“Secret ‘Fusion Centers’ and the Search for the Next School Shooter” via EdSurge

EdSurge has published an article detailing the rise of Fusion Centers and the relationship between those Fusion Centers and student privacy.

The article quotes Amelia Vance, the director of education policy at the Future of Privacy Forum, “To be clear we are talking about the government actively seeking out children’s social media accounts, both public and private, and combining this information with existing law enforcement or social services records to profile which students are threats… Privacy guardrails must be drawn so parents and students can be sure their rights are protected.”

Should society expect there to be a balance between giving up privacy and identifying threats? Or, is the cost of student privacy too high of a price to identify potential threats?

The article references the story of an autistic teen who dropped out of school after being identified as a threat. He was subject to increased surveillance and monitoring, and officials would not explain to him why we was a threat.

Should society accept the fact that some students may be incorrectly identified as a threat and face lifelong harms as a result of that misidentification? Is that an acceptable tradeoff for potential security gains?

Ohio debates law to require teachers to ‘out’ transgender students to parents

This article documents some of the concerns about the Ohio bill which “would require government entities, including schools, courts and hospitals, to ‘immediately’ notify parents if a child displays signs of gender dysphoria or ‘demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner opposite of the child’s biological sex,’ according to the proposal.”

Some questions to think about as you read:

  • What is the relationship between HIPPA and this new bill? Would the above mandated reporting violate HIPPA in some cases?
  • In what ways will this inhibit or increase students’ expressions to their teachers concerning gender dysphoria? What side effects might accompany mandated reporting? What detriments and benefits would students receive once a family is notified?
  • Will the bill allow a counselor at a local school to make a decision not to report to a family out of safety concerns for the student?
  • Do children have a right to privacy?