To: Virginia Beach City School Board Members
Topic: Tape Recording Parents Without Their Knowledge
We, the undersigned, petition the members of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools to DISCONTINUE THE PRACTICE OF tape recording parents without their permission or knowledge.
We parents, community members, and concerned citizens whose names appear below, believe that the tacit or overt support of Virginia Beach City Public Schools, superintendent, school board, and local attorney for the school board for secretly taping telephone conversations with special education parents without their consent is a form of harassment and intimidation and ask you to stop.
In a letter received by the former Virginia Beach City Public School Superintendent Dr. Jenney, he states that in Virginia a party to a conversation is permitted to record the conversation and is NOT required to obtain the consent of the other party before doing so. He continues by stating that our administrators are within the parameters of State code when they feel it is necessary to record phone conversations and that as a party to those conversations, they are not obligated to seek permission. In his last comment he states,
to that end, when appropriate, conversation may be recorded to ensure accurate information is captured.
In September of 2007, at a Virginia Beach School Board meeting during public comments, I asked the school board chair and members, if Dr. Merrill would continue to allow school administration to record parents without their consent and knowledge. To this date no one has responded.
On the Virginia Beach City School District web site Dr. Merrill comments that he keeps open channels of communication with all employees and the community for the improvement and welfare of the school division. If this is true, we parents ask Dr. Merrill to tell us why he refused to acknowledge the stated concerns in the petition
We the undersigned feel that this practice is unethical even though legal and undermines the premise that Virginia Beach City School District respects parents.
We respectfully request that the Virginia Beach City School District adopt a policy that prohibits school administration from tape recording not only parents of special education students but ALL parents.
To review the letter noted in this petition please
Advocating 4 Kids- Parent Support Group, also known as, A4K
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Below is the link to review a copy of the letter sent from the Virginia Beach School Board: http://www.advocate4kids.org/cms/pdf/letter.pdf
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