Liberal Media Exposed

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

School Surveillance

There have been concerns about the abuse of authority in America’s public school system for a long time and they’re reaching frightening proportions under the current administration. Worried parents are being bombarded with attacks on their right to teach their children about morality, marriage and creation; obstacles are increasingly being put in the way of anyone who wants to take their kids out of the system and educate them themselves, with home schoolers increasingly being portrayed as antisocial or even dangerously misguided. But this all pales into insignificance compared with the increase in government surveillance our children are being subjected to by school districts.
Some city schools have been making students walk through metal detectors for years, and while supporters justify that on security grounds it’s still an egregious violation of personal privacy and pushes hard against the boundaries of the Fourth Amendment. Is it really a “reasonable search” to make innocent kids walk through a body scanner every day? It gets worse though. Authorities are taking an unhealthy interest in what kids eat, often over-riding the decisions of parents to enforce an officially approved diet. Rules on dress codes, designed to control the urge of some students to turn up half-dressed, are now being used to censor clothing that carries a politically incorrect message – meaning anything administrators don’t like. And now schools are actually hiring snoops to spy on kids.
Last week Orinda Union School District in the notoriously liberal Bay Area suspended a 7-year-old girl after claiming her parents had lied about residency on their application. The girl, from a Hispanic family, was registered at an address in an upscale area; the school decided she didn’t really live there and decided to investigate. Instead of taking appropriate steps – like asking her parents – they decided to hire a private investigator to follow her around and dig into her background. The detective posed as an insurance investigator to interview the girl’s mother and residents of her old neighborhood in Bay Point, as well as following her to and from a home in Orinda – the address she was registered to. Despite this the school decided her residency was false, and told her to leave the school.
If they’d bothered to ask they’d have learned that her mother was a live-in nanny for an Orinda family, and the girl – named only as Vivian – did indeed live inside the school district’s boundary. However it was only when a local paper published details that administrators admitted their mistake and allowed Vivian back to school.
It turns out that this is far from an isolated case. In fact several school districts around the Bay Area hide references to private investigators in the small print, and inquiries among detective agencies reveal that this is happening on a massive scale. San Francisco Unified ordered surveillance on thousands of students in 2010, then dismissed thousands for living at the “wrong” address. Several agencies get so much work from school boards that they advertise student tracking services on their websites.
It’s not acceptable that school administrators are allowed to order Soviet-style surveillance on students, or that parents trying to do their best for their kids should be surreptitiously interrogated by covert investigators. If kids have aspirations and a desire to learn our public schools should be helping them, not crippling them under an ever-increasing load of state control.