Unprecedented Coalition Calls for End to Surveillance in K12 Schools: Protecting Students from Harmful Effects of Technology

Is it acceptable for schools to receive funding for surveillance technology?

A coalition of more than 40 civil rights organizations has written a letter to the U.S. Department of Education expressing concern about the use of surveillance technology in K12 schools. They believe that the use of this technology can lead to increased police presence in schools, greater police contact with students, exclusionary discipline, and school pushout, especially affecting marginalized communities like Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth.

The letter calls for a ban on the use of federal funds for surveillance technologies and urges the agency to divest discretionary appropriations from funding police surveillance hardware. It also recommends providing technical guidance to support school districts in conducting audits to ensure the legal compliance of AI and big data technologies. In addition, the letter suggests studying surveillance tools and other algorithmic technologies to understand the risks they pose to public schools.

Several states, including New York, have taken steps to address the misuse of surveillance technology in public schools, such as banning facial recognition technology. However, the authors of the letter argue that more action is needed to protect students, families, and educators from the harmful effects of school surveillance technologies. They call on the Department of Education to take immediate action to end the dangerous transformation of America’s public schools.

The coalition believes that surveillance technology in K12 schools can have detrimental effects on students’ mental health and academic performance. The use of this technology can create a hostile environment where students feel violated and targeted by law enforcement officers. Furthermore, it can perpetuate racial profiling and discrimination against marginalized communities.

In conclusion, it is crucial that we take immediate action to address this issue before it becomes too late. The coalition has urged policymakers at all levels to prioritize student safety above all else by banning surveillance technology in K12 schools.

The Department of Education must act now before more harm is done to our children’s education system. We cannot allow fear-mongering tactics and invasive monitoring practices in our schools any longer.

It is time for us as a society to stand up for what is right and protect our children from harm caused by excessive surveillance technologies in K12 schools.

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