OLIVER: Keeping Watch Over America’s Schools

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Daniel Oliver Contributor
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In this time of the Chinese Flu, many schools across the country are holding classes online. That has down sides, of course. But it has one singular upside. Because many classes are online, parents have discovered that they can, literally, look over their children’s shoulders and see what the teachers are teaching.

The daringness of the parents’ effrontery stuns, and has been quickly dealt with by one school’s administrative authorities. Libby Emmons of The Post Millennial reported on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that a school district in Tennessee sent forms home to parents requiring them to promise not to eavesdrop on the education sessions.

We assume many parents of the children at the school in Tennessee signed the forms and sent them back to the school. But what would have happened if they had not? Where is it written that parents may not know what and how their children are being taught? What would the penalty be for not signing the form? Would the school refuse to provide an education to the children? Where’s the truant officer when we need him?

There will surely be many changes in the daily lives of Americans as a result of the Chinese Flu. Many may work from home for the rest of their lives. Schools will presumably resume normal life, or try to, but that could be problematic if parents discover that they like keeping watch over their children by day.

Parents, or surely some of them, who have discovered what goes on in their children’s schools may be reluctant to give up that monitoring power. But with a return to normal life, what will they be able to do? How can they monitor classroom activity?

Easy. Or, rather, easy technologically. What parents across America should now demand a real-time video monitoring system for every classroom in every school in America. And actually, this being America, you can already find such services on the internet.

The technology is simple — a group of fifth graders could set it up. Every classroom would have a video camera in the back focused on the front of the room where the teacher is. Each school would have its own web address (if it doesn’t already) — nothing complicated about that. And each classroom would have its own number — and probably has already.

Parents simply type in the web address of the school and the number of the classroom, and — presto! — there’s Johnny’s class and Johnny’s teacher, and — wait a minute: why the Hell is the teacher describing capitalism as a form of power and oppression, like patriarchy, racism, white supremacy and ableism?!

They say the explosion of an atomic bomb makes a tremendous noise. They ain’t heard nothin’ yet. Just thinking about how a system like this would upset the teachers’ unions is enough to make the sun shine and the flowers bloom.

States with Republican legislatures could require local school districts to install such a system as a condition for receiving state funds for education. And the feds, too, could impose the same requirement on recalcitrant states, if Republicans win both houses of Congress in November.

Are there dangers? Of course. One is that the system would enable the woke-liberal-progressive fascist left (Joe Biden’s handlers and their friends) to check up on teachers too. But they would do that at their peril. Their harassing of teachers would up the ante and make a national issue of the cr*p — uh, sorry kids — of the content taught in public schools throughout the land.

Another danger is that perverts might try to use the service to scope out vulnerable students. But that danger can be substantially reduced by encryption technology, e.g., by requiring parents to have hard authentication security keys. Or, if necessary, by limiting it to an audio feed.

Sunshine always has risks. But Americans are a risk-taking people. And in this case, they’d be taking risks for the children . . . for the children. Hmmm. Maybe even Hillary would like that—just kidding.

It may not take a village to raise children, but it generally takes two parents. Why not add a shepherd?

Daniel Oliver is Chairman of the Board of the Education and Research Institute and a Director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was Executive Editor and subsequently Chairman of the Board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review.

Email Daniel Oliver at Daniel.Oliver@TheCandidAmerican.com.