A High School Student’s Encounter with Creepy Surveillance Culture in the Classroom

Depressed thoughtful young university student sitting in the classroom with a laptop looking thoughtfully at the camera with head on hand

A high school student, let’s call her OP (original poster), shared her recent experience with a strict teacher on the Reddit forum. OP describes her teacher as old-school, stubborn, and strict.

One particular habit that seems to irk OP is the teacher’s constant monitoring of the student’s Chromebooks.

OP, like many students, has a third lunch period. Since her phone was out of battery, she used her school-issued Chromebook to pass the time during lunch. She soon realized that her teacher was watching her Chromebook’s activity, and whenever she opened a non-school-related tab, it was closed without any explanation. She felt frustrated and angry that her teacher was monitoring her personal time, which she felt was unfair and creepy.

After confronting her teacher, who insisted that the Chromebook was only for school purposes, OP decided to report him to the principal. However, when she shared her experience with her mother, she was told that she had overreacted and that the computer was only for school use.

OP reached out to the Reddit community to determine if she overreacted by complaining about her teacher to the principal.

As thousands of comments poured in, the emerging theme of the situation was consistent. Almost 14K users agreed with Cheap_Rick’s comment,

“INFO: What, exactly, is the school policy about using the chrome book? We can’t weigh in without knowing this crucial fact.”

MistressMemory agreed and said,

“It entirely depends on the device rental policy the school has. OP’s parent/ OP signed a form at the beginning of the year that details this. I’m sure it’s also available online via the school website.”

It’s understandable why OP would feel upset about her teacher monitoring her personal time. Still, it’s crucial to remember that school-issued devices are intended for academic purposes. While it’s easy to become frustrated by the lack of autonomy, it’s essential to follow the rules set by the school district to avoid further conflicts with authority figures.

Sophia-sews believes that if OP were familiar with the school rules, she wouldn’t feel so frustrated. Many agreed with her comment,

“I think this entire situation exists because OP does not know the rules and therefore felt that their privacy had been violated.”

However, other’s felt that this was a case of the teacher misusing his power. Cppcrusader said,

“This is not necessary info in the slightest. Regardless of what the school’s policies may be, a teacher using his admin access to snoop on what a student is doing on school-issued laptops in their free time is a massive overreach by the teacher. Those tools exist for the teacher to be able to assist students remotely and to verify they are on task during their class. This is entirely a case of a tenured teacher on a power trip trying to throw his weight around.”

Others feel it’s best to have the policy clearly spelled out and understood. TalkingCapibara said,

“I think it’s a good thing the principal knows about this. There need to be clear rules about this. You should also know when you can be monitored. This needs more discussion and regulation.”

OP’s situation highlights that it’s essential to voice one’s concerns and seek assistance from the appropriate channels. Acknowledging and adhering to the school’s rules and regulations is equally important.

You can find the full thread here.

Featured Image Credit: racorn /Depositphotos.com.

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Annika Stepanov

Annika is passionate about personal finance and travel, pouring her extensive experience into her writing on these topics. She has a diploma in Creative English Writing and has been working in the industry since 2016.