When Your Kids See Porn on Their School-Issued Device, Guess Who Is Responsible? Hint: It’s Not the School District.

Photo by StockSnap — 894430

An Irresponsible User Agreement

  • First, per SPS’s website, any tech support we might need is only available to us if we use a district-issued device;
  • Secondly, I want SPS to be responsible for monitoring, installing controls, and updating filters to keep students from accessing content that is violent or inappropriate.
“More Things You Agreed to With That Single Click!” Screenshot of Seattle Public School’s YouTube Video about the Student Network Use Agreement (Ironically, the video is posted on YouTube, as of 8/31/2020,)

Ignore the Fine Print

Screenshot of Seattle Public School’s Website under “Technology FAQs” (as of 8/31/2020)
Screenshot of Google’s Terms of Services, linked to via SPS’s “Technology FAQs” section, via YouTube Help

It Will Happen Here

Who Will Be Held Responsible?

  • What are you doing to ensure our children don’t stumble into inappropriate content (e.g., What filters are you using and why is the information on Web Filters on the SPS website so vague?)
  • How are you going to address it when children stumble into inappropriate content because, as you state, nothing is 100% filter-proof (Board Policy №3850: the district “cannot control the content of material to which students may be exposed”)?
  • What steps are you taking to support teachers and teach students about safe Internet searches, identifying predatory behaviors, and the importance of protecting privacy online (ironic when the district collects so much student data in the first place)?
Screenshot of Seattle Public School’s Website under “Web Filter” (as of 8/31/2020)

So What Can Parents Do?

  1. Read carefully through the Student Use Agreement for your district.
  2. Ask your school leadership what they will be doing to support teachers and protect students.
  3. Accept a district-issued device for remote learning.
  4. Talk to your children about what to do when they see porn or violent content.

An Absurd Double Standard

Screenshot of Eanes ISD teacher’s desktop, KXAN News Austin (8/27/2020)

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Emily is a speaker, writer, consultant, and parent of two. A former middle school teacher, she is now the founder and owner of The Screentime Consultant.

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Emily Cherkin

Emily Cherkin

Emily is a speaker, writer, consultant, and parent of two. A former middle school teacher, she is now the founder and owner of The Screentime Consultant.

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