Plano ISD to allow eavesdropping on eMails

Plano, Texas, public school employees sending eMail messages next school year might find someone else also receiving the messages, reports the Dallas Morning News: their boss. Under a policy the district’s school board approved this week, supervisors in Plano ISD now have authority to monitor eMails from staff members and students on district computers. Previously, such monitoring required prior approval from an administrator, possibly even from Superintendent Doug Otto. Monitoring is needed to ensure employees and students follow Plano school policies, district officials said. But some online privacy experts called the policy "drastic" and wondered if bosses would use their new authority to retaliate against employees. Plano officials say the policy wasn’t spurred by any events or misuse of the district’s eMail service. Rather, the Texas Association of School Boards merely recommended the policy change. Plano employees who violate the revised policy could lose internet access or face more severe disciplinary action…

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