No Mandatory Webcams for PE Exercises

No Mandatory Webcams for PE Exercises

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Andrew H. started this petition to North Allegheny School Board

Privacy, a common idea wished and cherished by all. In these last sad months we have been beaten down, we have been robbed, and we have been thrown into a meat grinder of stress and anxiety. I am sure we all feel like corks in a raging sea, it seems everyday we wake up and we are smashed by wave after wave of misery and for every brief moment we try to catch our breath, our mouths are met with a frothing wave of salt water that washes our minds of any hope. It seems as if the storm clouds above us will never let up and we try to keep our heads above the water for the fact that we know that this too, shall pass. Naturally it is understandable that this is not just a problem with us highschoolers, but the whole of America. It is no doubt the stress of a regular school year has been amplified to a degree where it is unbearable because of this global pandemic and the struggles of online learning. Me and many other students also admit to strongly disliking the mandatory use of our cameras because it feels as if a great light has been cast upon our personal space, our home, our room, the space where we feel safe. It already makes us anxious to ask important questions about the subject at hand or even to do something as simple “here” for attendance. It does not require a stretch of the imagination to believe that the recent announcement of the mandatory use of cameras for physical education exercises is going to cause more than its fair share of problems for the mental well being of already stressed highschoolers. These years of our life are already overflowing with anxieties over what other people think of us or if we fit in, we do not need to have that sacred boundary of privacy crossed, where we are practically forced to welcome 20 or more students (some of whom are complete strangers to us) over that line. I ask of you all, would you improve of an impromptu meeting of 20 or more random people from school into your own room? I and many other students simply ask for a bit of trust to be bestowed upon us and an understanding that the current situation is both terrifying and stressful to the highest degree imaginable. I personally believe that I would feel much more comfortable exercising without having to turn on my webcam. I understand that this would make students less accountable but I ask, should we have our rooms put under a microscope, should our rooms be illuminated by a great spotlight, should we have our rooms be dragged out into public view to be judged silently by all who bear witness to it? This measure shall only worsen our mental state. We ask that with these uncertain times a little, tiny morsel of trust should be given to us and we should maintain a certain degree of privacy. We ask that we should not be forced to turn on our cameras. We simply ask for respect in these trying times. I hope that you will all understand us and listen to the better angels of your nature.

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