Administration advises parents to monitor students’ phones

District-wide email details expected proper technology manners


Michela Smith

Unsuspecting students check their emails to find messages from the Granite Bay High School Administration asking parents to monitor their students’ phones.

Michela Smith, staff writer

  On December 28, 2018, an email was sent out from the district with the subject line: “Why you should be checking your student’s phone.”

  The email and information included in it was composed by Youth Service Officers, the law enforcement officers who work on each campus. In the email, it stated that “The first rule to remember is that phone belongs to the parent.  It can be searched at any time without question. You should know all the passwords.”

  The email also touched on the issue of sexting among students.

  “Please talk to your child about not ever taking a picture of themselves in the first place or pressuring other people to send them,” the email reported. “We don’t want your child to be a registered sex offender for stupid mistakes they made as a teen.”

I believe their intention was to offer guidance to support parents.

— John Becker

  According to John Becker, the Roseville Joint Union High School District’s executive director of personnel services, the district merely forwarded information that was originally produced by a local law enforcement agency.

  “This was a Roseville Police Department newsletter forwarded on by the RJUHSD,” Becker said in an email. “It’s certainly not the duty of the district to encourage parents to search their child’s cell phone. However, RPD’s work with youth and parents has likely recognized this as a concern, and they must have felt obliged to address it in this newsletter.  I believe their intention was to offer guidance to support parents.”

  Often, there are many differing views surrounding the extent to which high school students should be monitored and what is considered an invasion of privacy.

  “I think that as a parent, you should know enough about your child that you shouldn’t need to (go through their phone),” said Nichole Novaresi, parent of senior Sofia Novaresi.

  Junior Cole Phillips said he’s not a fan of parental examination of his electronics: “In general, it feels invasive when (my parents) go through my phone.”

  The district has been taking more steps to thoroughly inform parents in order to prevent misbehavior by their children. These actions have included include hosting informational meetings regarding vaping and nicotine use among Granite Bay High and  other RJUHSD students.

I think that as a parent, you should know enough about your child that you shouldn’t need to (go through their phone)

— Nichole Novaresi

  “By the time the school emails out, it is generally old news,” Nichole Novaresi said. “Vaping has been a problem since junior high, and my child is now a senior. The information was about four years too late.”

  Former RJUHSD superintendent  Ron Severson retired in July, and Denise Herrmann is now the current superintendent. Some GBHS teachers and students wonder whether this administrative change is what has led to the effort to increase parent involvement.

  Though it seems this is a relatively new wave of promoting parental involvement, assistant principal Jessup McGregor disagrees that there has been a philosophical change at the district level.

  “For as long as I’ve been here, our district has made efforts to partner with parents wherever possible in trying to raise safe, healthy and happy teens,” McGregor said. “So far this year, in my experience, we are proceeding in line with our partnership efforts.

  “Our new superintendent has made intentional efforts to meet with as many people as possible in our school community, and I would guess that this will continue.”