Tuesday, January 14, 2020

'A piece of his innocence was taken away' in a Norman Public Schools classroom

"Dozens of parents spoke out against technology use in Norman Public Schools during a Board of Education meeting Monday," The Oklahoman reports.
About 100 parents packed the board’s meeting room at the district administration building. Parents spoke for nearly an hour and a half during public comment, complaining of the district’s technology initiative.

In 2018, Norman schools began providing a MacBook Air computer to every secondary student and iPads to elementary schools. Students with school-issued laptops are allowed to bring their computer home.

Families criticized the district for embracing the devices without creating comprehensive technology policies. Several parents also expressed worry over a drastic increase in their children’s daily screen time, as well as risks of exposure to inappropriate internet content. ...

Drew and Amy Nichols, who have three sons enrolled in Norman schools, said the district failed to establish measurable goals for the devices before introducing them into classrooms. “So far, my son’s grades have gone down, but my property taxes here in Norman have gone up,” Drew Nichols said. “I thought we were getting storm shelters. Instead we got hit with this storm of technology.”

Their 11-year-old son witnessed another student display pornographic images on a computer screen while in class, Amy Nichols said. “A piece of his innocence was taken from him that day with no warning, no explanation, and no malicious intent,” she said. “My son was 11 years old when he was first exposed to pornography. It happened on a school device while he sat in a sixth-grade classroom.”

Mark Deaver, owner of Norman Computers, said he and his staff created a video for the Norman City Council, showing how the school district’s internet filters could be bypassed with “common knowledge that any 10-year-old would have.”

“It’s gotten to the point where a number of my customers will simply take away the school laptop,” Deaver said.

No comments: