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Letter: School point system app a double edged sword 

letter to the editor

To the editor, 

– As the kids returned to school this year, I noticed several parents frustrated with the new app requirement for their child’s class. ClassDojo is a point system used by teachers to document student behavior. Parents are invited to participate by logging either positive or negative behavior at home.

Each student’s personal information, including their name and school, is put into the system absent of parent authorization. Kids come home excited to “hatch” their monster avatar, while clueless parents just follow the teacher’s instructions. Once the monster is created, points are given each school day for being responsible, staying quiet, actively listening, etc. A reward is given for good behavior once the child reaches a score goal. This is an introductory course programming children to unquestioningly participate in a social credit system similar to Communist China.

Schools irresponsibly place children in the position to follow the crowd and fit in or be shamed for being the odd one out. Parents must weigh the psychological cost of declining their child access against the long-term impact of opening the doorway to data collection. On the surface, schools give a shiny toy to innocent students. Underneath, these institutions are providing big tech with personal data about minors that will stick with them a lifetime. As we are now aware, our data is used to target, influence, and manipulate human behavior beyond our capacity to consent.

I urge parents to shut this down. Don’t play.

Alisha Enns

Editor’s note: Opinion pieces and letters to the editor are the personal opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Paso Robles Daily News or its staff. We welcome letters from local residents regarding relevant local topics. To submit one, click here.

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