Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

How Much Privacy Does a 6-Year-Old Need?

July 10, 2013



Surely young children require supervision and boundaries far more than they need privacy!

Parents of children as young as six fail to keep tabs on their mobile phone use for fear of ‘invading their privacy’, according to a new survey.

Almost 60 per cent of mothers and fathers questioned said they did not monitor their child’s mobile phone activity.

Of those, one in four said they chose not to check in order to respect their infant’s privacy.

The majority of parents – 42 per cent – said they never got around to checking what their youngsters were using their phones for, while 13 per cent said they trusted their child with the device.

Over 2,000 parents of children aged 10 or younger who owned a mobile phone were questioned for the survey, which was carried out by

The survey revealed there are children as young as six in possession of a mobile phone.

Nearly 80 per cent of parents whose child had a phone with a lock or pass-code on it admitted they would not know how to access it.

This is despite the fact that children could be using their smartphone to access the internet.

The firm behind the survey urged parents to ensure their child’s access to online content was suitably restricted.

According to website director Jason Brockman, mothers and fathers should monitor children’s mobile phone use as a means of ‘keeping them safe’.

Click on the link to read Seven Valuable Tips for Raising Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Click on the link to read Top Ten Compliments Your Children Need to Hear

Click on the link to read Tips For Parents of Kids Who “Hate School”

Click on the link to read 20 Reassuring Things Every Parent Should Hear

Click on the link to read Parents and Teachers Should Not Be Facebook Friends

Parents Wiring Their Children to Catch Out Abusive Teachers

April 27, 2012

I’ve maintained all along that teachers found to be verbally abusing their students should be made accountable for their actions, regardless of whether the offence was captured without their knowledge. Even though I am of this opinion, I completely object to the secret filming of teachers by students.

To read that parents are now wiring their own children to prove allegations made against teachers is very disappointing and a trend that needs to be stamped out:

Teachers hurled insults like “bastard,” ”tard,” ”damn dumb” and “a hippo in a ballerina suit.” A bus driver threatened to slap one child, while a bus monitor told another, “Shut up, you little dog.”

They were all special needs students, and their parents all learned about the verbal abuse the same way — by planting audio recorders on them before sending them off to school.

In cases around the country, suspicious parents have been taking advantage of convenient, inexpensive technology to tell them what children, because of their disabilities, are not able to express on their own. It’s a practice that can help expose abuses, but it comes with some dangers.

This week, a father in Cherry Hill, N.J., posted on YouTube clips of secretly recorded audio that caught one adult calling his autistic 10-year-old son “a bastard.” In less than three days, video got 1.2 million views, raising the prominence of the small movement. There have been at least nine similar cases across the U.S. since 2003.

“If a parent has any reason at all to suggest a child is being abused or mistreated, I strongly recommend that they do the same thing,” said Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association.

But George Giuliani, executive director of the National Association of Special Education Teachers and director of special education at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., says that while the documented mistreatment of children has been disturbing, secret recordings are a bad idea. They could, he said, violate the privacy rights of other children.

“We have to be careful that we’re not sending our children in wired without knowing the legal issues,” Giuliani said.

Stuart Chaifetz, the Cherry Hill father, said he began getting reports earlier in the school year that his 10-year-old son, Akian, was being violent.

Hitting teachers and throwing chairs were out of character for the boy, who is in a class with four other autistic children and speaks but has serious difficulty expressing himself. Chaifetz said he talked to school officials and had his son meet with a behaviorist. There was no explanation for the way Akian was acting.

“I just knew I had to find out what was happening there,” he said. “My only option was to put a recorder there. I needed to hear what a normal day was like in there.”

On the recording, he heard his son being insulted — and crying at one point.

He shared the audio with school district officials. The superintendent said in a statement that “the individuals who are heard on the recording raising their voices and inappropriately addressing children no longer work in the district.”

Since taking the story public, Chaifetz, who has run unsuccessfully for the school board in Cherry Hill and once went on a hunger strike to protest special-education funding cuts, said he has received thousands of emails.

At least a few dozen of those he has had a chance to read have been from parents asking for advice about investigating alleged mistreatment of their children.

Mr. Chaifetz is clearly a loving father with the very best of intentions. Whilst I don’t advocate his methods, I understand that it comes from the frustration and shock of having his son labelled as a violent child. But the difference between Mr. Chaifetz and future copycat parents is that he underwent a long protracted process before going down this road. I fear that parents will be wiring their children in the first instance. It is also important to note that autistic children don’t have the same capacity to stand up for themselves and communicate verbal offences to their parents.

Teachers shouldn’t wire themselves to prove abuse on the part of students and vice versa. What we should be doing is working together instead of creating an us vs them mentality.

Now Schools Are Spying on Their Students

August 14, 2011

I am in favour of schools playing a far more proactive role in dealing with cyberbullying and advocating privacy settings to protect against cyber stalkers, but spying on their students’ Facebook pages is not appropriate.

SCHOOLS are using internet monitoring companies to read what students are saying on social networking sites.

The typical service used by schools such as Ascham looks at any publicly available material posted on sites such as Facebook, Formspring and Tumblr to monitor the sometimes ferocious use of the media by young people.


Whilst schools often go into their shells when it comes to cyberbullying, spying on their students is an invasion of privacy.  Instead of concerning themselves with publicly available material they should work harder to ensure their students have their privacy settings on.
This measure will do precious little to stop bullying.  Bullies are much smarter than we give them credit for.  They find ways to harass away from the watchful eyes of anyone that might punish them for their crimes.
Yet whilst this will do little to prevent bullying it will make the students even more negative about school and authority in general.


Facebook Banning Children For Lying About Age

March 23, 2011

Congratulations to Facebook for actively banning kids who are lying about their age. Age requirements are important, because young students are often prone to making bad choices with social media and fail to use the recommended privacy settings:

Social networking giant Facebook is banning 20,000 children every day because they have lied about their age to join the site.

The company admitted it had to do more to stop young people using Facebook, as it revealed about a third of Australia’s population uses the site every day, the Herald Sun reported.

At a parliamentary inquiry into cyber-bullying, other social networking and online companies called for campaigns to highlight the dangers of the internet.

And there have been calls for an overhaul of the Australian school curriculum to include more effective cyber-danger classes.

The chief privacy adviser of Facebook, Mozelle Thompson, said many Australian children under the age of 13 were trying to access the site by lying about their age.

“It’s something that happens on a regular basis,” Mr Thompson said.

Globally, about seven million children who lie about their age are blocked from the site each year.

For those parents/teachers unaware of the problem of cyber-saftey or if you have children or students that don’t use the privacy settings option, I urge you to watch this clip with them.

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