Mohave County’s Republican Party Central Committee voted unanimously to resist public schools’ collection and dissemination of student information, known as data-mining, in their quarterly meeting Saturday morning at the Lake Havasu City Library. Lake Havasu Unified School District Board member Nichole Cohen presented the resolution to the Precinct Committee members (PCs) in response to the recent Board’s approval of a contract with Synergy, Inc. The contract would implement a system to gather student test scores, behavioral testing, medical records and other personal information about students and their family.
Ms. Cohen’s resolution noted that in 2012 the US Dept of Education “…relaxed regulations allowing for non-consensual disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to ‘authorized representatives’ of state and local education authorities.” This information is also being placed into the hands of private companies, making children’s privacy vulnerable to being shared or sold for profit. In fact, the Education Department’s Secretary Arne Duncan Arne Duncan has stated, “Hopefully, some day, we can track children from Pre-K to high school and from high school… to career.”
Comments by PCs ranged from pointing out that their “…children are not ‘wards of the state’, rather they are part of the family;” to comparisons the Soviet Union’s policy of separating children from their family to be taught in highly structured schools set up for educating and indoctrinating the students.
The PCs also heard a presentation about the upcoming March 22nd Presidential Preference Election. That primary is open only to voters in a Party that fields Presidential candidates. Discussion centered on the 7,000+ independent voters in previous regular County primary elections. Kingman area Director Steven Robinson stated, “The vast majority of these voters voted Republican and may not know that they can’t vote the PPE without changing their registration. We want them to know they have the option to change to Republican. This is one of the most important election cycles in recent history.” This was the primary reason we opened the Kingman office, 1711 N. Stockton Hill Rd, Ste. A2, much earlier than usual. “We reach out and inform the voters on the issues and candidates. This gives us a head start on our outreach”, stated Robinson.
In other business the PCs voted Hildy Angius, District 2-Supervisor, to fill the recently vacated 2nd Vice-Chair position, and heard about the recently completed 69th annual County Fair in Kingman, which was noted for the unprecedented number of volunteers and candidates working the GOP booth.