Student Suing Yale

A group of current and former students at Yale University have sued the Ivy League school for discriminating against students with mental health challenges in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit alleges Yale pressures students to withdraw from the school if they’re suicidal or hospitalized for mental health treatment. Some students who refuse to withdraw are then involuntarily withdrawn.

One plaintiff said authorities at Yale visited her in the hospital after she overdosed on aspirin to urge her to withdraw. When she didn’t, the university involuntarily withdrew her while she was still hospitalized. She was then told she would need a police escort to retrieve her belongings.

The lawsuit alleges Yale has, quote, “treated unequally and failed to accommodate students with mental health disabilities.” The lawsuit goes on to say, quote, “The impact of Yale’s discriminatory policies is harshest on students with mental health disabilities from less privileged backgrounds, including students of color, students from poor families

— source | Dec 05, 2022

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How to Protect Yourself If Your School Uses Surveillance Tech

There are more eyes on students today than just a teacher’s watchful gaze. Thousands of school districts use monitoring software that can track students’ online searches, scan their emails, and in some cases, send alerts of perceived threats to law enforcement. A recent investigation by The Dallas Morning News revealed that colleges have been using an AI social-media-monitoring tool to surveil student protesters.

While technology companies claim to be able to prevent violence, there’s little proof that surveillance can actually protect students. Meanwhile, monitoring software has been used to reveal students’ sexuality without their consent. Low-income, Black, and Hispanic students are also disproportionately exposed to surveillance and discipline.

If your school (or your child’s school) uses monitoring software, there are a couple of steps you can take to protect your privacy—and start a conversation with your school.

Ask Your School These Questions

It’s important first to understand why your school is using monitoring software in the first place. In the US, schools are required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act to have some kind of web filtering in place to prevent students from accessing obscene or harmful material online. Schools are not required to implement sophisticated technologies

— source | Pia Ceres | Oct 10, 2022

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Privacy at School

Wired published an article of advice for students about how to resist surveillance by their schools.

The advice it gives is valid as far as it goes, but it falls far short of what students need to know to resist all the threats.

The article poses the question:

How is student data secured?

This question invites confusion. If someone claims to keep data about you “secure,” what does that mean? Secure from whom? The school’s computers are unlikely to keep anyone secure from snooping EdTech companies that operate with the school’s cooperation.

“Using your own personal device” usually means using a snoop-phone. It may protect you from snooping by the school and by EdTech companies, provided you never use it to visit a site that has anything to do with the school or an EdTech company and never do unencrypted communication [1]. But the device was made by a computer company—usually Apple or Google—that also made the operating system in it. That system always contains nonfree software that snoops on you plenty. Most apps for that snoop-phone are nonfree, and they

— source | Richard Stallman

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France bans Office 365 and Google Docs in schools

The French Ministry of National Education has urged educational institutions to stop using free versions of Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 for schools and students. The Ministry said the offerings are incompatible with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Schrems II judgment of the European Court of Justice and France’s internal doctrines.

France’s privacy watchdog (CNIL) recommends that institutions use collaborative suites offered by service providers “exclusively subject to European law” which “host the data within the European Union and do not transfer it to the United States”.

The minister added that “the deployment of Office 365 is prohibited in French administrations“. In fact, France’s interministerial digital director issued a circular published in

— source | | Nov 22, 2022

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400 of the good guys with a guns

Outraged residents of Uvalde, Texas, confronted members of the city’s school board Monday, nearly two months after an 18-year-old [white] gunman shot dead 19 fourth graders and their two teachers at Robb Elementary School. Speakers at the meeting included 17-year-old Jazmin Cazares. Her 9-year-old sister Jackie died in the shooting.

JAZMIN CAZARES: What are you guys going to do to make sure I don’t have to watch my friends die? What are you going to do to make sure I don’t have to wait 77 minutes, bleeding out on my classroom floor, just like my little sister did? I know there’s nothing you can do to bring my sister back, but maybe, just maybe, if you do something to change this, you can prevent the next family from losing their child.

AMY GOODMAN: The school board’s meeting came a day after a Texas House panel released a damning report on the response of local, state, federal law enforcement to the school massacre. The report found officers had committed, quote, “systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making.” They found that nearly 400 officers — 400 — rushed to the school, but it took them more than an hour to confront the gunman. Investigators found officers, quote, “failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety.” The report also revealed the gunman had earned the nickname “school shooter” in the months before he attacked the elementary school. Daniel Myers, a pastor in Uvalde, also addressed the school board Monday.

— source | Jul 19, 2022

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Historic 1970 Chicano Walkout at Robb Elementary

in Texas, where Uvalde’s school district police chief Pete Arredondo has resigned from his new position on Uvalde’s City Council before ever sitting in a meeting. Arredondo said he made the decision to, quote, “minimize further distractions.” He has faced widespread criticism over his handling of last month’s school massacre when an 18-year-old gunman shot dead 19 fourth graders and their two teachers. State authorities say Arredondo was the incident commander who ordered officers to wait in the school’s hallway for over an hour instead of confronting the gunman. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw described the local police handling of the shooting as an “abject failure.” Arredondo says he didn’t think he was the incident commander.

Yeah, you’ve really captured kind of the devastating portrait that’s been portrayed by state officials here in Texas. In addition to the question of the — you know, who was in charge of the incident, and again, the crucial discrepancy, Arredondo told us he did not think he was the incident commander, but the radio transmissions and other broadcast that we’ve reviewed suggest that people did consider him in charge.

There’s also the discrepancy of whether in fact the doors were locked. You know, the chief told us that he thought that the doors had been tried and found to be locked, and that the reason for the delay was that they were waiting for a master key to arrive. Now there is a lot of suggestions — there are a lot of suggestions that, in fact, the doors were unlocked all along. There are also other discrepancies. There was talk on the transmissions of a Halligan being available, an ax-like tool that firefighters use to enter the

— source | Jul 05, 2022

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Uvalde Incident Commander Ordered Border Patrol Not to Enter Classroom During Massacre

In Uvalde, Texas, hundreds of mourners gathered Wednesday for the funeral of Irma and Joe Garcia. Irma was killed alongside another teacher and 19 students last week at Robb Elementary School by a teenage gunman with an assault rifle. Two days after her murder, her husband Joe died of a fatal heart attack. They are survived by four children.

The funeral came as public anger mounted over the response of police, who waited over an hour to enter the classroom where the massacre took place. On Wednesday, it emerged that Uvalde school district police chief Pete Arredondo told a team of Border Patrol officers not to enter the classroom where the gunman killed 21 people. The officers eventually defied that order, engaging and killing the gunman. The Texas Department of Public Safety says Arredondo is refusing to cooperate with its investigation; Arredondo told CNN he’ll talk about the massacre when “families quit grieving.”

— source | Jun 02, 2022

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A cloud without Google and Microsoft for all italian schools

A bill just presented to the italian Senate proposes the establishment of one “single national interconnection network” called UNIRE (“to join”). The mission of this network would be to connect all italian schools with each other and to the Internet, with a private cloud, managed by the State.

This cloud would host platforms for digital teaching, alternatives to those of Google and Microsoft, maximizing data protection of underage students.

This post translates and comments the main points of an interview about UNIRE to the first signatory of the bill, senator Maria Laura Mantovani (Five Star Movement).

Objectives of both the Bill and UNIRE

The bill aims to implement the “School 4.0” intervention included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). More specifically, UNIRE would provide:

interconnection to all schools of all types and levels among themselves, with the regional school offices, with the Ministry of Education and globally to the Internet;
basic network services such as DNS, data storage services and cloud computing;

— source | 2021-03-23

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Harvard’s Legacy of Slavery

Harvard University has pledged to spend $100 million to redress the school’s deep ties to slavery. The move comes after the school issued a 130-page report Tuesday that revealed at least 41 prominent people connected to the school owned enslaved people.

The report states, quote, “Enslaved men and women served Harvard presidents and professors and fed and cared for Harvard students. Moreover, throughout this period and well into the 19th century, the University and its donors benefited from extensive financial ties to slavery.”

Harvard’s school newspaper, the Crimson, dedicated its front page listing the names of individuals enslaved by leadership, faculty, staff and donors at Harvard University between 1636 and 1783. The Harvard Crimson wrote, “almost certainly an undercount.” The editors’ note added, quote, “For these people, we often know only their nicknames; for a few, we know only their race and gender. This is the result of the systemic erasure that to this day continues to deny enslaved people their histories,” The Harvard Crimson said.

— source | Apr 28, 2022

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