Bugged backpacks: parent secretly records educators, uses evidence to make complaint
A parent who had concerns about the way an early learning centre was being run has taken to social media, after placing a voice recorder in the bag of her youngest child on multiple days, recording the interactions which took place in her child’s room without the knowledge or consent of the staff being recorded.
Explaining the decision to go public with the information, the author of the post said she felt that the Queensland Department of Education were not treating the situation with “the urgency it demands”.
The author describes being “shocked and disgusted” by what was recorded in the classroom of the youngest child, aged two, saying children were “constantly heckled and whinged at”, spoken to in a “cold and bossy manner” and that an educator told a child who was having trouble sleeping to “shut up”.
The author described a lead educator threatening to hit a child because they would not sit down quickly enough as the “worst of all” before speculating that staff turnover in the centre over the past 12 months was a reflection of “the caliber of staff that are now left to hire and work in the place” and saying there was a “culture of bullying staff which appears widely known”.
The accusations were picked up by a local media source, The Townsville Bulletin, who reported the recordings taking place from 1 November 2018, with comments from the Department of Education confirming that they had received the complaint, and were investigating.
What do you think? Is it an appropriate step for a parent with concerns to secretly record educators? Should the complaints and investigations process through regulatory authorities be more visible to families? Leave your thoughts below.