High school database now includes kids’ sexuality, families’ wealth

Aug 26, 2018 by

Anti-bullying activists claim it helps teachers identify potential problems

In an effort to combat bullying, Scotland is implementing a school database that includes information about students’ sexuality, personal opinions and even their family’s wealth, the Scottish Daily Mail reports.

“Intimate details of pupils’ private lives are being shared among teachers in the latest Big Brother storm to hit Scottish schools,” the Mail said.

The database prompted Stuart Waiton of the Abertay University in Dundee to warn of the focus by “Big Brother” on “the minutiae of pupils’ private lives.”

The move “only encourages teachers to behave as quasi-social workers or therapists,” he said. “They would be far better off focusing on the job of educating students rather than acting as Big Brother in the classroom.”

The Mail said the program to profile students is being tested at Wallace High School in Stirling as part of the national government’s anti-bullying campaign.

“Ministers believe pupils’ personal information will help teachers decide whether a child is more likely to be a bully – or a victim,” the Mail said.

“Pastoral notes” on students are edited into “mini data packages” that are given to teachers.

Alison Preuss of the Scottish Home Education Forum called the process “petty statism” and warned it will prevent teachers from developing good relationships with students.

Labeling children as victims or bullies and “digitally sharing” those assumptions “helps nobody,” she said in the report.

“What business is it of schools how much money a child’s parents earn or who a teenager is attracted to?”

To the Mail, Wallace headmaster Scott Pennock defended the spy program.

“At a glance, staff can get a sense of the composition of the class in front of them. The system will flag up any pastoral notes so teachers can see that this young person’s maybe got a family situation or concerns around a bullying issue.”

continue: High school database now includes kids’ sexuality, families’ wealth – WND

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