On January 12, 2018 author Alex Kingsbury wrote an article based on the ethical dilemma of students being recorded during school. In Boston, the parents of Ben Pollack, a disabled teenager, wanted him to carry an audio recorder during school to confirm that he was not being bullied or maltreated. On a Monday, a federal appeals court heard arguments on the topic which was brought up by his southern Maine school district. The school cited the privacy rights of other students and declined permission to record.
What should the parents of Ben Pollack do knowing that the school does not approve audio recording other students during the school day?
According to Carol Hay, a professor that shared her view on this case states that, ‘one compromise between protecting the Teachers’ and the student’s privacy as well as ensuring Ben Pollack’s safety and his parents’ peace of mind would be to allow Ben’s parents to send him to school with an audio recorder but to have those recordings stored by a third party.
Such as a guidance counselor or a neutral arbitrator not affiliated with the school district.’ My reaction to this would be that the view is ethical.
It allows the teachers and students to enjoy a bit of privacy and not feel at risk with information being sent to the district and the parents get to calm down and feel like their son is a bit safer. But one thing I believe poses a small dilemma is Bens happiness.
Already being a nonverbal teenager keeps him from properly socializing. If he has a recording device on him at all times that’s going to make it even harder for him to socialize and fit in. Which brings me to the second view on this case by Zachary Rossetti. His reaction to this is similar to mine. “Having autism should not disqualify anyone from foundational human rights of self-determination and belonging. Attaching a recording device to one’s body encroaches on personal agency, may lead to stigmatization, and acts as a literal barrier to peer social interactions.”
This case is a true ethical dilemma for Ben because if he doesn’t wear the recording device his parents will continue to feel anxious and frightened at a situation where he will be mistreated. But In such a case, especially in today’s cruel society, I think I would side with the solution that sends Ben to school with a recording device until there is proof that he is being treated fairly by both the students and the teachers. In addition to that, the teachers nor the students should feel threatened if they always treat Ben with respect. Therefore, the ethical dilemma for the time being should be solved.