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Thursday, November 26, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: FL: Big Brother Is Watching Your Child

CURMUDGUCATION: FL: Big Brother Is Watching Your Child
FL: Big Brother Is Watching Your Child

Eyebrows shot up around the country this week as the Tampa Bay Times reported on how the Pasco County Sheriff's Office keeps a secret list of "at-risk" kids who could “fall into a life of crime." Creating the list involves the office collecting and factoring a whole bunch of different you-probably-thought-they-were-confidential records, including records from the school district and from the state's Department of Children and Families. 

"We have an agreement with the Sheriff's Office," the superintendent said in an interview with the Times. "The agreement requires them to use (the data) for official law enforcement purposes. I have to assume that's exactly what they are using it for."

Low grades? Absenteeism? Violence in the home? You may well be flagged as a possible future criminal. The Sheriff's Office has a whole manual. And a list, with 420 names on it. And none of the families connected to the names knows a thing about it. This is not a targeted search, where someone is concerned about Pat McStudent; this is a blanket sweep of the entire list of records from the various institutions.

Mark Lieberman at EdWeek did some checking to see if this practice is illegal (if you're old enough, you may remember when FERPA protected students from this kind of thing). The answer seems to be CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: FL: Big Brother Is Watching Your Child