"Students currently sign forms saying they consent to being monitored," Crockford said. "But should students be forced to give up the right to privacy in order to access new technology?"
According to the report, several local school districts, including Franklin, Hopkinton and Sudbury, gave the ACLU documents stating that students should have "no expectations of privacy" in their school-owned devices, while Millis and West Springfield allow for random and periodic searches of student computers. Of the 35 school districts included in the study, which also included Franklin and Wayland, only Uxbridge has a clear policy limiting searches to "when a problem is brought to the attention of the building administration."
According to Crockford, the ACLU of Massachusetts feels that schools should have a right to search student devices when there is reason to believe the student has done something against the rules, but until there is probable cause of a crime or infraction, students' rights to privacy should be protected. Student privacy regulations in Massachusetts were last updated in 2006, Crockford said, which is far too long given how fast technology is growing.
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