Kim Kendall Releases Video Exposing Student Heart Monitor Data Used in Public Schools Without Parental Consent


Contact: Matt Doster
Phone: (850) 222-8156
Email: [email protected]

St. Augustine, Fla. — Today, Kim Kendall, Republican candidate for State House District 18, released a chilling video exposing practices in the St. Johns County public school system that use, often without parental consent, students’ heartbeat data as a means for regulating behavior. The application, called Heart Math, is currently being used in at least seven St. Johns County public schools. The technology is tailored for children as young as PreK age and uses a heart monitor and computer for displaying real-time data of an individual student and sometimes made available to the entire classroom. Students with elevated heart rates are instructed to use breathing exercises and calming visualizations to control their emotions. In some cases, the application is used for students that have been placed in behavioral units; in others, the application is used school wide.

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“I’m very concerned that so little publicity has been given to this practice,” said Kim Kendall. “It is the latest in an alarming trend of school systems making behavioral and health-related decisions for parents without their informed consent. With this particular situation, we have the very real risk of a young child’s health data being collected, stored, or used by third parties. We also have children’s health data being made available in real time to students and their peers and in a way that could be frightening or inappropriate. Regardless of the usefulness of such techniques, no parents should have these types of decisions made for them, and I question the collection of such data of any kind on students, especially those in the lowest grades.”

Kim released a video with footage from a recent St. Johns School Board meeting, which provides more insight into the practice. When one of the school board members asked if parents are giving consent, the presenter deflected and simply asserted that no data is being stored, even though in a later part of the presentation he did refer to one school that had maintained data.

Kim closes the video with several commonsense questions for the District, focusing on how students are identified and why informed consent forms are not being used, consistent with other health-related decisions.

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“What underlies this entire controversy is a general unwillingness to address discipline issues in our schools,” said Kim Kendall. “Instead of setting clear expectations for both parents and children, our schools resort either to medicating children or manipulating their behavior. This trend is one more part of a school culture in which administrators place themselves ahead of parents in making these important decisions. In addition, while there are abundant stories in the news about other types of data being manipulated by foreign companies or even governments, I don’t know why we would not be performing more due diligence on the risk to the data being collected on these young students. These practices are precisely the kind that have angered parents across this country.”

Additional information about parental rights is available at

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