Today, the House Education Committee in Lansing is holding a hearing regarding two bills that passed in our Senate: Senate Bill 33 and Senate Bill 510. Both of these bills are worrisome to parents, activists, and teachers who care about the privacy of Michigan’s schoolchildren.
SB 33 and SB 510 are two bills that overstep the boundaries between our government and our families. Stop Common Core in Michigan has this to say about the bills:
“The bills give legal authority to online operators through computers, chromebooks and other electronics used at school by K-12 students to “AMASS PROFILES” about those students. The profile may contain biometrics, health records, political affiliations and religious beliefs and more due to “but not limited to” language.”
We must admit, some of the measures in the bill have good intentions and are in the public’s best interest. Schools should be able to know if one of their students has pneumonia, ebola, or other communicable diseases that could put other students risk. There may also be an argument, albeit a very limited one, that some aspects of biometrics are good for our school system, but that is the extent to which these bills benefit students and parents.
There is absolutely no reason that an unelected bureaucrat should be given the power to collect data about students’ religious beliefs and political affiliations. It is easy to understand why you would fail to see any good coming from collecting this data, and we agree.
The right to believe what you want, both politically and religiously, and to hold these beliefs privately is a sacred tradition. If the political and religious beliefs of students were known, it could be used against them and used in a discriminatory manner. It would be easy to imagine a scenario where a Trump supporter who is a student in high school is treated differently than a Democratic supporter.
Call your representative in the House and tell them that you disapprove of taking personal, confidential, information from our school children.