Carroll County Times
Carroll County Times Opinion

Letter: CCPS 'bring-your-own-device' policy flawed

I am a certified and practicing expert in the field of Cybersecurity. Many businesses rely on me to ensure their computer networks are safe and secure. The greatest vulnerability to any business network are the employees.

It is a daunting task to ensure that responsible adults are aware of the dangers posed by the internet. Clients often send us trouble tickets asking us to review emails, websites and phone calls for legitimacy. If intelligent grown adults have trouble differentiating between what is legitimate and what is not, how can we expect our children to be able to tell the difference?


As a parent of two children currently enrolled in the CCPS system, I was unaware of the BYOD policy. I want to thank Tara Battaglia and Kenny Kiler for doing the responsible thing and reaching out to an expert in the field. This demonstrates leadership and a commitment to keep my boys safe.

I fully understand the benefits of introducing children to technology in a structured environment. I have also witnessed the dangers technology can pose when individuals do not undergo proper security awareness training. In my opinion, this new policy is not only irresponsible but poses a legitimate threat to our children.


The documents available on the CCPS website contain inconsistencies and misleading information. They discuss content filtering when devices are connected to the school's network which makes a parent feel safe. The same document states that it is the parent's responsibility to monitor the device's data plan usage. If a device is connected to a cell carrier's network it effectively bypasses content filtering.

Number 10 on the Parent FAQ list states "Virus protection is always advised, but not required. While on the CCPS network, students will be monitored through the system's filter, so there is no need for additional filtering software." This may lead people to assume that the device will always be connected to the school's network and from a professional standpoint, I always advise parents to install monitoring software or strong parental controls on their children's devices.

I could write pages on this topic. I worry about children sneaking pictures of others in locker rooms or bathrooms. I worry about cyberbullying and my children gaining access to inappropriate material from other children's devices. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

CCPS does not possess the ability to implement this policy and I strongly oppose it.

Zach Tomlin