Sabina Salguero, Copy Editor

As the 2020-2021 online school year commences, students across MCPS click their zoom links to enter class with the option to activate their cameras. However, many teachers in RHS and throughout the county are pushing students to turn their cameras on, even though it is not a necessity. 

Not only is pressuring students to show themselves on Zoom an invasion of privacy, it is unnecessary–according to Student Member of the Board Nick Asante as well as MCPS policy–and it can be embarrassing to students.

Not all students have the privilege of being in a quiet environment when attending online school; many have siblings they need to take care of, some may not have their own rooms and some may simply feel uncomfortable allowing their classmates to peer into their personal lives and homes—which can be rather nerve-racking for many, as not everyone lives in an ideal household.

In addition, it is not socioeconomically conscious for teachers to ask students to turn their cameras on. Despite MCPS providing students with chromebooks, which come with cameras, many are using their own device which may not have one; making it impossible for some to show themselves on Zoom. 

Teachers should not assume that students are always going to be camera ready. Many students are accessing Zoom meetings while in the comfort of their beds, eating or when dressed informally. Asking students to turn on their cameras at random times can catch many off guard, which can be awkward for both students and teachers.

Rather than pushing students to turn their cameras on during class, teachers should allow students to make the choice themselves. Not only can it be inappropriate timing for students to use their cameras, but there are different circumstances that may prevent or embarrass students from doing so. Having cameras on during class is unnecessary, as the teacher is the one giving instructions and students can participate through their microphones.