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Is this legal!?
Old 10-22-2011, 09:53 PM
 
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I work at a public charter school. Some teachers are saying that administration listens in on your classroom through some feature on our phone system. First, it was just a rumor to some extent, then a colleague of mine saw her speaker phone button lit up during a tough transition in her class and within the next few minutes the principal walked in and took over the lesson. I know this could all just be coincidental but it seems sketchy to me. If this is really happening, could this be legal????


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Old 10-22-2011, 11:00 PM
 
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Yes, it's probably legal. Our admin can listen in on our classroom through the PA system. A classroom is not like a private conversation. There is no presumption of privacy when you are teaching. The principal could walk in at any time and stand there and watch and listen, right?

Well, because there is no presumption of privacy, it is legal to for the principal to monitor the classroom in any way he/she sees fit.
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:29 AM
 
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Yes

I heard it DOES happen at a charter school chain that opened up in my city recently. They listen in and can correct a teacher.

I just think it's odd that they don't at least Inform you about it!! I wonder if the charterschool chain I know about informs the teachers ahead of time that they do this to them!
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:42 AM
 
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Not in our school! Our union has it written right in the negotiated bargaining agreement that administration cannot. Seriously...how low can an administrator be? One of the problems in education is that exact kind on non-professionalism from the school leaders.
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:36 AM
 
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Not legal here either. They are not allowed to listen in unless they are in the classroom and they are not allowed to have cameras in the classroom either.


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not sure
Old 10-23-2011, 05:48 AM
 
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I am not sure of the answer to your question. I do know that our school has the ability to listen in on our classrooms through the PA system. We have cameras in the hallways, but not in the classrooms. I know of a charter school in my district that has cameras in the classroom that can hear everything that is said. The principal watches the teachers and the parents can come into his office and watch their children from there. The teachers are aware of this ahead of time.

I do think charter schools are able to do some things that public schools can't, at this moment, because of unions.

I do think this is an interesting question and one I may ask my union. It certainly does seem like a violation of privacy. Having said that I suppose I need to prepare for this to happen. As it is we are on cameras all over the place when we are outside of our homes. We no longer seem to be "safe" but being watched.

I always wonder, when I see the news, if the people walking on the sidewalks are aware that they are on camera? It is getting more and more like BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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I had a principal (for a very long 2 years) that sat in her office and watched everyone on camera. She would click, click, click to all the different cameras and angles. She was a mean woman..always looking to catch you doing something wrong...
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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check your state's ed code..it may be illegal in your state

an admin hires you thinking what? that he/she does not trust you enough to leave you alone in a room full of children therefore he/she spies on you?
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it always seems to me
Old 10-23-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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that schools have different rules than other businesses. Why is that? The parents pay money even if its public not to mention their taxes.

I can only answer to a regular business for my state. In my state employers can video tape you or listen to you while you are at work. They do not have to let you know. They usually however have security cameras and some notice to that effect on the business entrance only employees never think it goes for htem too. When i worked at our local hospital they needed to ck up on an employee and used this tiny tiny camera - about the size of the end of an ink pen and put it in the ceiling pointed at her desk. They installe it in the middle of the night. It actually proved that someone else was doign the wrong thing and not her. Not sure if they ever explained how they knew.

I think in working with children you coudl also do this. However, I think listening w/o seeing is not fair. We all know how things sound on speaker phone - like crap! It would make me want to move my phone lol.

Last edited by subczy; 10-23-2011 at 07:21 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:39 AM
 
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schools have children in them and to remotely listen in and videotape a classroom of children violates their privacy


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I don't know...
Old 10-23-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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I'm just curious:

What if I'm on the school-provided phone having a conversation with a parent about school matters? Even though they couldn't hear the parent, wouldn't the parent have to be made aware that my end of the conversation isn't private?
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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yes the parent should be made aware. read your state ed code online. privacy matters are usually covered there
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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post may be true. But this depends on the state. CA has some of the strongest laws on monitoring phone conversations in the US.
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Happened in my school
Old 10-24-2011, 08:58 AM
 
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I know that admin listened in to teachers' classrooms. One teacher was chastized about her class not participating in a school-wide recitation each morning. I was listened in on, but it would be very long and difficult to explain the circumstances.

Our small elementaries were consolidated after this. Cameras were in the halls and large areas, including the gym. When a gym teacher was accused of misconduct, the video was checked.

We were told by the union that we did not have an expectation of privacy because we knew we could be listened in on or watched in large areas. Therefore, the listening in on and taping continues.

What is disturbing about this is that being listened in on or being watched by cameras might not be so bad if it were being done for safety reasons. Instead these possible safety tools are being used against staff. Talk about a stinking environment.
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