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Big Brother on Campus

By Snugboy in MLP
Tue May 29, 2001 at 06:39:05 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

You thought your parents were on your case when you went to high school? Check out this AP story about what Washington State schools are doing to keep track of High Schoolers

High school is a place where humans go through one of the toughest periods of life. With raging hormones, new freedoms and more responsibilities, high school students have a lot on their plate. Having graduated high school about 6 years ago, I remember what it was like. I rebelled a little, studied a little, and basically just tried to make it through. One thing I do remember was the constant harassment my parents gave me. Now I see that most of what they did they did out of love and a not unjustified feeling of concern., but at the time it seriously strained our relationship to the breaking point. They just wanted to see me succeed, but what I needed was time to myself to figure things out. I am now a well-adjusted and successful professional, and not because of parental pressuring, but because I was able to block them out. High school is a time when kids become adults, and these children need room to grow. The concepts forwarded by this article are shocking. How is a boy supposed to become a man if his parents are constantly involved in every aspect of his life? What shocks me about this article are some of the quotes by the parents. Read on and see what I mean.

Is this appropriate? Do parents need to have more control over their kids in high school? And if so, is this the way to do it?


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Big Brother on Campus | 112 comments (103 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
My top quote (4.41 / 12) (#1)
by spiralx on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:10:35 PM EST

From the linked article:

Brittany's father, John, says he knows kids might feel that way, but thinks it's good for them.

``Brittany's a pretty good kid, but there are certainly times I wish I could keep better track of her,'' he said. ``I think the more we can control our kids, the better off in the long run they'll be.''

That says it all I think...

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey

The father (3.80 / 5) (#40)
by Phil the Canuck on Tue May 22, 2001 at 06:26:46 PM EST

That's surely a creepy comment from the father, but this system is far from "big brother on campus". The information presented is available through other means, this is simply a more efficient distribution method.


I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

But the distribution method makes the difference (4.00 / 2) (#78)
by Zukov on Thu May 24, 2001 at 02:29:02 PM EST

For example, a random person could look up legal documents and real estate holdings on (insert name of bubble headed beach blonde TV star here) by going to the appropriate courthouse. Thats a lot more work for a casual stalker than to just pull all the info up online.

Everyone needs to get away with something minor from time to time. Did you speed on the way to work? Tailgate? Run a Yellow light? Did you use soap and rub your hands together for 3 minutes when you used the rest room?

Are you posting/reading K5 instead of working right now? I know I am, and if my every minor misdeed was reported to and logged forever at some central repository, I would not be a very happy camper.

ȶ H (^

Yes, I have just bumbled upon Gnome Character Map. Please ! me.
[ Parent ]

That's a pretty bad example (none / 0) (#86)
by Wah on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:59:20 AM EST

Comparing a stalker and a parent. Not even close ('til you get to Kentucky)

I agree with you about the need to get away with stuff, but that's a far cry from allowing more interaction between two working parents and their children. My only problem with the system would be someone other than the family or school abusing the information. Or it being collected easily for longterm profiling. My own minor indescretion file would be quite major.
Some things, bandwidth can't buy. For everything else, there's Real Life ©Parent ]

WHAT?!? (none / 0) (#106)
by AndyL on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 02:10:46 AM EST

Allowing more interaction between parents and their children?!?

***Through a web browser?***

You're kidding, right?

They're the kid's bloody parents for crying out loud! Why don't they talk to the kid! (If he doesn't want to listen, tough!)

An interactive Web-based teen-monitoring system is not more interaction! If just feeds off the paranoia of bored or obsessive parents.

If a kid is buying too much ice-cream, you tell the kid not to! You threaten to give him bag lunches instead of money, whatever. You don't fire up a web-browser!

Parenting via Web Browser is not an improvement over the old kind


[ Parent ]
What indeed (none / 0) (#107)
by Wah on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 06:46:10 AM EST

Why don't they talk to the kid!

And what should they talk about? Maybe something from school? And how, on a limited time schedule, could a parent visit a school and get detailed reports on how and what their kid is doing? Maybe...

***Through a web browser?***

Parenting via Web Browser is not an improvement over the old kind.

Who said anything about it being a replacement? Merely another tool to do what has become an increasingly difficult (it would seem) job.
Some things, bandwidth can't buy. For everything else, there's Real Life | SSP
[ Parent ]

hmmm... (3.00 / 1) (#83)
by dbarker on Fri May 25, 2001 at 06:12:44 PM EST

I wonder if anyone from the US goverment has ever said 'I think the more we can control our kids, the better off in the long run they'll be.' ;)

I wonder what John would say to that one?...
Dave :)
[ Parent ]

Un-be-frickin'-lievable. (4.25 / 8) (#4)
by Office Girl the Magnificent on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:13:40 PM EST

"I think the more we can control our kids, the better off in the long run they'll be.''

Do people really believe this?

I mean, I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but come on. He actually admitted that he's a control freak. I think this is scary. Sure, a lot of parent's couldn't care less what their kids do, and some of the kids will probably end up in jail. But the kinds of parents who would participate in this system are the kinds of parents who are probably *already* overbearing. The last thing their kids need is another method to help their parents spy on them.

"If you stay, Infinite might try to kill you. If you leave, the FBI definitely will. And if you keep yelling, I might do it myself."

Parenting with a remote control (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by John Milton on Thu May 24, 2001 at 11:57:27 AM EST

I usually go on and on about how parents don't concern themselves with their children today, but this is not what I meant. Instead of, you know, actually talking to their children, they set up an orwellian mind control system. These people need to get a clue. A child is not a dog. You can't just give them the invisible electronic leash that shocks them when their bad. Hell, that's not even good for a dog.

We really need to start dolling out licenses for reproduction.

"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

[ Parent ]
You can laugh now, but it's coming... (3.50 / 2) (#77)
by Zukov on Thu May 24, 2001 at 02:16:07 PM EST

A child is not a dog. You can't just give them the invisible electronic leash

Hey, get with the program, it's not the 90s any more, Smart Conveniences are the New Thing.


Seriously, though, you have doubtless heard of the "cyber angel" or "digital angel" which is an implant that tracks your kids by gps. Just wait till that becomes trendy and affordable. It's for you kids own good, don'tcha know.

Kids need to "get away" with some minor stuff, we all do. Spy on the kids, and you take away their sense of controlling their own life.

ȶ H (^

Yes, I have just bumbled upon Gnome Character Map. Please ! me.
[ Parent ]

There are some good uses. (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by John Milton on Thu May 24, 2001 at 09:47:26 PM EST

I would agree with implants, if they were only used to find the child if they were abducted or missing. It's when the parent is allow to track their child on a little beeping screen that I get cold shivers. Parents do need to keep track of their child, but tagging them like cattle is degrading.

"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

[ Parent ]
Parent involvement (4.00 / 2) (#5)
by Fireblade on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:16:16 PM EST

Administrators say it's easier than reaching a teacher by phone, and they welcome anything that encourages parents to be more involved in their child's education.

I'd argue that this will lessen the involvement of any parents who participate. What's so wrong with asking your kids what they did at school today?

Duh (2.00 / 1) (#41)
by Phil the Canuck on Tue May 22, 2001 at 06:29:10 PM EST

Dad: "So Johnny, did you get detention today at school?"

Johnny: "Yep, sure did Dad. I'm sorry. I know you have to discipline me, and I'll accept the punishment I receive."

Exactly what colour is the sky in your little dream world?


I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Uhm, how about (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by ZanThrax on Tue May 22, 2001 at 07:19:18 PM EST

"Johnny, how come your an hour late getting home today?"
"Uh,,, I was uh..."
"What was the detention for?"
"$random stupid thing"

Besides, who would punish their kid for getting a punishment?

You sir, duckspeak double-plusgood.

[ Parent ]
Huh? (3.00 / 1) (#66)
by orestes on Wed May 23, 2001 at 04:36:37 PM EST

Besides, who would punish their kid for getting a punishment?

Most parents do.

[ You Sad Bastard ]
[ Parent ]
Nice attitude (5.00 / 2) (#58)
by Fireblade on Wed May 23, 2001 at 10:19:16 AM EST

Do you seriously believe that an open, honest relationship between parent and child is something from a "dream world"? My wife and I encourage our daughters to discuss everything that goes on in their lives. We do this by showing a genuine interest in any little detail from their day. This opens the communication channel and gives them the confidence they need to feel that they can come to us with any problem and receive fair, honest and kind guidance.

Do I believe that they will always tell me the truth? No, I'm realistic enough to know that they won't (I'm also experienced enough that most times, I'll realize they're being dishonest. Whether or not I call them on their lie depends on which route I feel will give them the better experience). But, I do feel that they are honest with us most of the time and, more importantly, that they know we give a shit where they've been and what they've done.

This program encourages "parents" to treat their kids lives as nothing more than checking up on a bank account. Fire up a browser, check to see if your balance is where you expect it to be and then forget it and move on to something that's more important to you. That's pathetic.

If you have kids or are planning on having kids, that cynical attitude is going to rob them of the one thing they truly need from you. A caring, understanding parent who's always willing to talk.

[ Parent ]

Hmmm... (3.50 / 2) (#63)
by Phil the Canuck on Wed May 23, 2001 at 01:18:27 PM EST

Pink, then?

I was raised by parents who encouraged open and honest behaviour. As a parent, I plan to do the same. I remember all too clearly the few times I wasn't open and honest, though, and they were generally my worst offences. I got away with almost all of those lies. Maybe you aren't as perceptive as you think, or maybe your children just aren't very good liers. Or, just maybe, you have a handle on the situation. Maybe you are just that good. Most parents, even the good and caring ones, aren't.

Why do you assume that a parent who checks this "like a bank account" is moving on to something they consider more important? Can't an important function like this be convenient?

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd quit Friday and spend my life playing with my two-year-old. Assuming that doesn't happen, I'll feel obliged to continue earning a paycheque with which to clothe and feed him. At this moment, I'm in a different country than my son. I'll see him tonight, but if I could check that he's behaving himself using a similar system I would, and it would be no less important to me because it was convenient.

My wife and I are currently missing out on financial stability because our children are more important to us. She stays home to raise our children, and it's a struggle from time to time. My job is a necessity, and I'm blessed with something most people don't have. A job that can pay for a family of four (#2 due soon). We struggle like this because we beleive it is for the best, and we are committed to our kids. Anonymous wankers on weblogs have no right to question that commitment.

Now run off somewhere and learn the difference between cynicism and realism. It's a bright, sunny day. Pull your head out of the sand and enjoy it.


I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Blue, if you must know (4.00 / 2) (#67)
by Fireblade on Wed May 23, 2001 at 04:40:55 PM EST

With white, puffy clouds and beautiful songbirds singing.

If I was too rash in my assessment of your first reply, I appologize, but re-read it and you may see why it just screamed "you can't have an open, honest relationship with your kids" to me.

I remember all too clearly the few times I wasn't open and honest, though, and they were generally my worst offences. I got away with almost all of those lies.
Are you sure? My parents have surprised me on many occasions. And how many of those offences would have turned up on one of these types of reports, anyway?

Why do you assume that a parent who checks this "like a bank account" is moving on to something they consider more important? Can't an important function like this be convenient?
My concern is that parents who already aren't involved enough in their children's lives will use this as an excuse to not change that. Also, that those who are involved may slack off a bit, using this as an alternative to talking. But, you're correct in that I shouldn't have made that a blanket statement.

As far as the rest of your comment goes, other than my second being four now, you just described my family as well and I applaud you and your wife for making those sacrifices. I believe it's for the best, also.

Now run off somewhere...
You're right, it's time to go find out firsthand how school was today.

[ Parent ]

You don't expect... (3.80 / 5) (#8)
by GreenCrackBaby on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:22:12 PM EST

...the parents to actually take an active interest in their kids life do you?

Now children, much like bank accounts, can be managed via the internet.

No contact required.

Um... (3.00 / 1) (#9)
by Phil the Canuck on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:31:47 PM EST

I would think that a parent who uses this system would be taking an active role.


I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

maybe he meant interactive (4.00 / 3) (#19)
by alprazolam on Tue May 22, 2001 at 03:25:37 PM EST

now you don't have to know anything about your kids at all, you just click some buttons, like you were playing sim city, and your kids come out perfect. right?

[ Parent ]
No (3.00 / 2) (#36)
by Phil the Canuck on Tue May 22, 2001 at 06:21:19 PM EST

This system present information that is already available, albeit harder to get. What's the problem with making school records more accessible to parents?


I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

because (4.00 / 3) (#47)
by alprazolam on Tue May 22, 2001 at 08:58:03 PM EST

nobody in the article (other than kids) seemed even remotely aware of the possibility for abuse here. you can't ignore the food thing...if parents think its ok to track that, why not what they wear, who they talk to, what they do during break? there's no indication that these people realize that kids need to be able to take responsibility for themselves instead of being remotely controlled by their parents.

[ Parent ]
I can ignore it (2.00 / 1) (#64)
by Phil the Canuck on Wed May 23, 2001 at 01:22:39 PM EST

Because I don't really care about it. Society demands responsible parents, and I won't deny a control-freak parent from monitoring something like this. What if the child has a condition that makes certain foods dangerous? What if that child has a history of rebelling against medical orders?

The kurobots can't seem to make up their minds. Are parents responsible for their children, or should they let the children take responsibility for themselves?


I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Absolutely (3.25 / 4) (#20)
by gametheory on Tue May 22, 2001 at 03:26:10 PM EST

Of course this system is taking an active roll; by making it easier to track their kids, parents will be better armed with important information. Since parents *are* being held responsible for the actions of their children (just ask the parents of Harris and Kleibold), it is only reasonable to provide parents with practical sources of information they can check from work, or use to double-check what their teenager is telling them , on the off, off, off chance that a teenager might actually lie to his/her parents.

I mean, really; this is all information already available to the parent. Only now they can access it via the 'net instead of having to call the school. Its not like kids are having cameras, microphones, and electronic anklets attached to them.

There is a difference between being tracked and being monitored. This is clearly the former, and no big deal. The only kids who will have a big problem with this will most likely be the ones accustomed to skipping classes.


[ Parent ]
You missed my point (4.33 / 3) (#24)
by GreenCrackBaby on Tue May 22, 2001 at 03:39:10 PM EST

This system, while allowing parents to track their kids, isn't what I would consider "an active role in their kids life." Taking an active role means talking to your kids, doing stuff with them, discussing stuff. You know, interacting.

All this does is turn parenting into a point and click activity.

Email to son:

Dear Son,

EasyParent.com just sent me an email alert about your current location. Please leave the mall and return to classes.

With love,

Your Parents

[ Parent ]

I agree... (4.00 / 2) (#33)
by gametheory on Tue May 22, 2001 at 05:41:25 PM EST

...that if this system is used as the sole method of interacting with their children, then yes, it will serve only to put the parents in more of a hands-off roll.

However, I don't think it is a given that this technology will be used *instead* of interacting on a personal level. There is absolutely no reason to use this technology if you can contact your child more directly; ie, phone, email, pager, whatever (I make the assumption that during school hours the child will *not* be where the parent is, therefore face to face interaction would not be possible). But if Parent A wants to just make sure Child B is in class today after Child B threatened to run away last night after a fit of teen-age angst, Parent A can either use the web, or call the school. Why not use the web if the technology is available?

So, when this tech. is used to supplement standard parenting skills, I think it is a good thing. If this tech is used to replace standard parenting skills, it is not a good thing. But, it's the sort of thing I would think disinterested parents wouldn't use in the first place.

Eh, just my thoughts on it. I'm long past HS, so what do I know ;).


[ Parent ]
Thank you. (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by Phil the Canuck on Tue May 22, 2001 at 06:24:39 PM EST

Precisely. This is an option for concerned parents. The ones who don't give a rat's ass about what their kids do won't even sign up.

GCB's entire argument relies on this system precluding any other parent-child interaction. That simply isn't the case.


I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

I disagree.. (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by John Milton on Thu May 24, 2001 at 12:16:11 PM EST

Assuming parent A is concerned that child B will run away, don't you think they could invest a little bit more of their time than point-and-click. Actually calling the school to check on them will provide real human interaction, and in the case that child B did run away, I don't think a web browser is going to help.

Many parents will neglect the little time they do spend with their child. Raising children is hard. Most parents look for the easy out. Quality time instead of real time, even though quality time has been proven to be bull. After all, it's uncomfortable being a parent. Why sit down and have an uncomfortable talk with your child, when you can just spy on them? I have no problem with parents talking with their childs teachers, but this is twenty-four hour surveillance.

"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

[ Parent ]
Twenty million dollars (none / 0) (#87)
by ajf on Sun May 27, 2001 at 07:49:30 PM EST

I think the cost is a damn good reason not to implement the system.

Apart from the money put on the table by the schools (which could surely be put to better use by hiring more teachers, buying books or keeping the school's existing facilities in good working order), I would have thought teachers are busy enough already without having to stuff around with a web application all day long. It must be much more inconvenient to go through the class roll on a web page than from a piece of paper.

"I have no idea if it is true or not, but given what you read on the Web, it seems to be a valid concern." -jjayson
[ Parent ]
Aol child services (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by John Milton on Thu May 24, 2001 at 12:08:50 PM EST

You've got rebellion.

I find an incredible irony in a parent sitting in the same room as their child and turning to look up their behaviour on a computer. Hey, who needs actual emotional support when you can have "quality time."

"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

[ Parent ]
Not something I'd be thrilled about, but... (3.83 / 6) (#10)
by ScuzzMonkey on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:37:45 PM EST

This is one of those things that I knee-jerked on and said "Oh, man, this is outrageous, they're gonna be putting a transponder in my butt next." And, in truth, it's not something I would have been thrilled about in high school--although even then, ten years ago, it wasn't too for your parents to get hold of attendance records and grades. Those records were not always accurate then; I don't imagine these will be now, so there will always be that mitigating factor... "But Mom, I was there, they just didn't mark me down!"

But on the other hand, I also get extremely annoyed with people who complain that today's school systems are so horrible at handling kids--not just educating them, but raising them, really. I think that the school's are lousy largely because the parents are lousy. The solution is not just to decrease class sizes and pay teacher's big bucks, but for parents to get involved with what is happening in their child's life. It sucks if you're the kid, sure, but parents can be involved without being oppressive--and frankly, teenagers will feel put-upon no matter what happens... nothing is fair when you're that age. And a few kids having to talk to their parents more often than they might like is not going to be as traumatic for society as a few more Dylan Klebolds or Eric Harris' are. With parents busier than ever, this might be a good way to help that process. It's nothing they couldn't have found out before; this just lets them do it without spending an hour with the school secretary.
No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)

No Big Deal (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by adamant on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:50:31 PM EST

I don't see parental access to student records over the Internet as a bad thing. Yeah, some of the comments made by parents in the article were creepy, but I would appreciate this type of info when my kids are in school. I would go as far as saying that this information would help me be a better parent.

According to the article, the software in question lets parents "see whether their kids skipped class, handed in their homework and even what they had for lunch." Today, any parent (at least where I live) can call their kids' school at any time and get attendance and academic records. Should this information be inconvenient for parents to get by not having it available on the web?

I don't really care to monitor what my kids choose to eat at lunch, but you can be sure that I want to know if they start missing classes or stop doing their homework. Am I a control freak?


[ Parent ]
Convenience (4.00 / 2) (#76)
by John Milton on Thu May 24, 2001 at 12:17:58 PM EST

Actually, I think it is bad to make the information convenient. It leads to knee-jerk parenting.

"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

[ Parent ]
OK ... but their lunch? (none / 0) (#88)
by ajf on Sun May 27, 2001 at 08:00:19 PM EST

I think I could learn to accept the availability of the attendance records, and the handing in of homework. What I find really hard to understand is the "what they had for lunch" part.

I mean, if high school students can't be trusted to decide what they're going to have for lunch, there's something seriously wrong with the child and/or the parents. I really can't see how this is useful. I can only see it doing harm by reinforcing the feeling of distrust between teenager and parent.

On the other hand, I'd be surprised if the staff could be bothered checking the system for every purchase. How long would it take if you have to ask every kid for ID and look up their culinary killfile?

(And I can't help but wonder how fruit juice can be considered unhealthy for lunch, but that's a stranger discussion entirely.)

"I have no idea if it is true or not, but given what you read on the Web, it seems to be a valid concern." -jjayson
[ Parent ]
sarcasm (3.80 / 5) (#12)
by electricbarbarella on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:45:01 PM EST

Oh no! Parents will be able to see if their child (whom they are legally responsible for) skipped class! What a vile travesty! How, oh how, will stupid, inexperianced high school kids ever be able to completely ruin their own lives with this dastardly system in place?

...and for a parent to be able to see what thier kid had for lunch!!! There's no END of ways to abuse that kind of sensitive information! They could... um... er... well I can't think of any right now, but I'm sure they're there... and horrible and stuff.

What? They can see if assignments weren't handed in?!?!?!! My god, why not just tattoo a barcode onto people's heads? Certainly a parent finding out that thier kid isn't doing their schoolwork can only come to total world catastrophe!

*sigh* seriously though. The kind of information here is info that parents have a right to. Except maybe the lunch thing, which I can see no practical use for anyway. The skipping class thing and the homework thing is useful: skipping lots of class and not doing work can be signs of something larger wrong with a child's life. This system poses no threat to high school students: they'll still be able to hide thier lives from thier parents easily enough, with only a little added work. I see no problems here.

-Andy Martin, Home of the Whopper.
Not everything is quantifiable.
Perhaps... (4.00 / 1) (#13)
by slaytanic killer on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:47:48 PM EST

But this defintely has disturbing consequences for a class of people who have few rights as it is.

[ Parent ]
What consequences? (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by adamant on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:55:34 PM EST

What are the consequences? Kids can't skip classes? Academic problems might be caught earlier?

Really, what are the serious consequences? Help me understand -- it's been a while since I've been in school and I really don't understand what the big deal is?


[ Parent ]
never ending (3.75 / 4) (#22)
by alprazolam on Tue May 22, 2001 at 03:29:29 PM EST

parents complain about kids who come home to live with them after college because they can't take responsibility for themselves! you think monitoring grades in high school is where this is going to end? hell no. next it will be in colleges, and it will be police records, grades, library fines. in 50 years people are going to complain about the generation of people with no responsibility for themselves and no love for their parents. wake up america (and whoever else adopts the 'micro manage your children' philosophy), you asked for it.

[ Parent ]
Not micro-management (3.00 / 1) (#30)
by adamant on Tue May 22, 2001 at 05:03:38 PM EST

As another reader said earlier, this seems to be a clear case of monitoring and not micro-management (at least from my point of view).

Since the information gathered by this software is already available in other forms, do you believe that attendence and academic records ought to be deliberately obfuscated from the parents' view?


[ Parent ]
i don't think (4.66 / 3) (#34)
by alprazolam on Tue May 22, 2001 at 05:45:22 PM EST

That parents need to know that every homework assignment was handed in, every class was attended, what was eaten at every meal, etc, etc. The more freedom my parents gave me, the more open and honest I was with them. The more controlling they tried to be, the more rebellious and deceitful I acted. People learn responsibility, it doesn't just happen all of a sudden when you turn 18 or 21.

[ Parent ]
My question remains (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by adamant on Tue May 22, 2001 at 06:12:19 PM EST

Ignore for a moment the issue of monitoring high-schoolers' diets -- because that's just creepy. What my kids eat at lunch shouldn't concern me enough to warrant such deliberate oversight. I can't believe that someone decided that this was valuable information.

But, at this moment, any parent can call their kid's school and find out what classes they missed; they can find out from their teachers if they're missing homework, and they can find what their grades are. Should schools deliberately keep this task one that requires some effort. Or, should they make oversight easier by letting parents have that information over the web? Or, should this information not be available at all?


[ Parent ]
The point. (4.50 / 4) (#46)
by slaytanic killer on Tue May 22, 2001 at 07:48:59 PM EST

The point is that we can't look at one single advantage in a vacuum. If it were just a matter of parents having a little bit better information on their child's progress, everything would be fine. But since hell is paved with good intentions, the trend really is toward greater control (and even drugging) of young adults.

Wasn't it Thomas Jefferson who made many quotable sayings on the need for a rebellious spirit? A dangerous thing, but important for the health of a vibrant world leader.

The school was so completely ready to do that disturbing thing with the child's lunch. That's the problem, along with the fact that all the internet bandwidth in the world just doesn't make a good parent out of a bad one. If a child's not well-adjusted, a miracle won't happen.

[ Parent ]
Correction (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by sigwinch on Wed May 23, 2001 at 09:44:40 PM EST

But since hell is paved with good intentions...
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Hell itself is paved with a combination of asphalt and concrete. Duh.

I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

Well, then answer me a question... (4.50 / 4) (#28)
by slaytanic killer on Tue May 22, 2001 at 04:36:32 PM EST

This quote is from the AP story:
They asked administrators to block their kid from buying juice and ice cream. Now, whenever the child shows up at the register, the computer tells the lunch lady: no juice, no ice cream.
Does this disturb you? I am not asking this rhetorically, since it determines how much ground we have in common to discuss. After all, it brings up all sorts of "slippery-slope" arguments.

In this case, a middle-school child was blocked. Imagine the social consequences of making a high-schooler toothless in this manner.

When you look at Japanese and German students (which I have some experience with), they tend to take highschool more deadly seriously, and blow off college. US students do the opposite. If it is indeed true that older students need a period in which they blow off steam, would you prefer it happens in college, when they have all the free beer they could ever wish for? Or should we try extending this program there as well and see the consequences?

[ Parent ]
Lunch (4.00 / 2) (#31)
by adamant on Tue May 22, 2001 at 05:07:54 PM EST

I agree -- what Johnny ate for lunch isn't the type of information parents need. In fact, I think that this type of micro-management or point-and-click parenting is something that all parents should avoid.

Of course, that doesn't negate the value of easy access by parents to academic and attendance records of their children.


[ Parent ]
What end goal do we have? (4.00 / 3) (#43)
by slaytanic killer on Tue May 22, 2001 at 06:52:56 PM EST

Of course, that doesn't negate the value of easy access by parents to academic and attendance records of their children.
Quite true. That question certainly was not meant to argue against you completely, and it is true -- a good parent will know how to use these tools well. But looking more out of the box, does this regiment a teenager's life too closely without enough payback in the development of that young adult?

A bad parent will likely stay bad, as a good parent will likely remain good. But is it good for "the American spirit" for teenagers to be locked down and watched so tightly? If we combine this with the disturbing trend to drug children rather than deal with them as humans, we can see that we're going deeper down a dangerous slope.

That is partly why I asked that question: if the slope can bring us down so quickly that parents can know what their children eat even now, then how will schools look like in five years?

[ Parent ]
solution (2.50 / 2) (#17)
by electricbarbarella on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:57:39 PM EST

Everyone has to go through high school, pretty much. It's hell for everyone who does. It is the nature of high school to suck. If you don't like it, do what I did: suffer through it, learn to be strong on your own, then at first opportunity get the hell out of that situation.

As for these disturbing consequences: what the hell? As a student, it is your job to go to class and do your work. If you don't do it, you get punished. The new system just makes sure that people who don't do their job get caught and are more likely to face the consequences of their actions. Again, I see no problems with the system.

-Andy Martin, Home of the Whopper.
Not everything is quantifiable.
[ Parent ]
homework (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by axxeman on Tue May 22, 2001 at 10:39:31 PM EST

I maybe did 0.5% of the homework assigned in years 8-12 inclusive. Duxed my school.

Your mistake is assuming that homework is by default relevant, and assigned to facilitate the learning process.

lecturer (lkchr-r) n. Abbr. lectr: graduate unemployable outside the faculty.
[ Parent ]

Eh? (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by spiralx on Wed May 23, 2001 at 12:30:04 PM EST

Duxed my school.


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

terminology (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by axxeman on Thu May 24, 2001 at 12:24:47 AM EST

The "Dux" is the top scoring student in a year.

lecturer (lkchr-r) n. Abbr. lectr: graduate unemployable outside the faculty.
[ Parent ]

teenagers will always complain (4.00 / 8) (#14)
by cicero on Tue May 22, 2001 at 02:48:43 PM EST

about the control their parents have over them. one might even be tempted to say that it's the way of things. When I was in high school, I thought it was terribly unfair that my school had an auto-dialer that called my house if I missed a class. Of course, the student immdiately realizes that if they answer the phone, all is well. This system makes it much more difficult for that trivial sort of intercetption to happen. bravo.

Brian Tucker, from the article, is right when he says that highschool is a time for young people to begin finding out how to strike out on their own (and I mean strike out in both senses of the word). However, the process of finding out is phenomenally easier with the aid of an interested parent or guardian. In that sense, a system like this is great in that it allows the interested parent/guardian, not more control, but more information about the young person they are raising.

The only problem I see with a system like this is that it allows for a detached level of control. more like passive monitering than active involvement in the childs life. I would venture a guess that the only parents who would use this tool to maintain a healthy parent/child relationship are the ones who already know weather or not their children are cutting classes or turning in their homework. other parents would more likely use it as fuel for groundings and the like.

I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
We need to pick one (4.08 / 12) (#21)
by finkployd on Tue May 22, 2001 at 03:29:10 PM EST

We blame parents everytime one of their kids goes nuts and shoots up a school. "How could they not know their kid needed help?" "How did the not realize there were problems at school?" "How did the kid hide multiple firearms and bomb making equipment in their room without the parents knowing?"

We attack any attempt parents and schools make to invade the privacy of their kids. "Keeping records on children is an invasion of their privacy" "The schools should not be making available the grades and attendance record of these kid to their parents, they are responsible for themselves"

MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS! If you are not going to support parents having more control over their kids in high school, then you better never complain when one of them is tried as an adult for doing something stupid. With freedom comes responsibility.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Parental Access to Student Records (4.00 / 2) (#23)
by espo812 on Tue May 22, 2001 at 03:36:08 PM EST

Parents should have access to all the records of any minor that they own (chuckle) in school. The schools must only collect records properly and lawfully. Attendance and class scores are fine. Records of communications with guidance counslers should be kept private.

Censorship is un-American.
[ Parent ]
The Parent is the Computer (4.00 / 4) (#29)
by slaytanic killer on Tue May 22, 2001 at 04:54:56 PM EST

"How could they not know their kid needed help?" "How did the not realize there were problems at school?" "How did the kid hide multiple firearms and bomb making equipment in their room without the parents knowing?"
Well, if you want a way to find out that your trenchcoat wearing daughter is keeping firearms under her bed, then I suggest bugging her communications and rifling through her room. Otherwise, I am not sure exactly how "bad parents" could effectively use continuously-updated information any better than the old reportcard and test score variety. They remain bad parents.

Maybe what we need is a point-and-click interface to turn bad parents into good.

(And btw, I don't blame the parents when children go mad. It is a cheap way of explaining something that is more profound.)

[ Parent ]
I agree mostly (3.50 / 2) (#51)
by finkployd on Tue May 22, 2001 at 10:53:34 PM EST

Look, you and I both know that bad parents exist, and this system will not help that at all. However, it could be a pretty valuable tool for good parents to keep up on academic work or missed classes or whatever. They can find out this stuff anyway, all the school is doing is making it easier on them.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Certainly (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by slaytanic killer on Wed May 23, 2001 at 06:02:16 AM EST

Definitely. I was being a bit inflammatory... I do have that unfortunate tendency on polarized articles. ;)

My more careful thoughts on this are in the thread with Adamant and Alprazolam, and it would probably bore you for me to repeat them here. The gist is that there are many deep disadvantages to this tool, that have already shown themselves. This "tool" does a lot more than just telling parents if a child skipped class or failed a test.

[ Parent ]
It all comes down to the parents (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by finkployd on Wed May 23, 2001 at 11:10:28 AM EST

If a parent is overbearing this will probably just be one more way for them to micromanage their kids, I agree. But even the "on the surface" concept of finding out what your kid had for lunch can be a useful tool if you suspect your child has say, and eating disorder. Like any tool, it's neither good nor bad, it's application is up to the person using it.

I guess the question is, do the potential benefits of this tool to "good" parents outweigh the potential uses that overbearing "bad" parents may use it for? I honestly don't know, but if you are going to micromanage your kid and not have a relationship based on trust, then you will do that with or without this tool.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Lunch? (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by delmoi on Tue May 22, 2001 at 06:26:12 PM EST

How is being able to find out what your kids are eating at lunch going to stop school shootings?

I wouldn't really have much of a problem with the grades thing... but the lunch thing is just creapy.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Reason (4.00 / 3) (#50)
by finkployd on Tue May 22, 2001 at 10:51:17 PM EST

Perhaps they are just concerned about a son or daughter's eating habits. Anorexia (sp?) is a pretty big problem with teens today, and finding out your daughter hasn't eaten lunch in weeks may be a sign that could help parents deal with it. I didn't see anything they were revealing to parents that struck me as an invasion of privacy.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Monitoring isn't really going to be helpful (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by John Milton on Sat May 26, 2001 at 12:43:54 AM EST

In theory, this would be great, but in practice, how accurate would it really be. What's to stop your child from buying lunch and then throwing it in a trash can? What about bulemics? Unless they're planning on hanging webcams in the bathroom, this is just a knee-jerk reaction.

"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

[ Parent ]
no. (none / 0) (#110)
by gtx on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 09:36:14 PM EST

i didn't eat lunch on a regular basis in high school until my senior year. i spent the time doing homework, working in the lab, or writing software that i would later sell back to the school (it was a nice system i had.)

was i anorexic? no. not at all. i ate an awful lot, just not during school hours. however, i think we'll just start fucking kids up if we start accusing them of things based on the way we interpret mundane things like lunch records. 'uh oh, jonny's had two bottles of orange juice, i bet johnny's fucked up on E today', 'suzy's eating habits have changed drasticaly, i wonder if she's on drugs? maybe she's even PREGNANT!'

i guess my point is, if i had to answer for all the shit that i pulled in high school that didn't make any difference to the outcome, i'm not sure i would have made it out sane.

i don't have anything clever to write here.
[ Parent ]
what about... (none / 0) (#112)
by gtx on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 10:00:17 PM EST

...those of us who don't blame the parents AND think that controlling every aspect of our childrens lives will just turn our kids into overdependent piles of (decidedly healthy) organic matter? i mean, i know that if i wanted to stockpile guns when i was in highschool, i could have. nobody would have noticed. why? well, my parents and i had a nice mutual respect thing going. they didn't fuck with my shit, i didn't fuck with their shit. at the same time, being that i was respected, i really had no reason to rebel or any of that bullshit. i think that if we start prying away at our kids privacy, we'll see even more kids flip out and start killing people. the sad thing is that we won't find this out until after the schools and the idiot masses make a quick shortsighted decision to implement these systems.

unless, of course, you truly believe that the more you can control your kids, the better off they'll be in the long run.

i don't have anything clever to write here.
[ Parent ]
See it from another side (4.50 / 6) (#25)
by mami on Tue May 22, 2001 at 03:51:33 PM EST

Parents would also get a clear picture about the work load and assignments a multitude of teachers are handing out to the students. If the teachers are unreasonable, the assignments dead stupid, parents could also have some influence in pointing out the weaker points of their kid's teachers and not just detect the weak points of their children.

My favorite quote (3.60 / 5) (#26)
by jayfoo2 on Tue May 22, 2001 at 04:06:09 PM EST

Skyward uses the same security measures that online retailers like Amazon.com use for credit card purchases over the Internet.

Because we all know how secure online retailers are...

Anyway I don't necessarily have a problem with this kind of system, it's really not data that parents didn't always have access to, via teacher conferences, report cards, etc.

I'm really not sure that parents need direct access to lunch purchases, but whatever floats your boat.

What would worry me (and I'm way past high school) wasn't that my mom would know that I was skipping class, it's that she would know what I was doing while I was gone. That's the system I'd fight against.


Time management (4.12 / 8) (#27)
by slakhead on Tue May 22, 2001 at 04:18:39 PM EST

It just seems like a waste of time to me. All the teachers I know work hard just to come up with new assignments and get everything graded on time. The last thing school systems need is to have all the teachers counting students instead of teaching them.

All of this invasion of privacy seems like a desperate grab for security when the children are becoming adults. I bet I could name all the parents in my town who would support a program like this and they are all insecure parents with too much time on their hands.

It may seem extreme but I can see Pink Floyd's "Mother" becoming a more and more popular request on local radio stations as schools begin monitoring.

The sixth lesson (4.66 / 12) (#32)
by Signal seven 11 on Tue May 22, 2001 at 05:25:50 PM EST

Read The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher by John Taylor Gatto.

READ THE ABOVE LINK, EVERYBODY, PLEASE!! <eom&g (1.00 / 3) (#57)
by minusp on Wed May 23, 2001 at 08:46:10 AM EST

Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
Good link. (2.00 / 2) (#82)
by misterluke on Fri May 25, 2001 at 04:38:54 PM EST

Nice and scary. Home schooling looks better and better ...

[ Parent ]
Grades == good, lunch info == creepy. (3.71 / 7) (#42)
by delmoi on Tue May 22, 2001 at 06:40:41 PM EST

I don't necessarily see anything wrong with parents getting grade and absence info from the school. In fact, if I was still in HS I would have loved to have been able to get up-to-the-minute grade reports. And I wouldn't have minded my mom knowing that stuff, she should have had access. (She was pretty laid back actually, The only think I regret is that she didn't teach me much discipline)

On the other hand, the Lunch info stuff is just plain creepy. I wouldn't want anyone to have information on the food I ate I mean my god. I would just feel violated or something. It would just be weird.

I'd be willing to bet that this is the thing that upsets the kids most.

And that poor kid who got banned from Ice-cream. Wow, he must feel like shit, with all the other kids eating it and him not. And in middle school that's the kind of thing that can actually lead to ossification by peers.

Bleh, it's just disturbing.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
"Ossification"? (4.50 / 4) (#53)
by lower triangular on Wed May 23, 2001 at 03:01:37 AM EST

Wow, being turned into bone by your peers must really suck .... I think you mean "ostracisation". Normally I wouldn't say anything about this sort of thing, but I thought it would be less embarrassing to learn on a weblog than to accidentally make the mistake in conversation.


Linux - the ultimate Windows Service Pack!
Windows - the ultimate Linux Productivity Suite!

[ Parent ]

No, ossification is good (3.50 / 2) (#59)
by Glacky on Wed May 23, 2001 at 10:23:33 AM EST

You've never been turned to stone when 30 pairs of eyes turn and look at you with unguarded contempt for saying something dumb in class? :-)

[ Parent ]
That explains it (none / 0) (#95)
by fluffy grue on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:37:32 AM EST

That explains a lot about Natalie Portman. She's being OSSified.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

And the saddest thing is, (3.00 / 1) (#71)
by psicE on Wed May 23, 2001 at 09:55:09 PM EST

AFAIK students can't access this information themselves, only parents, thereby defeating the purpose. I think that a system like this would be wonderful if students, and only students, were allowed to access the information, but by doing it the way Washington State is, they're corrupting the system.

What do I care, as soon as I get out of college (9 years to go :) I'm going to law school and getting citizenship in Canada, where these things are closer to illegal.

[ Parent ]

Having seen my share of dysfunctional families... (4.25 / 4) (#48)
by marlowe on Tue May 22, 2001 at 09:03:34 PM EST

and then some, I can tell you that the kids with parents who are too obtrusive are far less messed up on average than those whose parents simply don't give a shit.

But if you don't have the basis of comparison I have, I can see how hard it might be to appreciate what you have. After all, neurotic parents aren't all that great either.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
maybe, but... (none / 0) (#103)
by Ender Ryan on Wed May 30, 2001 at 11:49:39 PM EST

Every single kid I ever knew who had such intrusive parents, their REAL LIFE revolved around everything they did when they could get away from their parents. All these kids practically had orgasms when they could get away with something their parents didn't want them to do. They learned not to do certain things, not WHY they shouldn't do certain things. Eventually these kids usually turn out ok, but usually take MUCH longer to mature, and sometimes don't quite make it there. I know more than a few people like this...

And then kids who have parents who don't give a shit grow up never experiencing the love of a parent, never knowing compassion, never understanding what makes life meaningful. These kids are usually condemned to live in a shitty apartment, with a gross beer-bellied spouse, raising kids the same way they were raised(not at all), drinking beer out on the porch, showing off their new gun to their homeboys, ending up on Jerry Springer, refusing to pay child support for their bastard children that they insist aren't theirs...

There is a fine line I guess. On one hand, a child needs to be watched to make sure they are growing up properly, learning what they need to learn, staying healthy etc.. But on the other hand, a child needs to learn to be responsible for (his/her)self.

I was a kid once, I'm glad I'll never be one again...

Anyone who is still a kid, ignore anyone who tells you that this is the best time of your life, they are lying to you.

Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!

[ Parent ]

PRO and CON arguments (3.75 / 4) (#52)
by Carnage4Life on Tue May 22, 2001 at 11:43:52 PM EST

It makes it easier for parents to know what is going on in their children's lives especially since some kids can be less than truthful with their folks. What I was actually buying with my lunch money or not, my grades and my attendence are things that I was less than truthful to my parents about while in high school. If my parents had been able to keep better track of me in school instead of relying on occasional calls, progress reports and me for information on my school it is most likely that I would have attended more classes and gotten better grades thus getting more educationally out of school and keeping out of some of the trouble I got in.

I feel that parents should have easier access to the information that schools posses about their children's habits to aid them in doing their jobs as parents instead of parents having to go the extra mile on top of everything else they have to do.

As subsequent generations grow more and more accustomed to being monitored by authority figures we are becoming closer to a world similar to George Orwell's 1984 where the government observed the behavior of its subjects in excrutiating minutae. The United States was founded on the principle that the natural state of government is to oppress the people so there should be as many safeguards as possible to prevent this from happening. Yet one wonders when an entire generation of citizens exists that has been socialized to accept monitoring as a way of life. Can you say Police State?

Truthfulness (4.00 / 1) (#90)
by ksandstr on Mon May 28, 2001 at 10:30:11 AM EST

You know, mutual respect between parent and offspring goes a lot farther than having a distant parent-entity monitor whatever the kid does 6-7 hours a day combined with knee-jerk reactionary behaviour when the kid doesn't live up to the utopian expectations of his/her parent(s). Unwillingness to go "that extra mile" is merely a matter of being ill-prepared to parent a child, in my opinion, and falls in the same category as letting the TV/school/whatever raise your kid so that you can keep working that 60-hours-per-week job.

[ Parent ]
Social problem, meet technical solution (4.25 / 4) (#54)
by lower triangular on Wed May 23, 2001 at 03:39:42 AM EST

Is this monitoring system going to make parents who previously didn't care about their kids get involved?

No. Nobody is out there saying "I would certainly take more of an interest in my kids' schoolwork if there was a convenient web-based front end!".

Is this system, on the other hand, going to help concerned parents to take better care of their children?

No. Involved parents and children already have a relationship of trust. All this is going to do is to feed the obsessive element in some parents and undermine that trust.

Just because something can be done, doesn't mean it should be.

Linux - the ultimate Windows Service Pack!
Windows - the ultimate Linux Productivity Suite!

Security concerns (3.42 / 7) (#55)
by Paul Johnson on Wed May 23, 2001 at 05:00:08 AM EST

I voted "Yes" to the poll (its a good idea), but with caveats about security and the degree of intrusiveness. Yes, its good that ordinary school records are available to parents. What the child had for lunch is another matter.

But my biggest concern is the security of the system. A paedophile cracker could use this to identify and target vulnerable chilren. And sites of this kind have a long history of security holes. Teachers have other things to do than worry about keeping up with security patches.

You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.

Responsibility. (4.16 / 6) (#61)
by clarioke on Wed May 23, 2001 at 11:27:54 AM EST

Someone needs to take it. Real responsibility. I'm not that far from high school; my kid brother (kid, sure, he's a foot taller than me) is in high school now. And I can see the effects.

There are some teachers who really, honestly care. The teacher who knows when you didn't do your homework, who cares that you failed his test, who makes you learn it anyway and who actually gives a rat's butt about your education, even if you don't.

There are some parents who really honestly care, too.

And then there's the rest of the world. There are parents who care TOO MUCH. Crazy thought. In high school, I was approached more than once, by "concerned parents" of friends of mine. These parents wanted the dirt on my friend's newest boy.

My mom once thought she wasn't being "involved" enough. By not having my mom involved in every minute detail of my life, I learned how to handle life when I didn't do homework for three nights, went out for coffee instead of French class and staying up until two am talking to my newest boy.

Responsibility. I was lucky enough to have a parent who let me take some. But a computer program? How will this really help? There is no one around who actually cares about the kid. There's a fine line between not caring enough and caring too much.

A computer can't be a replacement for parenting. Mom does NOT need to know that I didn't eat lunch because I was too busy ripping through an English essay I forgot to write the night before. That was MY fault, sorry, I was on the phone until two am. So I wrote it during lunch.

Lunch isn't the problem. The parent's reaction to it is. While anorexia is a problem, perhaps the parent should try watching what the kid eats at home.

Too far.. (3.00 / 2) (#65)
by k5er on Wed May 23, 2001 at 02:19:41 PM EST

Big Brother is going a little too far with this one. 10 years from now they'll probably be tracking adults and planting chips in us. Someone DDOS these computer systems and fast... and keep doing it until they give up, hehe.

Long live k5, down with CNN.
Useless and harmful (4.25 / 4) (#68)
by Woundweavr on Wed May 23, 2001 at 05:22:52 PM EST

Remember, many students are 18 or older when they graduate. They are supposed to be afforded the right to privacy. In fact, all the students are supposed to be afforded that under the 9th amendment and SJC cases that state unless a right goes against the basic plan of a school.

Even assuming its legit legally, it does no good. Kids will not want their parents looking over their shoulder all the time any more than you want your boss or your government. Would you have a better relationship with your parents if your mom decided to start yelling about buying ice cream the day before? Or your father about forgetting one homework out of fifty? Good parents are good parents and will be harmed if anything by thsi tool. Bad parents will continue to be bad parents. The ones in between will just find themselves more alienated from their kids.

Im 19 and in college and I know if my parents had been looking over my shoulder all the time, our relationship would not be so good.

Those parents who don't give a crap won't use this. The ones that do can *gasp* talk to their kids. Thats how good relationship are made. Its the borderline cases, the worried parents who aren't sure and don't have awesome relationships with their kids, that will drive away their children with this type of thing.

And thats not even touching on accuracy of reports and security.

Newsflash! (3.33 / 3) (#69)
by Crashnbur on Wed May 23, 2001 at 07:22:03 PM EST

Your ability to block them out would never have been realized had they not put pressure on you. Face it, your parents helped to get you where you are, and unless your family was absolutely dysfunctional, you could not be where you are now without them. Just my two cents... I obviously don't know the details of your situation, so don't blast me if I'm way off base. :-)


Having seen how foul mouthed... (2.33 / 3) (#79)
by Rasvar on Thu May 24, 2001 at 06:35:16 PM EST

and ill prepared today groups of students are compared to 15 years ago, yes, the parents should and do have this right.

My parents always knew what was going on. If I had missed some classes, the school expected a call from my parents or called them. If my grades were bad, my teachers called my parents. Todays schools aren't given the resources.

Add to that the unrespectful group of that is todays youth and you have a major problem. I suppose I will be flamed by the teenagers in this group saying "you don't know what goes on!" That is a load of BS! I am back in college now myself. I am seeing what is coming out of the school system. A bunch of ill-prepared, coddled, spoiled kids who have to be completely retaught in college. Some of it is due to 'new learning styles'. The kind that are suppose to build self-esteem by outcome based education. I'm sorry, pass is pass fail is fail. Learn it, deal with it! If you don't feel as good about yourself becuase you failed math and have to take it again, too bad!

Same thing goes for discipline. Students show no respect for the teachers. I'm sure I will hear, "Well, the teacher doesn't respect us." Too bad! Respect is earned. Being a foul mouth punk doesn't earn respect. Dressing like a salvation army reject doesn't earn you respect. High school is a place for learning! You are not there to make a statement. Save that for college after you have learned some social skills and how to speak. Of course, lawmakers and lawyers have made things tough. You can't a work a kids butt off for two weeks in the hot sun if he was skipping class. You can't make kid scrub every bit of graffiti and gum off the school for cursing in the halls. So now government has to pass idiotic, zero tollerence rules that are a complete joke.

Point is, like it or not, in order to bring you up right, a good parent and teacher needs to have a way to communicate. It also means that a parent has to handle situations in a manner that supports the teacher. Too many parents don't do that and end up with spoiled brats. Parents are supposed to be involved in your life. That is their job and duty! It will be until you are out of that house and on your own. At least if they are doing their job right.

[Let the flame fest begin]

point and counterpoint (3.66 / 3) (#81)
by l0gichunt3r on Fri May 25, 2001 at 10:34:53 AM EST

I agree with some of what you're saying. Parents definitely need to be involved. Most of the problems caused by "troubled kids" can be traced back to the parenting or lack there of.

I also agree that the majority of my generation is coddled and generally problematic because they feel that someone owes them something. Personally this is bull, but my view stems from the way I was reared. On a side note, I am 23, I am not some teen in high school, but I do feel that I am on the fringe of that generation that is 17 and older.

However, this is where our opinions differ. I do not feel there is ever any justification to treat children like prisoners in order to prevent them from misbehaving.

I think you hit the point on the head when you mentioned the stupid zero tolerance laws. School administrations are taking a band-aid approach without trying to analyze the heart of the matter. It used to be acceptable to have a playground fight. So some kid might get a black eye, at least no one was killed. Now that we have guaranteed that any students involved in a fight will go to jail, we have removed any outlet for teenager rivalry and frustration. And there is lots of it. Now we have put a cap over a pressure cooker and we are left wondering why it explodes every now and then.

I digressed, sorry. The point is this school monitoring software is another quick fix to solve a much bigger problem.

[ Parent ]
respect being earned (none / 0) (#93)
by jkominek on Tue May 29, 2001 at 08:21:12 PM EST

You say respect has to be earned. Indeed it does.

Teachers have to earn the respect of their students as well. There is nothing automatically respectable about a K-12 teacher.
- jay kominek unix is all about covering up the fact that you can't type.
[ Parent ]

re: Having seen how foul mouthed... (none / 0) (#94)
by suntzu on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:31:59 PM EST

this is ridiculous. this sort of reactionary punishment teaches the child nothing. the child needs to understand why what is being done is wrong or has certain consequences. to "work a kids butt off for two weeks in the hot sun if he was skipping class" is ludicrously reactionary. all your teaching the child with this type of paternalism is "don't get caught" (and believe me, as someone who enjoys learning, but skipped his share of class in high school, that's plenty easy). if the child wants to go somewhere in life that requires an education, he'll learn to go to class. if the child want something else, it really doesn't matter. i knew that coming into college, and it's a struggle to balance that myself, but i'll be damned if i have someone control me for what they think is my own good. i'd say i don't mean to flame, but you already did, so i don't feel that bad. my roommate and i have sort of an ongoing discussion about this sort of paternalistic philosophy. and in so many words, my stance on the issue can be sumarized as "fuck off." it's something i believe everyone has the right to say. now, i realize small children don't really have this right, but gradually, this right must be given to everyone if they are to be able to truly and successfully integrate into society. i'll gladly accept the consequences of my philosophy if it means the prevention of a bunch of successful, squeaky clean robots.

[ Parent ]
Re: Having seen... (none / 0) (#97)
by j0s)( on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:00:13 AM EST

As you said, respect is a two way street. Just because they are a teacher doesn't mean I have to respect them. I respect those people that respect me. When they sit in front of the class with a "holier than thou" attitude, there is no reason for me to have any respect for that person.

I do agree that pass is pass and fail is fail. I agree that a lot of these new teaching styles are bullshit. The only people who claim there feelings are hurt are the ones who don't want to work and are smart enough to realize that if they act alienated by bad grades that they can get out of trouble.

The laguage we use has nothing at all to do with respect. We can speak however and use whichever words we wish. There is such a thing as appropriateness and there are a fair share of kids that don't understand this. But because I choose to say fuck while I'm talking to a friend does not matter one bit. My style of dress also has no bearing on any of this. "High school is a place for learning!" and "Save that for college..." How does college differ in any way from high school? My style of dress, whether it be baggy pants or dockers had no bearing on whether or not I listen to a teacher, or whether I do my homework. How I dress is how I choose to dress, for whatever reasons I may have to dress that way. College is an institution of "higher learning" and parents and students pay a great deal of money to learn at these places. Yet it is acceptable to dress and act however one wishes on a college campus. Why is high school not the same. Why is it that people are so bothered by what we're wearing, or what we're saying, or who we're going out with. Since I graduated, moved out, went to college, I have realized that a lot of what parents do is out of concern to see us do better. But that doesn't mean that they can't be overly involved or overly concerned.

One of the most annoying things that happens when your in High School is the fact that your parents have the audacity to punish you for stunts they pulled in high school. Of course, when your caught, you should be punished. But all that does is teach one how not to get caught. If I want to buy fruit juice and ice cream everyday, then dammit, why can't I? And if the cash register says "no juice, no ice cream", then how hard is it for me to have my good friend standing next to me buy juice and ice cream as I buy his Doritos and Dr. Pepper. Skipping class is a part of high school. Not doing homework is a part of high school. Learning how to deal with your responsibilities is a part of high school.

All this is doing is trying to put someone/thing in control of the kids at all times. Parents can't control their kids all the time. That's because their human beings too. When your in high school you learn how to deal with your household responsibilities along with your school work responsibilities so that you can have more freedom to do the things you want to do. High school is learning responsibilities. High school is growing. High school is preparing to get out on your own.

My mom would have loved to have kept me under her thumb throughout high school. I wouldnt allow that though. I kept stuff from her, I lied, I learned to deal wiht my own problems. I learned how to handle my responsibilities. And when I needed someone, I would turn to her. She would give me "I want to helpyou but you never want my help so why should I help you when you ask for it?" Because I'm trying to learn, I'm trying to grow. I'm trying to handle my life and the situations that come with it. And when I have questions about life, or what to do in a situation, I ask, because you've been there, done that. Is this not understandable? When I left for college my mom forgot all about me. She said, I don't have to worry about you. You're taking care of yourself. When your in my home I worry because I have to keep an eye on you and protect you. Now I have been gone from home for two years, and just recently, due to some problems with my last employer that left me jobless, carless, and homeless, I moved back to my moms house. So I can get some shit togther, and figure out how I'm gonna get out and get going again. I'm turning 20 and at this point, am baically a bum. I can't get a job in this city, not even at fast food establishments. This after I was an Office Manager to a top producing Real Estate Agent. We worked as a team, the two of us. Making massive amounts of money in a very professional and white collar job field. I'm sickened that now I have to lower myself to trying to get hired at SmackDonalds or Taco Hell. But I have to do ti so I can get out on my own again. Is this what working hard and getting good grades gets us?

But now I'm off the topic.

A good parent is a good parent without good parenting software. A bad parent is a bad parent with or with out the software. Putting a childs grades or assignment record online isn't necessarily a bad idea.

But this is where the problems with the software come into play. Any website can be cracked. Any database can be cracked. All it takes is one student who gets pissed off at the predictament he's in with his parents because "the program said..." to make the software vulnerable.

This sounds like its more geared to be an administrative program. So why not leave it at that. Theres no need to let parents have access to all this information, especially since most of it's point less. Knowing what your child buys with his lunch money shouldn't be your biggest concern. I almost always went without buying lunch in order to stop somewhere on my way home. Or to help defray the cost of the new CD or DVD I wanted. Is this wrong? Sounds like a smart way of spending your money. Your child's eating habits are very easily established if you use your eyes and watch what your kid its while hes at home. If a parent wants to know if his child is doing his homework or ditching class, call. Or go in and see the teacher after school. Make an appointment to sit down and chat. Thats where good parents are good parents. They recognize a problem and ask the teacher if they feel theres a problem. This action is border-line, but spyware in the lunch room is far worse. It's more than an invasion of privacy, its as gay as a gymnast on shore leave (no offense to gay gymnasts in the navy or on shore leave, j/k).

Relationships are built on trust. This takes trust out of the equation completely. It puts a computer program in charge of your child while their out of your supervision.

Anyways, I've basically forgotten all the major points I wanted to make in this rebuttal. So I'm going to stop typing and get back to work on some PERL for my website.

And if you feel this is a flame, as implied by your ending line "[Let the flame fest begin]", I suggest you re-read that load of shit you posted and realize that your flamebait deserves the opinions of people who have an opinion on more than the foul mouths and disrespectful attitudes of "kids". It's probably because your in your 30's going back to school to get out of your dead end job, and annoyed by the fact that the "kids" won't accept you. FMlae not and be not flamed.


-- j0sh -- of course im over-dramatizing my statements, but thats how its done here, sensationalism, otherwise you wouldnt read it.

[ Parent ]
practice makes perfect (none / 0) (#99)
by Glacky on Wed May 30, 2001 at 04:42:55 AM EST

Good troll, but somewhat obvious :-)

Not obvious enough to some people however (points down the page...)

the 'flame fest' comment gave it away; you should appear to be completely serious, not expecting people to violently pick apart your argument ;-)

[ Parent ]
i dunno (none / 0) (#111)
by gtx on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 09:45:13 PM EST

i was charging 100 bucks an hour for tech services during my senior year of high school, i paid for myself, i never hurt anybody, and, according to my high school's guidance counselor / psychologist (this should warn you to the accuracy of my next statement) i had the highest IQ of anybody ever to go through our system. and it's not like i went to some backwater school system, either. i went through one of those upper middle class snobbish school districts that had all of the best.

on the flip side, fuck has always been one of my favorite words. yeah, i was the kid who was smoking at the bus stop in the morning. yeah, i listened to punk rock and (half mockingly) would go off into anti-government rants during speech class. so, while i am a foul mouthed refugee of the public school system, i'd like to point out that i didn't end up being a judgemental fuck.

i don't have anything clever to write here.
[ Parent ]
Perfectly illustrating the problem: (4.50 / 2) (#85)
by Ludwig on Sat May 26, 2001 at 04:17:05 AM EST

Using the program, [the parents] found out that the child was buying fruit juice and ice cream every day. They asked administrators to block their kid from buying juice and ice cream. Now, whenever the child shows up at the register, the computer tells the lunch lady: no juice, no ice cream.
Good thing they're preventing their kid from buying fruit juice. That stuff'll kill ya.

Seriously, this perfectly illustrates the fallacy of this monitoring approach. How much analysis of their kid's eating habits do you think these parents performed before issuing the "no fruit juice" edict? None. They saw the words next to "ice cream" and had a kneejerk reaction. If it hadn't been so easy for them to enforce this restriction by checking a box on a webpage, they might have had time to mull over the issue while driving to a parent-teacher meeting, and realized that fruit juice and ice cream are not exactly in the same category. Or they might've discussed it with the kid. Or questioned the school's system of a-la-carte food provision. (We didn't have the option of buying nothing but root-beer floats for lunch; we bought a complete meal, with a choice of entree and drink and dessert. Of course, you could throw out the gelatinous shepherd's pie and side of gelatinous overcooked green beans and just eat the Jello, but then you'd be hungry later on and have to spend your own money on something.)

No matter how many shortcuts are made available, good parenting still takes effort, and bad parenting is still all too easy.

And it won't work for the following reason. (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by associatedrediffusion on Mon May 28, 2001 at 05:55:44 AM EST

Using the program, [the parents] found out that the child was buying fruit juice and ice cream every day. They asked administrators to block their kid from buying juice and ice cream. Now, whenever the child shows up at the register, the computer tells the lunch lady: no juice, no ice cream.

And we all know what the next step is don't we - the kids who can buy the stuff do so and sell it on at a profit - just like how in my local area older teens are selling cigarettes to younger ones - and pre-teens - for 50p EACH.

Nice one, I don't think.

[ Parent ]
it appeals to completely the wrong audience (5.00 / 2) (#91)
by grahamsz on Tue May 29, 2001 at 06:46:57 AM EST

In my experience the parents of children that regularly skip class usually know about it. The problem is that they dont care. In addition to this, these parents quite often come from the same social group that dont have internet access at home or in the workplace.

On the other hand it will completely undermine the relationship of trust between responsible (and over-protective) parents and their children.

Getting access to marks and truancy records is perfectly reasonable, but why not post these reports out at the end of each semester. That would allow open access to all parents, regardless of what social background they came from.

As for supervising lunch purchases, that's just pathetic. Part of maturing responsibly is being given increasingly more responsibility in your life. When I started high school and was given money to buy whatever lunch i wanted it felt like a big step.

You cant wrap kids up in cottonwool til their 18th birthday then let them loose - that just wont work.
Sell your digital photos - I've made enough to buy a taco today
Dear god (none / 0) (#92)
by phuqwit on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:10:21 AM EST

"I think the more we can control our kids, the better off in the long run they'll be." It's quotes like this that worry me.

Parents want to control their children more and more, but they don't realize that children, as they grow, require the freedom to make their own mistakes. They need to be able to get lost in the woods and call for help. And, when they find that help is not coming, they need to be able to find their own way home.

The only good that I can really see coming out of this is that children will get better and better at finding ways to either 1) get around the system or 2) hack the system.
=== You may or may not need to reboot in order to use this feature of Windows.
hack the planet (none / 0) (#98)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:35:50 AM EST

true. there may be an inate urge to hack the system...but for the most part...those who *do* hack the system will be rideculed, physically hurt, threatened, tormented and eventually killed for thier attempts to get around the system. unless there is some sort of mass defence on the students part there is really no hope to survive in such a world as may happen.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
No Mom, (4.00 / 4) (#100)
by tralfamadore on Wed May 30, 2001 at 08:03:47 AM EST

I'm not on drugs, I'm ok, I'm just thinking, why don't you get me a Pepsi? She goes, no, you're on drugs, I go mom, I'm okay, I'm just thinking, she goes no, you're not thinking, you're on drugs, normal people don't act that way. I go mom, just get me a Pepsi please, all I want is a Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me, all I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me, just a Pepsi!

oh well (none / 0) (#102)
by tralfamadore on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:39:43 PM EST

i'm sorry you don't like suicidal tendencies, but i thought this quote was pretty relevant to the situation at hand.

[ Parent ]
should have added lines (none / 0) (#105)
by georgeha on Thu May 31, 2001 at 11:55:58 AM EST

We decided?
My best interest?
How can you know
How can you say what my best interest is?
What are you trying to say?
I'm crazy?
Well, I went to your schools
I went to your churches
I went to your institutional learning facilities
So how can you say that I'm crazy?"

[ Parent ]
Since I can't see the story at that AOL link... (5.00 / 1) (#101)
by nstenz on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:36:19 PM EST

Here's a link to the story on Yahoo.


Now I think I'll go read it before talking out of my rear.

omg, LoL(in disbelief, this is a joke, right...?) (none / 0) (#104)
by Ender Ryan on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:05:32 AM EST

Wow, you can't get any stupider than this.

Hello? If you need this, I'm sorry, but to put it mildly, your kids are already fucked, try again. Oh wait, I'm sure you will, better welfare benefits...

Seriously, this will just let your child know exactly how much you trust him/her and will set them back about 10 years in their maturing process. In order to become responsible, one needs to be given the responsibility of taking care of one's self.

Even as an adult, I find it much more difficult when my boss is looking over my shoulder. I also admit that when my boss doesn't check up on me at all I start to slack off a bit. This is quite a bit different than a parent/child relationship, but it's still about trust.

Damn, it's getting late, no time to preview...

Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!

You were right. (none / 0) (#108)
by Pedro Picasso on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 08:22:02 AM EST

Ender Ryan,

You were right. I was wrong. I have no way to email this to you, and I couldn't post it to the other thread because I have no reason to believe you would read it again.

In short, there have been many reports of two high profile death penalty cases (McVeigh and the embassy bombers (sounds like a punk band)), and the reports from news sources I consider worth listening to are paying a lot of attention to the victims.

I was wrong. Nobody cares about justice or prevention; they care about closure and vengence. Selfish barbarians.

I still disagree entirely with your style of comment, and still think the preview button would do right by you, but I can't fault your content. I would say congratulations, but this sucks for both of us.
-the Pedro Picasso

Cult of the Flaky Hardware
[ (sourceCode == freeSpeech) | kakkune.com ]
[ Parent ]

I agree (none / 0) (#109)
by Ender Ryan on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 11:05:47 AM EST

"I still disagree entirely with your style of comment, and still think the preview button would do right by you"

I agree with that. You were completely correct about my original comment, I was truly being a complete ass.

It's just so sad how barbaric people can be. I find it to be absolutely insane, most of the people I have personally talked to(talked, not ran my mouth off to ; ) who support the DP, also think the electric chair is a good way to do it. That's just sick and twisted, and unconstitutional as well.

No cruel and unusual punishment... Gee, frying someone with electricity until their bowels explode and eyes sizzle, melt and sometimes pop out isn't cruel?

If we're so civilized today, then why is it we treat our criminals the same(or close to it) as hundreds of years ago. Why are we willing to occasionally kill innocent people just so people can have a sense of closure, or revenge. Is killing a hundred criminals worth the life of one innocent person?

Heh, I'm using the preview button this time...

Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!

[ Parent ]

Big Brother on Campus | 112 comments (103 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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