We the parents of students under the age of 18 in Elmbrook Schools are opting out of one-to-one district-provided technology devices, and requesting technology-free classrooms, lunchrooms and buses as options at all grade levels in Elmbrook Schools.
Technology-free classrooms, lunchrooms and buses would allow neither school-provided 1-to-1 devices nor family-provided personal devices to be utilized by students in these locations.
We are requesting this for two reasons:
1) The risk of illegal exposure of our children to harmful material, including pornography and/or semi-nude images, violent images and/or videos, as well harmful descriptions or narrations, including vulgar sexual language, profanity, and shared jokes/stories that may be demeaning to women, police, or any other category of person or occupation - during the school day on school-provided or family-provided technology devices;
2) Because Elmbrook Schools does not adhere to their own guideline of 45 minutes of screen time per day per student. Students in grades K-5 are regularly required to use their devices from one to three hours per day or more, due to the fact that nearly all learning materials and curriculum are delivered via screen-based apps and learning environments like Google. Core subjects like Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies and Science - plus Keyboarding, Music - even Phys Ed instruction - are all delivered to students - in varying degrees - via online content, apps, files, and catalogs.
For example: in some classrooms, kindergarten students are allowed to use iPads for learning time and during rest time. Middle school students are allowed to use their school-provided devices during lunch and recess time where hundreds of other students are present, and very few supervising staff members are present.
Students under the age of 18 may be exposed to violence, pornography, harmful material and/or harmful descriptions or narrations in the form of animated GIFs, images inserted in shared Google files, email attachments, visits to illicit websites including gaming sites, Google Hangout chats, Google search results, and/or unrated YouTube videos - among other potential electronic mediums of delivery.
This exposure may occur in classrooms, on buses, in hallways, during lunch or indoor recess, and/or any time a one-to-one school-provided device or personal family-provided device is used without direct adult supervision of the screen.
The Elmbrook Schools Internet content filter system has proven to be ineffective in successfully blocking the harmful content listed above, and District Staff are unable to effectively monitor every screen, on every school-provided one-to-one device, at every moment that these devices are in the possession of students and within range of the school's WiFi network.
District staff are also unable to effectively monitor the presence of the above-listed material on family-provided personal devices such as smartphones that students may bring to school and view, and/or make visible to other students.
Parents may be unable to consistently monitor the content of school-provided devices at every moment that the device is used by students away from school property. When these devices are brought to school, parents may be unaware of the content that can potentially be accessed and/or shared with other students on these devices. Any form of inappropriate or even illegal activity may be occurring on these devices, because their content is not filtered by Elmbrook Schools at all.
Students are able to delete pornographic, harmful material and/or harmful descriptions as listed above from their school-provided or personal devices, after viewing or sharing it at school. Students are also able to delete the history of viewing or sharing this harmful material or narratives without District staff or parents ever being aware of it.
This makes it difficult or impossible for District staff or parents to be aware of the existence of this material, and to know when a forensic retrieval of deleted data is warranted.
Due to the close contact of students ages K-5 and older on school buses, and at other school events or experiences - like Summer School - older children may share inappropriate material with younger children before, during or after school hours.
Students of all ages under the age of 18 in the Elmbrook School District are at risk of being exposed to the harmful and/or illegal material listed above on the screens of their own or other students' devices while on school property.
The students' exposure may be unintentional or intentional; regardless of viewer intent, it cannot be unseen after it is viewed, and may result in emotional damage, moral corruption, and/or mental distraction that steals focus from learning.
Both boys and girls may experience these negative effects of exposure to pornographic images, violence, harmful material, or harmful descrptions or narratives as listed above on school-provided devices in Elmbrook Schools, or on personal family-provided devices that students may bring into school.
Our students' learning focus and progress, their emotional and mental health, their good character and moral soundness, and their future immunity to blackmail and bribery due to hacked or leaked data from any digital storage platform (such as Google) that is utilized by Elmbrook Schools to store individual students' email and/or educational work - is all at risk.
Our signatures on this petition indicate that we opt-out of school-provided 1-to-1 technology for our student(s), and we request that technology-free classroms, lunchrooms and buses be established by Elmbrook Schools at all grade levels as options for parents to choose for their student(s). In these technology-free environments, neither school-provided 1-to-1 devices, nor family-provided personal devices may be present or utilized, due to the above-mentioned risks.