Home > Uncategorized > NYTimes Article on China’s Surveillance Bears Chilling Resemblance to Hardened Schools

NYTimes Article on China’s Surveillance Bears Chilling Resemblance to Hardened Schools

April 7, 2019

Earlier this week the NYTimes ran an article by three journalists full of photographs illustrating how the Chinese government turned a city in the Western part of the country into a virtual prison. The plan required the hiring of hundreds of police, the installation of thousands of surveillance cameras, the systematic collection of data from those cameras, and the use of the data to segregate non-compliant and non-conforming citizens— especially Muslims— from the rest of the presumably “law-aiding” and “normal” residents. Oh… and to make the cameras function more efficiently some older sections of the city that had a maze of alleyways were demolished and replaced with open spaces that could more readily be monitored. And finally, citizens and children are coached to bring misbehavior of their neighbors and classmates to the attention of authorities and any child who acknowledges that they are being taught the Koran by their parents is separated and assigned to a re-education facility.

As one who has read and written frequently about the implicit message the hardening of schools sends to children and the potential for abuse when masses of data are collected, I found an unsettling parallel between the actions of the Chinese government and the actions our local governments and school districts are recommending when it comes to monitoring children in school. This is not the world I want to see anyone live in… and it is certainly not the world I want my grandchildren to live in… but it DOES look a lot like the world we want to create for our public schools.

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