Schools may not consider how new technology like Seesaw and Class Dojo can impact family violence victims.
While policies and obligations vary, most public and independent schools have a responsibility to protect confidential information and to respond to the online safety of students.
“It’s often not something that parents think to mention either, unless they know that those apps have been used to perpetrate violence,” suggested Emily Maguire, the chief executive of the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria.
Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant said technology could be compromised, including the devices used by children for their school work, reports ABC news.
“While all children have the right to be protected from harm online, there will be a significant proportion of children within their community who are also directly experiencing domestic and family violence issues, with particular needs which must be taken into account,” she said.
The role of technology in family violence is a recognised phenomenon: The 2015 ReCharge survey of 546 domestic-violence-sector workers found 98 per cent said they had clients who had experienced technology-facilitated stalking and abuse — most commonly, via text messages.
“Gone are the days when you can just use something because it’s practical and it’s there,” said one victim.
“You’ve got to stop and think ahead and say, ‘Hang on, are there any implications of me using this? Does this give him another level of access to know my whereabouts, to know what I’m doing or saying?'”
Carl Sjogreen, the cofounder of Seesaw, said his company took such issues seriously.
However, parents don’t have many options for customising their child’s experience of the platform, other than negotiating with the school or opting them out.
A parent can be approved for or removed from a child’s portal on Seesaw by their teacher.
Comments are also pre-moderated by teachers, but cannot be turned off for individual students — only for the entire class.
“We generally defer to the teacher or the school to make sure they’re using Seesaw in a way that’s acceptable to all parties,” Mr Sjogreen said.
Family violence perpetrators often use a range of tools to harass and keep tabs on their partners, and children’s technology outside the classroom can also provide a means of tracking and contact.
Susan Mclean – Cyber Safety Expert shares, “This is an example of the app See Saw being accessed by a violent ex partner and the victim being unable to do anything other than opt out. Please schools understand the real risk of these apps and DO NOT assume all families are OK with their use.”
Does your child’s school use classroom apps to send all the notifications through?
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