Taxpayer money funds Big Brother spying on teenage Lesbians
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  1. #1
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    Taxpayer money funds Big Brother spying on teenage Lesbians

    Gig Harbor school security video use limited after flap over kiss

    Story Published: Apr 26, 2007 at 3:10 PM PDT

    By KOMO Staff & News Services

    GIG HARBOR, Wash. - Restrictions on the use of security videotape have been tightened at a suburban Tacoma high school after images of two girls kissing were shown to the parents of one of the girls, officials say.

    Keith Nelson, dean of students at Gig Harbor High School, said he saw the students kissing and holding hands in the school's busy commons, checked a surveillance camera and showed the parents the tape because they had asked him a few weeks earlier to alert them to any conduct by their daughter that was out of the ordinary.

    They then transferred their daughter to a school outside the Peninsula School District, which lies northwest of Tacoma.

    Both girls said their privacy was invaded and denied doing anything wrong. Neither was identified by name in an article published Thursday by The News Tribune of Tacoma.

    The kiss amounted to a quick "peck," said the girl who remains at the school, a 17-year-old senior described as the daughter of a News Tribune employee.

    "We weren't doing anything inappropriate, nothing anyone else wouldn't do," she said.

    Nelson said students could not have any expectation of privacy in a crowded place and maintained that he would have taken the same action had the students kissing been a boy and a girl.

    An internal investigation into a complaint from a student - it was unclear whether the complaint came from one of the girls - established that Nelson had not violated district policy, Assistant School Superintendent Shannon Wiggs said.

    The issue has launched Gig Harbor High School into a huge controversy. Some say this smacks of 'big brother.' Others say if you're in a public area you should know that someone may be watching.

    "They weren't harming other students so I don't think the administrators had a right to show it to her parents or anybody else," said Laura Varadi, a student.

    "I think that they didn't use the cameras like how they should. They should only be used for safety I think," said Jade Egelhoff, another student.

    "We obviously made a mistake," said Peninsula School District Superintendent Terry Bouck. The superintendent agrees with the students.

    "We're here to make sure our kids, our staff and parents are safe, but we're not going to be monitoring public displays of affection, etc.," Bouck said.

    Principal Greg Schellenberg said school surveillance videotape may now be used only for security monitoring and discipline for actions such as trespassing, vandalism and fighting.

    Kissing and other public displays of affection were at the time and remain violations of school rules, but violators will first be given warnings and will be disciplined only for a second offense, Schellenberg said. In addition, school employees are barred from sharing surveillance video in response to an open-ended parental request.

    "It's not our normal practice," Schellenberg said. "It's not going to happen again."

    In the case of the kiss, he added, "the same information could have been portrayed to the family without the video."

    Nelson said he respected the change in policy but added that he believes his first obligation is to parents.

    "They're paying good money for us to make their kids good citizens," he said. "Whatever that means to the parents, I'll do it."

    And some parents are siding with Nelson.

    "I think that that's fine. If they're doing something they shouldn't be doing the surveillance is fine," said one parent, Heidi Holmes.

    "We're watching them at home, so we should be watching them at school too," added her husband, Tim Holmes.

    They say surveillance cameras are a way of life helping prevent crime, identifying suspects and just giving folks a sense of security knowing the cameras are always watching.

    This is a debate that is not likely to end with the superintendent saying they made a mistake. It really goes to all facets of life including the workplace and all public areas.

    The superintendent admits public display of affection is against the rules of the school, but he says the administrator should have just talked to the students and not used the surveillance camera.



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    "They're paying good money for us to make their kids good citizens," he said. "Whatever that means to the parents, I'll do it."


    Uhh...how is denying someone's inherant sexual orientation making them a "better citizen"?

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    Im gonna send my 3 month old to Washington DC, it's obvious the government can do a better job of raising him then me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post

    showed the parents the tape because they had asked him a few weeks earlier to alert them to any conduct by their daughter that was out of the ordinary.
    If the parents asked them to keep an eye on the girls and let them know about any conduct then I don't see a problem with what happened. They are minors the parents are their guardian and have to the right to know. The school did nothing wrong at all.

 

 

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