“Identifying where we will have risk and where a student is going down a really bad path is important,” Albers said at a hearing for the legislation Monday at the Senate Public Safety Committee. The goal is to do “the responsible thing by wrapping our arms around and helping these students before they might cause harm to themselves or to others.”
One critic who testified didn’t like the idea of government keeping tabs on kids or creating records that might dog them for life.
“Do we want our children to be flagged by the government based on an algorithm when we don’t even know who created the algorithm or what factors go into it,” said Jane Robbins, an education lobbyist who testified on behalf of Concern Women for America. She said profiling based on demographic information could produce biased, inaccurate results that violate students’ privacy and free speech rights while creating documents that “could come back to haunt them forever.”
Albers, the committee chairman, said the bill is evolving and that another hearing will happen after further changes are made, including striking private schools from those affected by the legislation.
SB 15 incorporates recommendations by a Senate study committee that met last year under Albers' leadership.