The No Tech Criminalization in Education Coalition (NOTICE) and more than 40 other civil rights and education organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) last month calling for a ban on Federal funding for school surveillance systems that rely on algorithms and other artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled technology for predictive policing and other harmful practices.

In a press release, NOTICE said the letter to the Department of Education is in response to the growing expansion of AI-enabled technology and surveillance systems to collect and analyze student data, including those derived from personal and family records, cell phone location data, facial recognition, and social media accounts.

In addition to requesting a ban on both grant funding and agency appropriations funds for school surveillance, the coalition has also asked the Education Department to provide guidance to school districts on how to evaluate algorithmic technology for racial bias and act against the unlawful and discriminatory use of AI against students.

“We are alarmed by the growing use of surveillance technologies to expand police presence in schools and expose students to greater police contact, exclusionary discipline, and school pushout,” the letter states. “We view these developments as a dangerous new chapter in the school-to-prison pipeline and mass criminalization of Black, brown, and Indigenous youth and other marginalized young people.”

NOTICE argues AI-driven school surveillance technologies run the risk of increasing contact between students and law enforcement and contribute to the “schools-to-prison pipeline,” which NOTICE says disproportionately harms Black and brown youth, LBGTQIA+ students, and those with disabilities.

The letter was signed by NOTICE and other organizations, including ACLU-MN, Center for Law and Social Policy, Education Law Center, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Immigration Law Center, and National Women’s Law Center.

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