It’s all getting weirder and weirder.
Rutherford County Schools (RCS), a school district in Tennessee is requiring parents to sign a consent form that says they agree not to monitor their children’s online classroom sessions, claiming concerns that “non-student observers” might hear confidential information.
“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,” reads the form, a copy of which was obtained by the Tennessee Star.
“RCS strongly discourages non student observation of online meetings due to the potential of confidential information about a student being revealed.”
RCS spokesman James Evans addressed the matter in an email to The Star this week.
“We are aware of the concern that has been raised about this distance-learning letter that was sent to parents. The intent was not to prevent parents from being involved with their children during distance learning, but it was intended to protect the academic privacy of other students in the classroom who are visible during certain virtual class sessions,” Evans said.
“We have issued new guidance to principals that parents can assist their children during virtual group lessons with permission of the instructor but should refrain from sharing or recording any information about other students in the classroom.”
While the form does not declare that parents can’t be present during online classes, it does threaten that a “violation of this agreement may result in RCS removing my child from the virtual meeting.”
So, apparently parents can watch what their children are learning as long as they’re OK with their kids being booted out of class.
The school district also warned parents not to record virtual instruction.
“We have issued new guidance to principals that parents can assist their children during virtual group lessons with permission of the instructor but should refrain from sharing or recording any information about other students in the classroom,” an RCS spokesman said.