Today, LGBT Tech signed along with 14 other organizations a letter sent to The Honorable Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education's Office to address the discriminatory harms of student activity monitoring software in our schools.
The letter specifically calls out, that the widespread use of student activity monitoring comes at the same time as policy actions at the state level are explicitly targeting LGBTQI+ students, requiring schools to disclose their gender identity or sexual orientation against their will, and that seek to curb students’ access to literature, scholarship, and resources regarding race and LGBTQI+ identities and stories. This is supported by a recent study conducted by the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) revealing that LGBTQI+ students are disproportionately targeted as a result of student activity monitoring and how online monitoring practices violate the civil rights laws that OCR enforces. In fact, 29 percent of LGBTQI+ students report that they or another student they know has had their sexual orientation or gender identity disclosed without their consent (i.e., “outed’) due to student activity monitoring. Additionally, 56 percent of LGBTQI+ students reported that they or someone they know was disciplined as a result of student activity monitoring, and 31 percent reported they were contacted by law enforcement regarding a crime flagged by the software — compared to 44 percent and 19 percent, respectively, for their non-LGBTQI+ peers.
Please read the full letter here:
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