Wisconsin high court says teacher e-mails are private

Full story: TwinCities.com

The Wisconsin Supreme Court says not all e-mails sent by public employees on their work computers should be made public.
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1 - 7 of 7 Comments Last updated Jul 19, 2010
Right

Saint Paul, MN

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#1
Jul 16, 2010
 

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This is B.S. If a public employee is at work on a work computer - all of that should be public in the case of a government worker. We tax payers are paying for that person to be at work and they shouldn't be doing private e-mails at work anyway. If they want to e-mail at work it should be on their own time (a break), on their own computer and with their own e-mail account.

Same applies for employees who work for private companies. You're basically stealing from your employer by using their facilities for your personal business - all while you are being paid to work!
Amazing

Saint Paul, MN

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#2
Jul 16, 2010
 

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If you use your work e-mail address, the e-mail belongs to the employer. If you can access your personal e-mail account from the employers network that's another thing altogether.
chuck in st paul

Minneapolis, MN

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#3
Jul 16, 2010
 

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I agree with Right in comment 1. At every workplace I was at the employee workbook specifically told you any communications at the workplace on employer devices such as phones, computers, etc. was NOT private and was subject to review by the employer for fitness and appropriateness.

Perhaps we just need to pass a law/regulation with regards to any public employee that makes it so.

The more I see of 'Supreme Court(s)' the more I view them as Supreme Clowns.
Freedom Lover

Minneapolis, MN

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#4
Jul 16, 2010
 

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I guess it's a banner day for Government Workers. Rather than conducting the taxpayer's business they can spend their time in forums like this one. I guess the St. Paul Public Works crew knew what they were (weren't) doing.
ABS

Hopkins, MN

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#7
Jul 16, 2010
 
I remember the days when people took government jobs because, even though they didn't pay as well, they offered security and nice benefits. Today's government workers get a benefit package that few, if any, private sector employees get, they are paid higher wages than private sector employees, and they now have privacy protections that NO private sector employees have. My taxes continue to rise as my pay and benefits remain the same. Frustration mounts.
Freedom Lover Two

United States

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#9
Jul 19, 2010
 
Every mature, conscientious and responsible adult who works must balance home duties with work duties. It's called time management. Sometimes teachers take work away from school premises to do at home: grading papers, writing reports, preparing teaching materials, studying new curriculum. Sometimes teachers stay late at work to do classroom-related duties: cleaning desks, changing bulletin boards, copying study guides so there can be one for each student. Sometimes teachers meet after school to conference with each other. Team teaching and the management of students receiving special education require collaboration with other teachers. Sometimes teachers meet before and after school with parents. Often teachers participate in late-night events such as the school carnival, family math night, and the science fair. With all these infringements upon personal time, time that is not within the contracted day, it stands to reason that, once in a while, a teacher might e-mail the babysitter at home to find out if her two-year-old still has the sniffles.
Monk

Andover, MN

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#10
Jul 19, 2010
 
Freedom Lover Two wrote:
Every mature, conscientious and responsible adult who works must balance home duties with work duties. It's called time management. Sometimes teachers take work away from school premises to do at home: grading papers, writing reports, preparing teaching materials, studying new curriculum. Sometimes teachers stay late at work to do classroom-related duties: cleaning desks, changing bulletin boards, copying study guides so there can be one for each student. Sometimes teachers meet after school to conference with each other. Team teaching and the management of students receiving special education require collaboration with other teachers. Sometimes teachers meet before and after school with parents. Often teachers participate in late-night events such as the school carnival, family math night, and the science fair. With all these infringements upon personal time, time that is not within the contracted day, it stands to reason that, once in a while, a teacher might e-mail the babysitter at home to find out if her two-year-old still has the sniffles.
All true. Mention teachers and the boo birds start circling.
"Bubolz, 63, said he thought the ruling would limit the public's ability to know whether teachers are wasting time during the workday sending personal e-mails."
How much time teachers spend on computers is an issue for the teacher's supervisors. With computer grading, IEPs and staff related emails, teachers don't have time to spend hours on personal email anymore than they have hours to be on the phone with friends and family. Include phone taps in any law that
eavesdrops on public employees. Be sure to include supervisors and administrators in that law.

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