Published Oct. 8, 2021
By RILEY PALSHAW
Despite the long tradition of Carmel High Leadership students announcing their classmates’ birthdays during the morning announcements, that custom has been modified due to parents concerned with privacy issues regarding the practice.
Prior to the 2021-22 school year, students enrolled in Aubrey Powers’ Leadership class had always listed the full names of people who had birthdays each day in the daily bulletin. Between this and weekly birthday announcements posted on Carmel High’s Instagram page, each student was guaranteed to have their name read on their birthday.
Although the overwhelming majority of the CHS community seemed indifferent to this practice, Powers says the district office received complaints from some parents who were concerned that reciting their child’s full name on their birthday would be a violation of privacy and reveal too much private information. In response, the Leadership class decided that for this school year they would move to announcing only a student’s first name on their birthday, leaving classmates perplexed about whose birthday it actually was, but concealing private information about students.
“I understand that parents are worried that their children would have too much personal information released about them with their full name and birthday,” says Tosin Oladokun, a Leadership student who announces the daily bulletin, “but a lot of people enjoy the recognition that Leadership gives them through birthdays because it makes them feel more wanted at their high school, which is what we’re trying to do as a Leadership class.”
Powers was contacted about the morning announcements and the Instagram page by the district office and told that this tradition needed to be altered so that no personal information was released. The choice to only read first names, although less popular among Leadership students, was the best way to guarantee student privacy while also giving students some recognition on their birthdays.