Parents upset over updated school laptop policy - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Parents upset over updated school laptop policy

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A form is being passed around in class that requires a student's signature about the laptops. A form is being passed around in class that requires a student's signature about the laptops.

A change to an existing Huntsville City Schools policy has some parents upset.

In the fall, the school system traded their textbooks for technology by getting laptops. Now, a form is being passed around in class that requires a signature about those PCs, but not from who you think.

In an effort to make sure students are aware of the do's and don'ts with the school issued laptops, they will be reminded verbally and on paper.   During the week, rules for how to handle the computers as far as downloads and which sites to avoid will be addressed in homeroom.  For added measure, the students will be asked to sign a form to confirm they understood what was read to them.  The form asks for a student's signature, not the parents'.

"I was shocked and really angry that they would ask a child to sign something saying that they understood it without their parent's approval," said Laura Lively Charlton. 

Charlton has two sons in the Huntsville City Schools system.  She said she feels not being asked to sign the form is disrespectful to parents.

"Some of the language in the agreement, you know it's a lot of legal terms that a child isn't going to understand at all," she said.  "To me, that's deliberately deceiving parents." 

Officials with the school system said they are simply adding more details to the existing policy.  They compare having the children sign the form to a former policy when a child would be issued a school book that they would have to sign on the inside. 

Charlton disagrees. 

"There are no legal fees tied to losing a textbook," she said. 

The infractions list the level of offenses and the punishments involved.  The punishments range from a classroom warning to suspension, even a recommendation of expulsion. 

That form will make its way to homeroom classes this week.  Charlton said when it comes time for her kids to sign it, she advised them not to.

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