Parents of students who attend Rutherford County Schools (RCS) must agree not to monitor their child’s online classroom sessions.
Officials at all county schools are asking parents to sign forms agreeing not to watch these virtual classes.
The Tennessee Star received a copy of such a form this week.
“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,” according to the form.
“RCS strongly discourages non student observation of online meetings due to the potential of confidential information about a student being revealed.”
The form asks parents for their signature and warns that “violation of this agreement may result in RCS removing my child from the virtual meeting.”
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.”
Evans did not elaborate.
As reported Friday, 50 miles away, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles said “NO!!!” to Gov. Bill Lee’s Big Brother-style child wellbeing program that plans to send government officials to families’ homes to do welfare checks of children.
The Tennessee Department of Education says it released a toolkit on child wellbeing checks to ensure the needs of children are being met during and after extended periods away from school. It is promoted as protecting children.
The department earmarked $1 million in COVID-19 funds to set up regional overseers to work with districts, which are encouraged to apply. A grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will give funding for eight regional staff members to work across the state.
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