Rutherford County, TN – A Tennessee school district tried to ban parents from listening in on what their children’s teachers were teaching in virtual classrooms.
Officials at all Rutherford County schools asked parents to sign an agreement not to monitor their children’s online class sessions, The Tennessee Star reported.
The bizarre form that parents were asked to sign expressed the schools’ concern that they couldn’t “fully control” non-student observers.
“RCS strives to present these opportunities in a secure format that protects student privacy to the greatest extent possible, however because these meetings will occur virtually RCS is limited in its ability to fully control certain factors such as non-student observers that may be present in the home of a student participating in the virtual meeting,” the agreement read, according to The Tennessee Star.
“RCS strongly discourages non student observation of online meetings due to the potential of confidential information about a student being revealed,” the form continued.
It went on to warn that “violation of this agreement may result in RCS removing my child from the virtual meeting” and asked for a parent’s signature, The Tennessee Star reported.
After facing massive backlash from concerned parents worried about what exactly their children were being taught that educators didn’t want them to know about, Rutherford County schools put out a statement.
“We are aware of the concern that has been raised about this distance-learning letter that was sent to parents. The intent was not to prevent parents from being involved with their children during distance learning, but it was intended to protect the academic privacy of other students in the classroom who are visible during certain virtual class sessions,” Rutherford County Schools spokesman James Evans told The Tennessee Star.
Then Evans partially walked back the school district’s edict.
“We have issued new guidance to principals that parents can assist their children during virtual group lessons with permission of the instructor but should refrain from sharing or recording any information about other students in the classroom,” the school district’s spokesman said.
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations and special envoy to the United Nations for Human Rights and Anti-Semitism, called the effort to ban parental involvement “hypocritical” and “ridiculous.”
“What are they trying to hide? What is the problem? Why won’t they let us sit in?” Cardoza-Moore asked on FOX News.
“Obviously, because they are teaching our children propaganda that they should not be teaching,” the home-schooling mother of five children proffered. “They are trying to socialize our children.”
“We have had a major problem in education, not just here in Tennessee, but across the country where they are indoctrinating our children with propaganda,” Cardoza-Moore told FOX News.
The human rights advocate said she thought the school district didn’t want parents listening in because they are teaching “social justice” instead of reading, writing, and math.
Cardoza-Moore told FOX News that teachers don’t want to be held accountable to the parents.
She said she questioned the motives of the school in encouraging parents to snitch on other parents who listened in, and wondered how Rutherford County Schools intended to enforce the bizarre threat to remove students from virtual classes if the agreement was violated.
“Does that mean somebody from the school district is going to knock on my door and pull my kid out of my home, his virtual classroom?” Cardoza-Moore asked. “Or is it going to be my tax dollars that fund my child’s public education, my child won’t get to participate in education because of it?”
The Police Tribune reached out to Rutherford County Schools Director Bill Spurlock for comment but had not received a response at publication time.
The school district sent a statement to FOX News.
“We are aware of the concern that has been raised about this distance-learning letter that was sent to parents,” Evans said. “We have issued new guidance to principles that parents can assist their children during virtual group lessons with permission of the instructor but should refrain from sharing or recordings any information about other students in the classroom.”