Surveillance in K12 Schools: A Dangerous Transformation That Needs to be Stopped

Is it acceptable for schools to receive funding for surveillance technology?

The use of surveillance technology in K12 schools has caused concern among a coalition of more than 40 civil rights organizations. They believe that the use of this technology can have negative effects on students, families, and educators.

The letter to the U.S. Department of Education calls for a ban on the use of federal funds for surveillance technologies and urges the agency to divest discretionary appropriations from funding police surveillance hardware. The authors also recommend providing technical guidance to support school districts in conducting audits to ensure legal compliance with AI and big data technologies. In addition, they suggest studying surveillance tools and other algorithmic technologies to understand their risks to public schools.

While some states, including New York, have taken steps to address misuse of surveillance technology in public schools by banning facial recognition technology, the coalition argues that more action is needed to protect students from its harmful effects. They urge the Department of Education to take immediate action to end the dangerous transformation of America’s public schools through surveillance technology.

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