Triton Voice

Protected Privacy

Privacy as students and citizens is not as protected as thought

Students+Lindsey+Gardella%2C+left%2C+and+Erin+Drew+stand+beneath+one+of+Tritons+new+cameras.
Students Lindsey Gardella, left, and Erin Drew stand beneath one of Tritons new cameras.

Students Lindsey Gardella, left, and Erin Drew stand beneath one of Tritons new cameras.

Butler photo

Butler photo

Students Lindsey Gardella, left, and Erin Drew stand beneath one of Tritons new cameras.

Madi Butler and Alyssa Montisanti, Staff writers

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Privacy is one of the most valuable things we have, but as more and more technology is being developed we are giving more of our privacy away.

Our school has a social network policy that goes along with our WiFi. According to the social networking handbook, while you are using the school WiFi your phone, or computer history and keystrokes are open to the school.

Mr.Forget explained that,“As a general rule there is no assumption of privacy in a public building, period.”

While the school doesn’t have the staff to monitor that system all the time, they still have access to that information. The school’s policy is very similar to the country’s policy, which is all phone records, pictures, texts, videos, apps, and web history are all collected by the NSA.

When talking to Timothy Coyle, the political science teacher at Triton High School, he described a scenario in which he is talking to his brother about their parent’s health issues.

“… It’s none of the government’s business. …I don’t care if they are not looking at it I just don’t feel that it’s their right… they are just gonna use a broad based drag net and scoop up and Hoover up everybody’s (Calls, and information) and when they need to then they can sift through it…”

There is an invasion of privacy when it comes to wiretapping. As a citizen of the U.S you have a right to protest against your privacy being taken. However as a student, you have a few less rights to protest. While in school students have restriction some of their rights, for example they don’t have full freedom of speech. Their opinion could be undermining the school system, and it seems that is something the school wants to avoid while kids are on campus. So the kids will be told to stop and if they don’t and defy administration could be subject to a punishment.

Also if a student wants to fight the school on a certain issue they would have to get their parents involved instead of fighting their own battles. Some sometimes students aren’t heard unless they take action with their parents or a big group at school.

Student privacy is being invaded everyday, but in schools no one is entitled to it as Forget said. It is a public building and everything is open. Varying from teachers being allowed to walk into the bathrooms whenever they think someone is vaping, to you being recorded by surveillance cameras 24/7.  Vaping is a problem at our school that the teachers want to solve, however, students have said they want to have the privacy knowing that a teacher is not going to just walk in on them in the bathroom because someone could be changing for gym or an after school sport.

Students have stated that the cameras are unnecessary Mr. Forget explains the importance of them.  He says that it is helpful in cases of a school shooter or someone who comes into the school late without stopping in the office first. They can follow that person on camera to see what they are up to and where they are going.

Mr.Ferron says “ It’s helpful in a school shooting.They can switch from camera to camera to follow the shooter… The school needs to have the tools to help.”

The system that monitors our use of the WiFi allows the school to make sure that illegal activity or activity that breaks school policy does not take place. It does make students upset because they are not allowed to use their social media. But the student body can not change this because school is for learning, Kids already have access to their phones during the day, they can text and play games. The administration doesn’t allow social media because is trying to limit as many distractions as possible.

Students do not only need the WiFi for social media purposes, they also need it to get onto aspen to check grades, and to work on papers on google docs. Students need access to the internet to complete those tasks. Knowing that their phones are being monitored and some websites they need to complete their papers and homework creates an uncertainty and sends mixed signals on what the teachers require for the assignment and what the kids can use as resources for it.  

“I don’t like that, like I have nothing to hide,” Said Abbie Magee, she continues by saying, “but I just think its an invasion of our privacy and it’s like creepy I feel like someone is watching me.”

On the other hand while some students know that there phones are being monitored many still have no clue. A lot of students don’t ever go through and read the policies of the school which include the privacy policies of Triton High School. The policy breaks down what can be expected by staff and by what the government issues for schools. The policy changes annually, however, it has not been updated since 2012, as generations get more technologically advanced, regulations and expectations of the staff changes.

But being a student means more than just learning it’s about being in a safe environment that feels not so restricted. Students feel uncomfortable with teachers being able to see what is being searched on their phones and wish that they could change that.

“I wish that they just didn’t really care as much as they do, I would change the fact that they can look at what we search,” says Bonnie Rose Durante, “I wish they could actually trust us,” she continues.

The government regulates and controls all uses of  technology that citizens possess. The government can listen into phone calls of anyone. Some say that this may be helpful to the security of the country, like a terrorist attack. But there are some things that the government should have to go and get a warrant on, like searching personal conversations.

Kia Kohen and Vincent Forni, Say that, “It invades our constitutional rights, it totally validates our 4th amendment bing the Privacy rights, which is totally unnecessary.”

 

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