A parent of two Brookfield school students has asked school officials to give parents and guardians read-only access to their children’s Google Classroom accounts.
“I really would like to see what my kids are learning,” said Cynthia Williams.
This request was made to the school board Oct. 20 and followed an incident in which one of Williamses’ children was given an assignment about a controversial topic, she said. Neither Williams nor school Supt. Toby Gibson would say what the topic was, but Williams claimed it violated the law.
“I know it is a direct violation of a couple of House bills,” she said. “It’s one of those social topics. It shouldn’t be in a public school system, especially a Title 1 school.”
“I don’t know if it violated the law but in today’s world, yeah, it could have been … it’s controversial, maybe, the topic,” Gibson said.
Once an issue was raised, the assignment was pulled, Williams said.
“They did do their due diligence,” she said. “They did correct the scenario.”
Williams said her interest in reviewing what her kids are learning is twofold.
“In my scenario as a parent, I want to know before that happens, so I can talk to my kids, or if there’s an opportunity to speak with the board or speak with the school and say, ‘Hey, red flag,’” she said.
She said read-only access is already possible with Google Classroom.
“I know it’s possible for parents to have access, have their own account, email, whatever, access to the Google Classrooms,” she said. “I know it’s possible to have access to the instructional material.”
Gibson said he’s not sure giving parents access to student accounts is a good idea for legal reasons.
“I think the question is, what is the best way to give you the access so that we protect the integrity of the classroom and support what your interests are,” said board President Sarah Kurpe. “We’ll take note of that; we’ll put that as an action item to follow up on.”