End Online Class Camera Requirement at PWCS

End Online Class Camera Requirement at PWCS

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Brandon W started this petition to Superintendent of PWCS Steve Walts and

Schools are requiring students to turn their cameras on, but for what reason?  The school system claims that it will help teachers make sure students are engaged during class and to help them determine whether they need help or not.  However, there are issues with these reasons and better alternatives. 

The main issue with requiring students to have their cameras on is that recording lessons will inevitably record the students as well, which violates COPPA regulations that protect the privacy of students.  COPPA states that websites must require parental consent before collecting personal information on minors.  This violation of privacy may result in lawsuits against the school board.  Recording students also violates FERPA regulations against releasing students' personal information without consent.

Another issue with this involves the well-being of the students.  When cameras are required, this puts an additional burden on the student by triggering anxiety due to the impression that they are being watched by everyone.  Some people may argue that students can also be seen by everyone in in-person situations, but that argument loses its validity because in a classroom, students are facing the teacher.  In a virtual setting, everyone appears to be staring at the student. 

There are alternatives to requiring cameras, though.  Resources such as Nearpod, Kahoot, and Quizizz allow the teacher to gauge student participation without the use of cameras.  Teachers can also address concerns and questions students may have through the private chat on Zoom.  If teachers are worried about grades, they can record extra supplemental information outside of class time for the students to watch. 

In conclusion, requiring cameras to be on at all times is a flawed solution to an easily addressed problem.  There are many effective alternatives available to teachers and students.  Allowing students to keep their cameras turned off reduces their stress and respects their privacy. 

Sources:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/12njztk6UJ9wIUPv7ppbYt6XVf7_ZBzAhKC5KNTulVxs/edit?usp=sharing

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!