A school district in Tennessee began the new school year by requiring parents to sign a waiver agreeing not to eavesdrop on their kid’s virtual classes.
By signing the form, parents could not see the contents of the virtual sessions and how class was being conducted.
The anti-eavesdropping form reads: “RCS strives to present these opportunities in a secure format that protects student privacy to the greatest extent possible, however, because these meetings will occur virtually RCS is limited in its ability to fully control certain factors such as non-student observers that may be present in the home of a student participating in the virtual meeting.”
The form strongly discourages “non-student observation of online meetings due to the potential of confidential information about a student being revealed,” and even threatens to remove your child from a virtual class if there is any violation.
The question then arises, “What confidential information is being discussed in the classroom without parental consent?”
“What are they trying to hide? What is the problem? Why won’t they let us sit in?” said Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, on Fox & Friends Weekend.
The community delivered significant pushback against the eavesdropping form, and Rutherford County Schools eventually adjusted their stance. Now with teacher permission, parents can tune into the virtual class sessions. Recording class sessions is still not allowed under any circumstance.
In a statement to Fox News, James Evans, communications director of Rutherford County Schools said, “We have issued new guidance to principles that parents can assist their children during virtual group lessons with permission of the instructor but should refrain from sharing or recordings any information about other students in the classroom.”
Some parents have expressed concern about the effectiveness of online learning and what content is actually taught to their children. Parents naturally are suspicious when they are asked refrain from overhearing their child’s virtual class.
The pushback from parents on the eavesdropping forms reminds us that local control is the best option for schooling, as parents know what is best for their children. The effectiveness of the community in changing the Rutherford County school district’s approach should give other counties across Tennessee hope. The government-controlled common core school system does not harness all of the influence over us and our children.