Mourners Honor Pakistani Student Killed in Santa Fe High School Shooting

The Texas community rocked by Friday’s mass school shooting that killed eight students and two teachers came together to celebrate the life of Sabika Sheikh, a 17-year-old Pakistani exchange student who had been studying in the U.S. through a State Department-sponsored program. 

Mourners, including her host family, the mayor of Houston and Santa Fe High School classmates, gathered at a local mosque on Sunday for the first funeral for those who were slain. 

“I always told her, ‘Sabika, you have a warrior’s heart,’” Joleen Cogburn, Sheikh’s host mother, tearfully told the crowd. Her host father, Jason Cogburn, told mourners how much they loved and cared for Sabika

Just weeks from completing her school year and returning home, Sabika had dreams of one day working as a diplomat to help her country, her father Aziz Sheikh told Reuters. He spoke of how grateful she was to be studying in America.

Sabika Sheikh's host family members are comforted following a funeral prayer service at the Brand Lane Islamic Center on May 20, 2018 in Stafford, Texas. (Scott Olson via Getty Images)Sabika Sheikh's host family members are comforted following a funeral prayer service at the Brand Lane Islamic Center on May 20, 2018 in Stafford, Texas. (Scott Olson via Getty Images)

“Sabika’s case should become an example to change the gun laws,” her father added. “I want this to become a base on which the people over there can stand and pass a law to deal with this. I’ll do whatever I can.”

He learned of her death from turning on the television after iftar, the meal Muslims eat to break the daily Ramadan fast, he told The Associated Press. He had been calling and messaging her without a reply.

The assumption that life is America is safe and secure is clearly untrue, he said. Attacks in the U.S., he noted, are “rampant.”

Abdul Khatri, one of the mosque’s worshippers, agreed. “People come here because they are told there is peace here,” he told The Washington Post. “You have the right to be protected here. It’s why I came. But to have this happen not in India or Pakistan, but here? We have gotten off track. And it’s been going on too long.”

Worshippers pray in Stafford, Texas, during the funeral service of Santa Fe High School shooting victim Sabika Sheikh, 17, on May, 20, 2018.  (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images)Worshippers pray in Stafford, Texas, during the funeral service of Santa Fe High School shooting victim Sabika Sheikh, 17, on May, 20, 2018.  (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images)

Other local congregations paid their respects to school shooting victims on Sunday as well. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) attended morning prayers at a Baptist church near Santa Fe High school, during which the pastor, the Rev. Jerl Watkins, blamed the shooting on a Godless, technology-obsessed society. 

“It seems to me, since the 1960s in this country, we’ve begun to think technology and other things can replace our God, and we’ve taken God out of the schools, and social media has taken togetherness out of the family,” Watkins said. “Many of these video games and movies our children are exposed to on a daily basis is all about thrill and killing and destruction. We’ve slaughtered millions of unborn children for the sake of convenience, and we twisted the sanctity of morality.”

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said he plans to pay for all 10 funerals, describing the massacre as “absolutely horrific.”

Sabika’s body will be flown to Pakistan for a traditional burial.

The investigation of the shooter’s motivation continues. The governor said the suspect wrote in a journal about carrying out a shooting and then committing suicide. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/mourners-honor-pakistani-student-killed-112552962.html

Tiny house inspired student housing transforms old office building

The tiny house movement attracts a diverse range of people from all walks of life: millennials, older couples looking to “right-size” their lives, families looking for a way to get out of the debt trap, and even students looking to construct their own home as a school project.

Looking to bring some of these tiny living sensibilities into residential student housing in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Standard Studio converted an old office building into a series of 218 student units, with a layout that’s inspired by tiny houses.

Standard Studio© Standard Studio

Measuring 193 square feet (18 square metres), the tiny house design inspiration for the Hermes City Plaza apartments is most apparent in the sleeping loft, which can accommodate a queen-sized mattress. Thanks to the height of the existing ceiling, it has the space to hang 3 metres (9.8 feet) above the ground. It’s accessible via a set of stairs, which double as convenient shelving and wardrobe set — another common tiny house design element.

Standard Studio© Standard Studio

The sitting area has a multipurpose unit that incorporates a sofa, desk and storage into one connected element that sits under the windows. Even the handrail serves another purpose beyond offering a handhold.

Standard Studio© Standard Studio

The kitchen is small, but the shelving has been lit with extra LED strip lights, to eliminate any sense of darkness and constraint. There isn’t enough space for a sink for the bathroom, so one larger sink is shared between bathroom area and the kitchen, via a strategically placed sink that straddles the two zones. A half-partition separates the two zones visually — it acts as a mirror on the toilet/shower side, and as a chalkboard on the kitchen side. All the cabinetry is made with durable and renewable bamboo.

Standard Studio© Standard Studio

Standard Studio© Standard Studio

The complete range of amenities here would suit Erasmus University students looking for more independence. It’s a refreshing departure from conventional (and often chaotic) student dormitories that have shared rooms, kitchens and bathrooms — which aren’t necessarily for everyone, especially those who are looking to actually sleep and get some real studying done. Nevertheless, the building does have a shared roof terrace, music room, TV rooms, a laundry area and a study area.

There’s no word on how much it costs to rent one of these units, but one hopes though that these tiny house-inspired student residences are affordable and somehow contribute back to the larger community too, as a growing number of towns and cities seem to be apparently experiencing some gentrification and the edging out of the development of family-oriented housing associated with the development of “boutique” student housing. In any case, you can find out more via Standard Studio.

[Via: Contemporist]

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/tiny-houses/hermes-city-plaza-student-housing-standard-studio.html

Denver police terrorize high school looking for an absent student

cops in school

    

Community members are horrified after they say police officers conducted a classroom-to-classroom search with guns drawn and interrogated teachers and students in a charter school, all to look for a student who was absent. While the police department released a statement justifying the incident, teachers are claiming that police are lying “to save face.”

“The staff and students were traumatized,” Lucas Ketzer, principal at Rise Up Community School, told the Denver Post as he described the way a group of police officers raided the building in their search for a student who was not in attendance.

Officers stormed the school and began searching the classrooms, and Ketzer said that when a science teacher “told officers they could not search her room without a warrant” they pushed her aside, and entered the classroom where they “pulled students out of their chairs, removed their hats and asked them for their IDs as they searched.”

“When I was sitting in class, they came bursting in, and then they were like in everybody’s faces, like looking at us, and I felt so unsafe,” student Mary Jimenez told Padres & Jóvenes Unidos. She said the officers singled one student out, grabbed him by the arm, and forced him to remove his hat so that they could compare him to the photo of the student they were targeting.

The principal also told the Post that the officers scoured the building with their guns drawn and when a faculty member opened a back door to check for students,multiple officers pointed their guns at her.”

However, when the Denver Police Department released a statement responding to the incident, it claimed that the “officers that were inside, did not draw their weapons at any point during the search for the suspect.”

“On April 24th, 2018, Denver Police officers responded to Rise Up Community School in search of a suspect wanted for attempted first-degree murder-this incident occurred the night before in another metro-area jurisdiction. Officers received information that the suspect was in the school, and given the nature of the allegations, believed the suspect posed a possible threat to students and staff.

When officers arrived, they set up outside of the school to ensure the suspect did not leave the building. Given the imminent and potentially dangerous circumstances, and confirmation from a staff member that the suspect was inside, a warrant was not required to search inside the building for the suspect.”

While the statement claimed that police worked “with the principal to eventually gain access to the building,” and then after the raid, “staff met with the principal to discuss the situation and offered a follow-up meeting,” teachers and faculty members at the school are insisting that the opposite is true.

Ketzer told ABC 7 that police “never told him there was any threat,” and when he told the officers that the student they were looking for was not at the school, they refused to believe him and proceeded to search every classroom in the building.

“Those lies put the safety of 100 students at risk and those lies are meant for them to save face. I want people to be held accountable,” Ketzer said.

The school principal also noted that the majority of the students at Rise Up Community School came to the charter school after they had struggles at other schools, many of which involved bad experiences with police. As a result, Ketzer said he is concerned that being interrogated by officers when they were attempting to learn in school, would only serve to further destroy the students’ trust in police.

Padres & Jóvenes Unidos is condemning the incident and calling it an example of why police should not be given open access to schools. In a statement, the organization called for an investigation and accused the Denver Police Department of choosing “to put students and teachers in harm’s way.”

“After being informed by the administration that the student was not at school, DPD waited approximately fifteen minutes-during which time they conferred with the DPS Department of Safety-before conducting a search. They refused to produce a warrant when asked, and armed officers went from classroom to classroom harassing students and staff. At one point weapons were drawn on a member of the faculty,” the statement said.

Footage of the police raid on the school has yet to be publicly released. If you would like to contact the Denver Police Department to voice your opinion on this incident, call (720) 913-2000 or visit the department’s Facebook page.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/386112-Denver-police-terrorize-high-school-looking-for-an-absent-student

Cops Raid School, Hold Teacher at Gun Point, Terrify Kids to Look for an Absent Student

studentstudent

Denver, CO – Community members are horrified after they say police officers conducted a classroom-to-classroom search with guns drawn and interrogated teachers and students in a charter school, all to look for a student who was absent. While the police department released a statement justifying the incident, teachers are claiming that police are lying “to save face.”

The staff and students were traumatized,” Lucas Ketzer, principal at Rise Up Community School, told the Denver Post as he described the way a group of police officers raided the building in their search for a student who was not in attendance.

Officers stormed the school and began searching the classrooms, and Ketzer said that when a science teacher “told officers they could not search her room without a warrant” they pushed her aside, and entered the classroom where they “pulled students out of their chairs, removed their hats and asked them for their IDs as they searched.”

When I was sitting in class, they came bursting in, and then they were like in everybody’s faces, like looking at us, and I felt so unsafe,” student Mary Jimenez told Padres & Jóvenes Unidos. She said the officers singled one student out, grabbed him by the arm, and forced him to remove his hat so that they could compare him to the photo of the student they were targeting.

The principal also told the Post that the officers scoured the building with their guns drawn and when a faculty member opened a back door to check for students, “multiple officers pointed their guns at her.”

However, when the Denver Police Department released a statement responding to the incident, it claimed that the “officers that were inside, did not draw their weapons at any point during the search for the suspect.”

On April 24th, 2018, Denver Police officers responded to Rise Up Community School in search of a suspect wanted for attempted first-degree murder—this incident occurred the night before in another metro-area jurisdiction. Officers received information that the suspect was in the school, and given the nature of the allegations, believed the suspect posed a possible threat to students and staff.

When officers arrived, they set up outside of the school to ensure the suspect did not leave the building. Given the imminent and potentially dangerous circumstances, and confirmation from a staff member that the suspect was inside, a warrant was not required to search inside the building for the suspect.”

While the statement claimed that police worked “with the principal to eventually gain access to the building,” and then after the raid, “staff met with the principal to discuss the situation and offered a follow-up meeting,” teachers and faculty members at the school are insisting that the opposite is true.

Ketzer told ABC 7 that police “never told him there was any threat,” and when he told the officers that the student they were looking for was not at the school, they refused to believe him and proceeded to search every classroom in the building.

Those lies put the safety of 100 students at risk and those lies are meant for them to save face. I want people to be held accountable,” Ketzer said.

The school principal also noted that the majority of the students at Rise Up Community School came to the charter school after they had struggles at other schools, many of which involved bad experiences with police. As a result, Ketzer said he is concerned that being interrogated by officers when they were attempting to learn in school, would only serve to further destroy the students’ trust in police.

Padres & Jóvenes Unidos is condemning the incident and calling it an example of why police should not be given open access to schools. In a statement, the organization called for an investigation and accused the Denver Police Department of choosing to put students and teachers in harm’s way.”

“After being informed by the administration that the student was not at school, DPD waited approximately fifteen minutes—during which time they conferred with the DPS Department of Safety—before conducting a search. They refused to produce a warrant when asked, and armed officers went from classroom to classroom harassing students and staff. At one point weapons were drawn on a member of the faculty,” the statement said.

Footage of the police raid on the school has yet to be publicly released. If you would like to contact the Denver Police Department to voice your opinion on this incident, call (720) 913-2000 or visit the department’s Facebook page.

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Source Article from https://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-conduct-classroom-searches-guns-drawn-absent-student/

Conformity to identity politics or education: The student’s dilemma

woman writing notes

    

Every year on university campuses across the country, students like me navigate a variety of disciplines in pursuit of numbers that will open the door to our career of choice. Whether we yearn for a high grade point average (GPA), a high grad school test score, or a high paying job, numbers are what matter to those of us who see university as an important gateway to future happiness and prosperity. However, in certain disciplines, it can be difficult to reconcile this aspect of the student experience with the freedom to pursue our studies in a spirit of open and disinterested inquiry. In the liberal arts programs in particular, activism and ambition can conflict so that students must choose between writing what they think and getting the grades they want and need.

Of course, this ought to be a false dilemma. That it exists at all raises troubling questions about academic liberty-a cornerstone of any educational institution-and what a university education is actually for. Although most schools continue to affirm free inquiry as central to their pedagogic mission, this honorable commitment is being eroded as the humanities and parts of the social sciences become increasingly insular and politicized within a wider climate of hyper-polarization.

Part of the problem is that the marking of work in many liberal arts programs often lacks the same degree of objectivity and rigor found in disciplines like mathematics or the natural sciences. In disciplines such as philosophy, politics, and sociology, professors enjoy considerable latitude to teach and grade in any way they see fit. If a student views a given theory or interpretation differently to his professor or teaching assistant, he can either write what he believes, even though it is at odds with the views of the marker, or he can write what he thinks the marker wishes to read. Granted, there is often a middle ground, but the very existence of such dilemma in the minds of many students unnecessarily inhibits their intellectual freedom. While there is nothing directly prohibiting students from being intellectually honest and open minded, such an approach is hardly incentivized if simply regurgitating a professor’s preferred view is more likely to be rewarded with a higher mark.

The risk of writing an essay that contests the theories promulgated by a professor or teacher’s assistant may be too consequential when the goal is to secure a job or a place in grad school upon which a GPA may be heavily dependent. The intense competition for admission means that every grade and percentage point matters. There is more riding on grad school admission and career prospects than there is on intellectual integrity. As a result, students are implicitly encouraged to sacrifice the latter for the former, and learning what to think becomes more valuable and important than learning how to think. Why would a student such as myself bother to challenge the conventional wisdom and risk a B, when I can simply provide what I know is expected and receive an A?

Something has gone fundamentally awry. This is not to say that every professor will mark heterodoxy more harshly than orthodoxy. There are still professors who value clarity, originality, and consistency over conformity. But students holding views that differ fundamentally from those taught must nevertheless consider and evaluate the risk that they will be penalized for their opinions, particularly when writing about politically contentious topics. Speakers and authors now described as part of the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ have become radioactive for many students writing for university courses. They hesitate to cite the work of these figures or even mention the names of thinkers deemed ‘controversial’ or beyond the pale by whoever is responsible for reading it and grading their work. In such cases, it is generally safer to avoid controversy and to rely instead upon those approved scholars already lauded by faculty. We are free to browse the ‘IDW’ on our own time, of course, but this only widens the chasm between learning in the true sense and the demands of a formal education.

This has implications for the meaning and value of university education. On the one hand, colleges are theoretically committed to placing open-mindedness and intellectual honesty at the center of the university experience. On the other, students who see high grades as the only route to success may conclude that conformity is an easier way to achieve that end than free thought. This requires a form of self-censorship that directly contradicts the values universities claim to defend and uphold. Which is not to say that students should be permitted to write whatever they like. But coherent and well-supported argument is surely a better yardstick of academic ability than the robotic repetition of the latest fashionable theory. Instead, a tear in the fabric of university culture is growing that privileges indoctrination and the suppression of academic freedom over open inquiry and the exploration of ideas.

The question for many students has become not “What do I think?” but “What do they want me to write?” For many us, this sacrifice may ultimately be the correct and easy one to make. If we want to be successful, we can curb our intellectual curiosity, not because we are prevented from using it, but because obedient co-operation is in our more immediate best interests.

Avel Ivanov studies Ethics, Society & Law at the University of Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter @av3ll

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/385627-Conformity-to-identity-politics-or-education-The-students-dilemma

Parkland student: Trump’s stance to arm teachers is ‘crazy’

President Trump spent the last few days at the NRA convention in Dallas where he went into detail about his pro-gun approach in schools.

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Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/parkland-student-trump-stance-arm-183731061.html

Nets Ignore National ‘Stand for the Second’ Pro-Gun Student Walkout

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Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/nicholas-fondacaro/2018/05/04/nets-ignore-national-stand-second-pro-gun-student-walkout

Shooting at Florida high school injures 1 student

Panic and fear gripped another Florida school Friday when a gunman opened fire, wounding one student before being taken into custody on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence, authorities said.

It happened Friday morning at Forest High School, which was put on lockdown, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported. The wounded student, a 17-year-old boy, was taken to a local hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening injury to his ankle.

Some students and teachers piled desks and filing cabinets against classroom doors as a makeshift barricade.

Police initially said the 19-year-old suspect is also a student at the school, but later said he was a former student not currently enrolled. No charges were immediately announced. The sheriff’s office said no other schools in the county were under any threat.

The Ocala shooting comes just over two months after a gunman killed 17 people and wounded 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Nikolas Cruz, 19, faces the death penalty if convicted in that Valentine’s Days shooting.

The shooting also coincided with a nationwide student walkout to protest gun violence on the anniversary of the 1999 massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School. The Ocala school had planned its version of a walkout, students said. (AP)

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Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/shooting-florida-high-school-injures-slideshow-wp-185113989.html

CBS Hypes Tiny ‘Backlash’ Against Chattanooga Student’s Gun-Toting ‘Graduation Photo’

A one-sided Wednesday report at CBS News tried to convince readers that University of Tennessee-Chattanooga student Brenna Spencer’s “I don’t take normal graduation photos” tweet picturing her with a firearm generated significant “backlash.”

To create a false impression, the network cited critical tweets from two users with a combined eight Twitter followers, ignoring far more significant support Spencer received, including two Second Amendment-supporting women with a combined 160,000 followers.

CBS’s unbylined April 11 story only headlined “backlash”:

Woman’s gun-toting “graduation photo” sparks backlash online

A University of Tennessee-Chattanooga senior’s graduation photo has generated controversy on social media. In the photo, Brenna Spencer is seen wearing a bright pink “Women for Trump” T-shirt with white jeans. A black handgun is tucked into her waistband.

Spencer shared the photo on Twitter Saturday and captioned the post: “I don’t take normal college graduation photos.”

Some of her followers praised the photo.

CBS took four days to post about Spencer’s April 7 tweet:

BrennaSpencerUTgradPhoto040718

Of four supportive tweets it presented, CBS inexcusably chose one containing two F-bombs. It ignored Spencer’s hundreds of non-profane supporters, including at least two who included accompanying photos (h/t Twitchy):

GunTotingWoman1inApril2018  GunTotingWoman2inApril2018

The message Cleveland’s Alana Mastrangelo included deserves to be quoted:

ABC News called the police on my friend, Brenna Spencer (probably hoping to get a better story).

Here I am in solidarity with Brenna, also carrying in public. We will NOT allow for Leftist intimidation tactics to hinder our inalienable #2A rights.

It is indeed true that ABC News reported Monday that it contacted the Chattanooga Police Department in the belief/hope that Spencer might have violated the law. She didn’t.

Building its case for “backlash,” CBS cited three critical tweets.

The Daily Caller’s Joe Simonson observed that one critic had “a single follower.” Thursday, Fox News contributor Stephen Miller noted that “Two of the three accounts CBS uses to prove online outrage have a combined twitter following of 8 people.” The third had just over 1,300 at the time of today’s post. The two tweets with accompanying photos above came from accounts with a combined 160,000 followers.

The press rarely acknowledges evidence that support for Second Amendment rights is greater among millennials than among older adults and seniors:

  • In July 2016, NBC News reported that “An October 2015 Gallup poll found that 50 percent of 18-29-year-olds support stricter gun laws compared to 57 percent of those 30-49, 56 percent among those 50-64, and 55 percent among those 65 and older.”
  • A 2017 Pew Research Center poll … (found that) Millennials did differ from their elders in two categories of gun control: Banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. They’re actually less supportive of those bans …”
  • The UK Guardian reported in November that “Resistance to a ban on military-style assault weapons is strongest among millennials.” The Guardian tried to blame video games.

In a November 2015 column, the Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell called millennials’ support for gun rights “mysterious.”

Rampell, and many others in the media, need to get out more.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/tom-blumer/2018/04/13/cbs-cites-fictional-backlash-against-ut-chattanooga-students-gun

The Student Data-Mining Scandal Under Our Noses

While congresscritters expressed outrage at Facebook’s intrusive data grabs during Capitol Hill hearings with Mark Zuckerberg this week, not a peep was heard about the Silicon Valley-Beltway theft ring purloining the personal information and browsing habits of millions of American schoolchildren.

It doesn’t take undercover investigative journalists to unmask the massive privacy invasion enabled by educational technology and federal mandates. The kiddie data heist is happening out in the open — with Washington politicians and bureaucrats as brazen co-conspirators.

Facebook is just one of the tech giants partnering with the U.S. Department of Education and schools nationwide in pursuit of student data for meddling and profit. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Pearson, Knewton, and many more are cashing in on the Big Data boondoggle. State and federal educational databases provide countless opportunities for private companies exploiting public schoolchildren subjected to annual assessments, which exploded after adoption of the tech industry-supported Common Core “standards,” tests, and aligned texts and curricula.

The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act further enshrined government collection of personally identifiable information — including data collected on attitudes, values, beliefs and dispositions — and allows release of the data to third-party contractors thanks to Obama-era loopholes carved into the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

And the so-called school-to-work pipeline creates endless avenues into taxpayer coffers for firms pitching data-gathering initiatives to “align” student learning with “skill sets” and “competencies” desired by corporations.

Facebook, for example, joined with the Department of Education’s federally sponsored Digital Promise initiative last fall to develop a system of “micro-credentialing” badges for adult students in digital marketing. You can be sure it’s not merely out of benevolence and public interest that Zuckerberg’s empire is training thousands of these students to learn “Social Media Marketing Basics,” “Marketing with Facebook Pages,” “Marketing with Facebook Ads” and “Marketing with Instagram.”

As parent and educational privacy advocate Cheri Kiesecker reported, the Facebook/Digital Promise partnership is “a wonderful data collection and marketing tool for Facebook and the US Department of Ed, but it is incredibly alarming for students’ privacy and security.”

Facebook is on the march from luring adult students into its orbit to encroaching on secondary and elementary school-age users through its Messenger Kids app and “whole-child personalized learning” programs funded through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. CZI, a “philanthropic investment company” funded with up to $1 billion in Facebook shares over the next three years, is headed by Jim Shelton. He’s a former program officer at the Gates Foundation and a key Common Core champion in the Obama administration.

“Personalized learning” is an edutech buzz phrase for hijacking the classroom and hooking students and teachers on branded software and hardware — iPads, smartboards, computerized portfolios, homework apps, you name it — without any evidence that such shiny objects improve academic performance.

Under the guise of customizable assessments, public and private preschools in Colorado experimented with toddlers whose student activities and social/emotional behaviors were tracked using the TS Gold (Teaching Strategies Gold) system — funded with $30 million in Race to the Top subsidies under the Obama administration. As I reported in 2014, parent Lauren Coker discovered that TS Gold assessors in her son’s Aurora, Colorado, public preschool had recorded information about his trips to the bathroom, his hand-washing habits and his ability to pull up his pants.

Sunny Flynn, a mom with kids in Jefferson County, Colorado, asked all the right questions: “What security measures are being used to protect this data? Who exactly has access to this data? How long will the data be stored? What is the proven benefit of a kindergarten teacher putting all of this data into a database?”

With little public oversight, Google has infiltrated schools through its “free” Google Apps for Education suite. As I’ve reported previously, Google is building brand loyalty through its questionable certification program that essentially turns teachers into tax-subsidized lobbyists for the company. GAFE enrollees are “trained” on Google products, earn certification, and then open up consultancy businesses and bill their school districts (i.e., the public) to hawk Google’s suite of products to other colleagues.

And this week, 23 parent and watchdog groups filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission alleging that Google is violating child protection laws by collecting personal data of and advertising to those aged under 13.

Over the past four years, Google has admitted “scanning and indexing” student email messages sent using GAFE and data mining student users for commercial gain when they use their accounts for noneducational purposes. Google can collect student/family data to target ads through related services outside the GAFE suite, such as YouTube for Schools, Blogger and Google Plus. These are not covered under the already watered-down federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Under the Obama years, Grand Canyon-sized loopholes in federal student and family privacy protections opened data mining to third-party private entities. Those have yet to be closed by the Trump administration. Why not? It’s time to drain the student data-mining swamp and their facilitators in Washington. For the children.

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/michelle-malkin/2018/04/12/student-data-mining-scandal-under-our-noses