Reasons: offensive language, racism, sexually explicit
  • Crank, by Ellen Hopkins; Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou; Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit
  • Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines, by Nic Sheff; (Reasons: drug use, unsuited to age group)
  • We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier; Reason: offensive language, sexual content
  • Lush, series, by Natasha Friend; Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa; Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  • Looking for Alaska, by John Green; Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  • My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult; Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

Late High School

  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini; Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones; Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich; Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, and religious viewpoint
  • Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie; Reasons: homosexuality and sexually explicit
  • The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger; Reasons: sexual content, offensive language, unsuited to age group
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison; Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls; Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

While AndiArch’s list is not complete in any way and was made for his/her own personal reasons, there are some great books on this list. While I have never read The Box Car Children, it spurred on another post about the series and, since I can get a free copy of the original at Project Gutenberg, I’m probably going to check some out and see what all the fuss is about.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association.

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