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e-Safety Thread, Parental access to own kids email... in School Administration; Hi guys, Got an email from one of the parents asking if he could have his daughters school pop3 and ...
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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Parental access to own kids email...

    Hi guys,

    Got an email from one of the parents asking if he could have his daughters school pop3 and server settings etc.. When asked why, he just said that his daughter is at an impressionable age and wants to monitor what she is doing on there.

    I asked if he was going to let his daughter know, and he said no (as that would negate the whole point obviously). I personally don't feel too happy about it. I queried with SLT and they were also dubious, the CPO wasn't too happy either.

    What do you guys think? Morally and legally, where do we stand?

    Cheers guys - a real help

    Ben

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    Dont do it - you have no obligation to provide any details.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    It is an interesting point and not the first time this has come up (in my career). What age?

    Previously we said that in order to do this we would need to inform the student, it infringing on their rights as an individual. We gave reassurances that their emails were internally monitored and filtered from the outside world, and finally that it would be on par with recording their playground converstions, and so unless we had the students concent (or at least knowledge) then we would not proceed.

    Section 2 above calmed their fears.

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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    It is an interesting point and not the first time this has come up (in my career). What age?

    Previously we said that in order to do this we would need to inform the student, it infringing on their rights as an individual. We gave reassurances that their emails were internally monitored and filtered from the outside world, and finally that it would be on par with recording their playground converstions, and so unless we had the students concent (or at least knowledge) then we would not proceed.

    Section 2 above calmed their fears.
    Thanks for the replies. She is a Year 7.

    In what sense are your email filtered and monitored?

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    GREED's Avatar
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    (Were, not working for school anymore!)

    Standard filtering of emails from external addresses, spam and the likes. We also had the ability and authority to check mailboxes, like most schools. We had selected staff with that facility (ie learning support, careers etc) so as to help monitor students deemed 'vulnerable', but the facility as a whole was part of the user agreement they all signed.

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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Oh ok. Well the girls all sign an AUP stating we can and may check any of their school email mailboxes etc.. The emails are scanned for SPAM coming in and I have also set up a very crude 'profanity' filter that alerts a key member of staff when triggered (in or out).

    From what I gather and as an example, I think he wants to just check that she is not emailing boys/girls from another school or area that might lead her stray etc. Crazy I know.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Totally understandable, but I think generally this should be a no, certainly without telling the student that this is happening. She is legally aware that you can check her email, but not her parents.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Its a no, not without telling the student, as it breaks privacy laws.

    As the student signed an AUP within the school (and I asuume with parental signature) then you are within your rights to deny the request

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    rh91uk's Avatar
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    I would also deny it. I assume you have monitoring systems in place, so as such, I assume it's a correctly monitored email account

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Do you have the ability to use POP3? if not then its a no. The only other way would be to tell him her webmail password

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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Do you have the ability to use POP3? if not then its a no. The only other way would be to tell him her webmail password
    I thought about this. I have actually disabled this function, although I did previously have it up and running but via imap.

    My idea, if he was to be granted this right would be to add him as an OWA user (restricted, no email ability etc.) and then grant him mailbox rights to his daughters mailbox (exchange 2007). He'd then simply log in via his credentials and then 'jump' to her mailbox in OWA. That way, nobody needs to ask or know her password. But, I don't like the fact that there is then the possibilty of him 'masquerading' as her...plus having access to the student address book etc. etc..

    Hmmm. A tricky one but the general consensus seems to be no - unless he specifically asks his daughter. In that case, he can simply ask her to open it up at home and show him. This is maybe counter-productive as she could then, if she wanted, simply open up a hotmail account for privacy!

    Hmmmmm

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    Divulging account details to unauthorised individuals is a breach of our AUP (even if it's me doing it).

    Plus it's a bit creepy and we'd like them to use the email facilities rather than avoiding them because $parent is reading over their shoulder.

    edit: If the kid has any clue at all, she's already got another email account for shenanigans because one of her year will have been pulled up for being silly via email.
    Last edited by pete; 10th November 2010 at 03:20 PM.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I would say no. He would have access to her e-mail he would have the ability to contact other students. Thats a big no no for obvious reasons!

    You could offer to remove e-mail from the student i suppose.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 10th November 2010 at 03:23 PM.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    I would say no, not without the knowledge of the child. If the child wants to have top secret conversations with others she's not going to use her monitored school email account, she'll set up a gmail or hotmail account... or use facebook... or text...

    My teenagers really don't use email to talk to their mates.

    Dad needs an e-safety talk so that he can learn how teenagers actually communicate electronically and how futile it is to rely on net-nanny software and checking a single email account.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    I think dad needs a little education rather than control...

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