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Articles: Security

The collection and use of K12 surveillance data is severely unregulated and a cause for concern. (GettyImages.com)

With increased technological surveillance to protect and monitor students has come deep consequences for student privacy and equity, according to a new report from the National Association of State Boards of Education.

Try to stay calm. Don’t start cursing. Keep your hands off the cops. But know that you have rights—like remaining silent and taking note of witnesses. Such knowledge can prevent police interactions from escalating out of control when teenagers get pulled over or otherwise encounter law enforcement.

A total of 277 K12 leaders participated in DA’s security survey, which was part of a broader set of surveys deployed to readers in late 2016.

As in years past, this new year will bring all sorts of new technology to schools. The question for educators is: To what degree do these technologies enhance education?

Students in districts across the nation have been harassed and intimidated based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual identity in the wake of the presidential election, according to the nonprofit organization Southern Poverty Law Center.

Research regarding the effectiveness of random drug testing of students at school is scarce and inconsistent.

About 27 percent of high schools nationwide have a form of student drug testing. Some schools also perform “reasonable suspicion” testing on students who show evidence of illegal drug use, which can include abnormal behavior or physical symptoms.

Some 85 percent of teachers surveyed received PD to deal with bullying, but just 33 percent received training in LGBTQ issues  (Gettyimages.com: Peopleimages)

Educators need specialized professional development to prevent the bullying of LGBTQ students, according to a recent report released by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network. Some 85 percent of teachers received PD to deal with bullying, but just 33 percent received training in LGBTQ issues.

Illinois Sen. Kimberly Lightford's bill would require schools to consider other disciplinary options, such as counseling and extracurricular programs, before a student can be suspended more than three days.

Illinois Sen. Kimberly Lightford sponsored a new state law that eliminates zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools.

The study of extremists: The new FBI website, “Don’t be a Puppet,” above, works almost like a video game, giving certain facts about extremism. Some education groups fear it might have unintended consequences.

The FBI is trying to prevent American youths from joining violent extremist groups—but some K12 groups worry it might unknowingly exacerbate bullying and bigotry in classrooms.

A law sponsored by Illinois state Sen. Julie Morrison should help students respond properly when pulled over by police.

State Sen. Julie Morrison of Illinois sponsored a law requiring students in all driver’s ed classes to receive instruction on how to interact with a police officer during a traffic stop. The goal is to teach them how to respond properly when pulled over, and help them avoid panicking or doing anything that might escalate a situation.

Almost four years after the tragic shootings, the $50 million, 86,000-square-foot Sandy Hook Elementary School opened in late August to 400 students in pre-K through grade 4. The building includes a number of new safety measures, such as secure doors, video monitoring and impact-resistant windows. 

Digital Fly now monitors Facebook along with Twitter and Instagram.

Technology is a vital part of students’ lives: 92 percent of teens say they go online daily and 24 percent say they are logged in "almost constantly." One challenge for schools has been overcoming the perception that social media monitoring jeopardizes student privacy.

Some 82 percent of transgender youth reported feeling unsafe at school in a 2011 study. (Gettyimages.com: chatchaisurakram)

The rights of transgender students in K12 schools became explicitly clear in a directive issued by the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice in May. Schools must let transgender students use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity, not what’s listed on birth certificates, the Obama administration says.

More data privacy bills are expected to be signed into law by the end of the year.

Laws already passed in 2016 focus on data governance, transparency and leadership.

Students who end up in detention more than just once or twice may be hungry for any kind of attention because they crave a relationship with a teacher or are neglected—or worse—at home, says Fred Hanna, author of the book Therapy with Difficult Clients.

“You will settle for bad food sometimes if that is all you can get,” says Hanna, who has taught classes about challenging teens at Johns Hopkins University. “For some kids, poor-quality attention is better than none at all.”/p>

Structured detention: A Flathead High School student, who is on the student newspaper, works during Structured Study. It’s part of a program whereby teachers oversee and communicate individually and in small groups with students to help them succeed in core academic classes.

While detention remains a staple of student discipline across the country, many school leaders are looking at ways to modify the practice, or even replace it, with approaches that may be more effective in actually reducing bad behavior.

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