Home Access overaccessed

By Julia Kligman

Graphic by Jake Davis

I hate Home Access. Our parents’ generation is constantly complaining about how no one has any privacy because of the Internet’s prevalence. Then, they go ahead and stalk their own offspring with the convenient aid of Home Access, compliments of the Tamalpais Union High School District. Well known by Tam’s student body and their guardians, Home Access is a link on Tam’s website with which guardians can view grades, attendance records, transcripts and class schedules, information that is typically limited to counselors.

With teachers posting every detail of my school day, from lackluster assignments to color-coded listings of tardies, the seven hours I spend at school each day become more extraneous data on the world wide web. Home Access does more harm than good in my life. I admit that the capability to check my grades whenever I want to can be somewhat beneficial. However, Home Access sells my work ethic short and glosses over how much motivation I actually have for myself. It’s also overused. Home Access is definitely the most visited website on my mom’s computer. And she spends a lot of time on her computer.

By allowing my mom, or anyone else who happens to possess a password, access to every detail of my grades and attendance, Home Access is simply another adaptation of Big Brother. To Home Access, you’re not an actual human being, you’re just an ID number. Home Access knows every detail of my academic life. It knows my schedule and where I’m at every minute of the school day; it knows my upcoming homework assignments and previous test scores; it knows whether or not I actually read 1984 based on my English grades. Home Access is watching you.

Being a teenager, infringements of my privacy aren’t uncommon. But Home Access takes things too far. The excessive amount of time my mother spends making sure I’m staying on top of my schoolwork makes me wonder just how much work I would get done without her policing my every move.

Home Access undermines my ability to be independent and develop my work ethic. I actually have the ability to manage my time well, but you would never know it because Home Access acts as a fog around my competence. It is the antagonist in the fight to prove to my mother that I’m capable of getting an education under my own discipline.

Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll never know how well I would do without the pervasiveness of computers calculating each detail of my academic performance, because Home Access isn’t going anywhere.


Written by Julia Kligman. This article originally appeared in the June 2011 issue.