Since last year’s integration of the Securly system, the program has remained in the midst of controversy. Now, in the new 2018-2019 school year, a policy has been set in place that many consider a student injustice. Parents are now able to request a transcript of everything students search on their laptops by using the Securly filter system.
Shane Patacca, the District Technology Director, highlighted what prompted the decision to implement a policy like this. He notes that a parent portal was “a highly requested feature from our parents.” Such a feature was rare to find, but the program Securly did the trick, which prompted its implementation.
When asked about the benefits of this function, Patacca noted the flexibility that the system allows. He explained that Securly allows a two-tier setting, where parents can control which tier their child is on. Tier 1 replicates the restrictions, the ones that occur during the regular school day, off campus. Tier 2, on the other hand, enables restricted sites off campus.
If a parent chooses to put their child on Tier 2, the option of a parent portal is there. Patacca drew attention to the benefits of this system, saying “The parents have on demand access to enable/disable sites instead of being locked into a Tier like in the past.” When addressing the positives of the parent portal itself, Patacca explained that “The weekly report gives the parents insight into how their student is utilizing the device for their education as well as being a tool for initiating a conversation about their online activity.”
Some students have decried this feature as an invasion of privacy; their searches can be viewed by their parents with ease. Lauren Rownd, the effective voice of the student body as the president of student council counteracted this sentiment, however, saying “I can’t say it’s an invasion of privacy because it’s a device that the district owns. It’s different if it’s your own device.”
Despite the controversy over the Student Portal and Securly as a whole, it has become clear that there are benefits of flexibility with this system.