Surveillance parenting and how it is impacting students and teachers

Surveillance parenting and how it is impacting students and teachers

It is now not uncommon to find children fitted with GPS devices meant for surveillance by parents. To many parents, the idea is simple, ensure that they know where their children as a way to protect them. It also serves as a way to keep tabs on the children and ensure that they have arrived at school safely, are in school, and when they leave school, you can see the route they are taking.

Helicopter parenting is now gaining popularity as the safety climate around the world changes and parents are forced to take precautionary measures to protect their children. It is also fast replacing the monitoring system that included video surveillance to determine what a child is doing.

Types of GPS trackers being used for surveillance

Gadgets are now being developed for the sole purpose of allowing parents to keep tabs on their children. These devices are serving different purposes and depending on a parent’s needs, he/she can purchase one of these:

  • Geofencing – These GPS devices are used to ensure that a child is either in a restricted area or outside of a restricted area. Parents can map out where a child should or shouldn’t go, and if a child enters the fenced area, a notification is sent to the parent.
  • Alerts and notification GPS-  These devices are fitted with different alerts and notifications systems and parents have a choice of either getting geolocation of their child every few seconds or after some few minutes.
  • Two-way communication – Children and parents can communicate with each other if connected on a two-way GPS communication device.
  • Panic button – These devices send alerts when pressed by children.

The downside of surveillance parenting

Using GPS and other surveillance technology to keep your child in check, though a noble cause, leaves the question of when is it time to stop. Children also need privacy and depending on the age of a child, resistance to the usage of these devices may begin to emerge. 

There is also the possibility of overparenting and competition by parents to appear like they are the only ones doing most of the parenting. Also, keeping your child in check always is tiresome and unless there is an imminent threat they are exposed to, it becomes hard to justify helicopter parenting.

Teachers are also caught in the midst of these decisions and mostly, they have to live with what the parents decide is best for their children. However, most teachers agree that once these children are in school, they will be able to keep them safe and offer assurances to parents that their children are protected.


Featured image by Pixabay


Kelvin Maina

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