A new Senate bill would give a federally mandated boost to America’s growing school surveillance industry


Senate Republicans have a new plan for preventing mass shootings: require public schools to use surveillance technology to monitor students’ online behavior for signs of violence or self-harm.

A new Republican bill that claims “to help prevent mass shootings” includes no new gun control measures. Instead, Republican lawmakers are supporting a huge, federally mandated boost to America’s growing school surveillance industry.

Millions of American students, across thousands of school districts, are already being monitored by tech companies that scan everything they write in school emails, chats and shared documents, looking for signs of suicidal thoughts or plans for a school shooting. This surveillance technology doesn’t turn off when the school day is over: anything students type in official school accounts is monitored 24 hours a day, whether they are in their classrooms or their bedrooms.

There is still no research evidence that demonstrates whether or not online monitoring of schoolchildren actually works to prevent violence.

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