[LINK] Messages to be monitored before going to schools

Adam Todd adam@todd.inoz.com
Mon, 17 Feb 2003 15:56:44 +1100


Just in case no one picked this up ...  Interesting comments - particularly 
about allegations and child protection.

Messages to be monitored before going to schools
By Linda Doherty, Education Writer
February 17 2003
Students using email in NSW public schools will have Big Brother watching 
over them as the Carr Government evaluates how the technology is used and 
how much extra work it requires of teachers.
Email accounts will undergo an "educational impact statement" to monitor 
use in 50 schools before any further rollout of the program, which is 
ultimately intended to involve 1.3 million students and 130,000 teachers.
The Minister for Education, John Watkins, said yesterday he had agreed to a 
request from the NSW Teachers Federation for the trial statements.
The deputy president of the federation, Jennifer Leete, said teachers would 
insist on strict guidelines in an industrial agreement for after-hours use 
of email, especially between teachers, students and parents.
"Communication with students and parents is the big issue for us, at the 
very least for child protection reasons," Ms Leete said.
Emails and text messages had already been used by students making 
allegations against teachers of inappropriate behaviour, she said.
"There's no doubt that student emails will be monitored. The department [of 
education] has the capacity to monitor every single email communication," 
Ms Leete said.
"We are advising our members that there is no such thing as a confidential 
email."
All public schools and TAFE colleges are scheduled to have the email 
accounts by December, at a cost of $33 million. The Government will also 
provide email accounts for up to 2000 parents and citizens organisations in 
schools.
This story was found at: 
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/16/1045330466694.html