High tech is stepping-in to closely monitor students with hall passes

Some schools are using wireless technologies and a company called e-HallPass to track students and the amount of time they spend out of class on a hall pass. The trend has some in education worried, notes writer Joseph Cox in this Vice article:

Admins can then access data collected through the software, and view a live dashboard showing details on all passes. e-HallPass can also stop meet-ups of certain students and limit the amount of passes going to certain locations, the website adds, explicitly mentioning “vandalism and TikTok challenges.” Many of the schools Motherboard identified appear to use e-HallPass specifically on Chromebooks, according to student user guides and similar documents hosted on the schools’ websites, though it also advertises that it can be used to track students on their personal cell phones.

EdSurge reported that some people had taken to Change.org with a petition to remove the “creepy” system from a specific school. Motherboard found over a dozen similar petitions online, including one regarding Independence High School signed nearly 700 times which appears to have been written by a group of students.

“We are expected to be young adults and by this E-HP system taking place this year we have a great amount of freedom and independence being taken away,” the petition reads. “Many students that attend Indy have come together and decided to petition against this new system that has been created. We, as the students feel as if we’re being watched and monitored at all times throughout our school day, which is extremely uncomfortable.”

Eduspire did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

My biggest problem with this, aside from invasion of privacy concerns, is that any new policies used as a form of control, coercion and punishment for students have always landed most heavily on students of color. I would also be concerned that it would be a way for cash-strapped schools to easily rid themselves of students with behavioral issues, rather than being forced to provide services that might help those students overcome their difficulties.

On the other hand, schools are different places from when I went to school.

During my public education years, angry kids with loud mouths and chronic anti-social opposition to authority almost always came from angry parents with loud mouths and chronic anti-social opposition to authority. But those kids and their parents were outliers.

The internet has created vast new pools of angry parents with loud mouths and chronic anti-social opposition to authority, presumably making kids like that more common in schools than they used to be.

That has to have created untold new headaches for teachers and administrators. Perhaps the old honor system of hall pass monitoring is obsolete in this day and age.

That part about TikTok challenges in particular caught my attention.

I feel as if I had it easy to have gone to school in a time when wearing the right things and saying the right things only occupied my time during school and not during nights and weekends.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Leave a Reply