I-Team: CCSD remote learning privacy concerns

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The first week of hybrid learning is in the books for some Clark County School District (CCSD) students. Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara says he believes it went smoothly, although there were at least eight schools affected by positive COVID-19 cases among staff.

While that’s one concern about in-person learning, there are still concerns about remote learning. The I-Team asked school leaders about the issue during a press conference Friday.

CCSD leaders say more than half of students are still distance learning.

Mom of six Anna Binder says she’s had concerns throughout the past year about remote education in her home.

“There is no privacy,” she said. “We could talk all day long about intrusion, but the way that distance education is going, you have lost all of your privacy in your own homes.”

And now, through hybrid learning, there is live streaming from classrooms.

Attorney Marianne Lanuti has advocated for cameras in classrooms for years to help protect students with special needs, particularly those who are nonverbal.

As the I-Team has reported, two families also fought for their children to wear a device called “AngelSense,” which could allow them to listen in live and help track their whereabouts.

CCSD has fought against cameras in classrooms and AngelSense, citing privacy issues, but now, audio and video are shared through both distance education and hybrid learning.

“With AngelSense and cameras in the classroom for nonverbal children, that is a high interest to keep those children protected,” said Lanuti. “So, it’s really frustrating for me to understand how CCSD can justify this.”

The I-Team asked CCSD Assistant School Superintendent Dr. Brenda Larsen-Mitchell how they are protecting student privacy during hybrid learning. We pointed out the district’s past opposition to cameras in the classroom and the current state of live streaming in schools.

She replied:

“So, with synchronous learning, we have to follow FERPA, so that we do not record any students’ personal identifying information,” she explained. “We have provided strategies, so they are just recording themselves and the lesson, so we do maintain that privacy.”

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. It is aimed at protecting student records and information.

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