We teach our children there is difference between privacy and secrecy. Everyone needs privacy; there are things that we just don’t need everyone to know. Secrecy is far more difficult, however; as the word conjures up possibilities of question, behaviors, and more. But humans need both.
It is a student’s nature to want answers. In the current social media climate, it’s about wanting answers right now. But then we have to consider that speed and accuracy are not the same thing. While the sudden end of something may be a surprise to some or many, it’s important to recognize that are some things we don’t know and some things we simply will not know, about exactly what and why.
But why not? skeptics may ask. Skepticism may be healthy. Skeptics ask crucial questions. It’s when it falls over into cynicism that it collapses under it’s own weight, and no amount of facts provided at any speed can satisfy.
For example, if someone took over a desk in a classroom in Los Angeles, Culver City, San Fernando, or otherwise, they may not know that desk could have a secret. Or not have a secret. Who knows because so many knew, but they can approach one at a time, or speak in whispers. Privacy can be sure to be complicated. And also something that a person might not be shocked by. But to the people who feel they know more and protect information, it can feel both heavy and delicate. Our Superintendent, Dr. Joshua Arnold, advocated for student privacy today during our morning assembly, and I was delighted. It was nice to hear someone talk about more than just empty files, or candy bars, and such. In today’s social media climate, sometimes students think they are not able to maintain their privacy. But Dr. Arnold says that doesn’t have to be the case, and one can be private without any harm being revealed. I agree, and even after one’s death, people can come and honor privacy in confession rather than guilt. More like compassion.
It’s the crux of the issue here, as much of what students and parents in our district seem to be concerned with honestly. Privacy is about discretion. Secrecy is about shame. Transparency is the other end of the spectrum, and while some consider it requisite, it’s an ideal and not always an appropriate goal.
The matter of student success is a departure from the mean and yet another thing; it is confidentiality. In legal matters there are laws in place that say ‘this is private.’ It isn’t that the district or the board, or Dr. Arnold, has some kind of need to broach privacy. It is that privacy inherently is not a governmental body, so it is not readily made available for public consumption.
Words that matter are “ethics” and “integrity.” These words should be used as standards we need everyone to uphold.
CATCH contracts with Irving’s Partners to put it place privacy standards on our chromebooks so students do not get wrapped up in skullduggery. All kinds of business are conducted according to the proper legal standards by students and teachers we trust at CATCH. And we trust them, yes, to continue to run the machinery that educates all of us. Dr. Arnold’s speech today supported this in long from, and had communicated that the school board also trusts in student privacy to go wherever it takes them.
Educating students is our teachers’ job, and they are not interested in your public persona, and they are not interested in impacting what is going to be affected by information going out without restraint,. For those who might think confidentiality is a good thing. They might also feel very strongly that taking the time to get the facts correct would be worthwhile.
If there are secrets or privacy matters for involved students, they do not belong to anyone else but themselves. Privacy should be celebrated, not a form of suffering. llowing for privacy is also allowing for dignity, and even the publicity of a social media feed like Twitter or Instagram. Teachers, staff, students, and employees in our school district need and deserve that. Especially the public employees of CATCH Prep deserve.
Because it’s about educating us kids. One of the most important things we can teach is respect for human nature.