In addition to all the irritating ClassDojo stuff going on at kiddo’s school, I’ve also spent some time banging my head against the wall made up of two forms: One to opt out of FERPA directory information sharing, and the other to opt out of kiddo’s information being shared with media outlets. I’m too tired tonight to get into all the details of what’s been going on, but the short version is that there’s no (clear, easy) way for spouse and I to request that kiddo’s name and image not be shared on school social media without also insisting that kiddo’s name and image not appear in innocuous things like… a school yearbook.
This makes me angry, and I’m planning to write an op-ed to the local paper once I have my own start-of-semester under control (haha, what a funny joke). My friend and colleague Josh Rosenberg has done some good research on just how many children’s photos (and names!) appear on public Facebook pages in the U.S., so I think I have some good information to make a stink with. Again, though, I’m too tired to go through all of that right now.
Earlier today, though, while annotating a reading on webcomics for my content management systems class, I stumbled on this excellent xkcd strip that I’d forgotten about:
It’s (darkly) funny enough when talking about social media in general, but what really gets me about “There’s nothing in between?” is that it perfectly describes how absurd this FERPA situation is at kiddo’s school. I can allow for information to be shared in all sorts of venues, or I can lock it down completely—not a lot of middle ground there. To be fair, kiddo’s principal and teacher are being patient with my complaints and helpful with our concerns, and it seems like we’ve got a good informal agreement carved out for this school year. It boggles my mind that there isn’t a more formal system in place, though.
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