Teacher Spying on Student During Virtual Class

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Image credit to US Army. Image modified from original.

A fifth-grader from Baltimore County had a surprise visit from an on-duty police officer, leaving his mother stupefied.

The boy’s teacher apparently called and reported that she had seen a terrifying weapon hanging on the student’s walls. It was nothing but a BB gun that the teacher misunderstood as some kind of a firearm.

Courtney Lancaster Sperry, a veteran navy and the 11-year old’s mother, was dumbfounded initially. Instead of letting the situation pass, the mother started talking to the other parents as a matter of misunderstanding. It is a breach of privacy, Sperry continued.

The gun did impose a call of terror. There were two guns – a Red Ryder BB gun and a regular BB gun, loaded and mounted pretty neatly on the wall. Two other teachers also saw the stowed BB guns.

As a fifth-grader, the boy was involved in his virtual schooling activities. Virtual classes are mostly over zoom calls. The boy’s mother stated that it was a straight hit to her and her son’s privacy. If virtual classes meant compromising on privacy, what good is it?

Sperry took to Facebook and had posted her heartfelt thoughts and her experience. ‘Neither was my boy posing with the guns, nor did he intentionally try and get the guns on screen.’ Showcasing BB guns was undoubtedly not an 11-year old’s agenda. In fact, my little boy was oblivious that the arms were even visible on the video.

Virtual classes are encouraged to keep students protected from the ongoing pandemic. If a teacher is busy scouting the walls instead of teaching, it is nothing less than an offense. Moreover, the boy did not have the slightest clue that the guns could be seen in the background.

Cops paying a visit are not well-perceived by anyone, and Courtney felt no different. The little boy probably had a tiny idea about what’s going on, but a police officer showing up did scare him.

The teacher first reported the incident to the principal. Jason Feiler called the shots and said the same to the police, where he explicitly requested the authorities to search the home of the 11-year old.

The principal and the teachers teamed up and posted a rule, citing that no students could bring guns into the school premises under any circumstances. The rule remains unchanged for the virtual classes.

Sperry did have a few words to speak of her own. She stated that the school handbook included no such rules to be imposed in virtual classes. The guns were safely stacked behind a closed door, and the boy didn’t show up holding a gum during his virtual lessons. Moreover, the BB gun did not even have any ammunition.

Courtney spoke to the media, where she told that the school’s vice-principal went ahead and rang up her ex-husband to dig some dirt. Also, to find out whether there’s any sort of network connection associated with the gun incident. However, Sperry does believe that the real reason was very different.

The call was made to find out whether her son was at her home or her ex’s. Instead of requesting an explanation, the vice-principal chose to turn to a deaf ear and was eager to fish for information and stories.

Courtney did mention that she was in a state of shock. ‘I have never been muddled in any kind of legal troubles ever’ – she stated.

The officers were extremely polite and felt awful about the whole incident. They chose to praise the child’s set-up for stacking his toys.

Sperry reached out to the principal and asked why the matter wasn’t primarily discussed privately on the phone, or in person. Why was it necessary to involve the police to which Jason Feiler, the principal, replied that it was not a part of their policy.

The policemen were more than gentle and polite; thus, she let them enter her home even if it is unlawful to search without a warrant. A school teacher, busy taking screenshots of a student’s room, clearly violates personal privacy.

Sperry is motivated to call for changes in policies, but the school stayed clear from the picture and refused to comment. As a parent, the safety of the child is the priority.

Sperry made it crystal clear that neither she nor her son will be subjected to videos, paving the way for violating her rights. She declared that how she legally takes care of a home is none of the school’s business.





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