Concerns raised about digital billboards on HS campuses

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Students at Perry High School in Gilbert used to see a few flyers and announcements on their way to class.

But now, there's something else to catch their attention.

Digital billboards are going up in high schools around the state and across the country.

Perry High School principal Dan Serrano said they have three digital billboards, that were put up at the start of the school year, as a way to use technology - to better reach out to students. 

"It kind of replaces flyers," said Serrano. "It's more up to date with how kids are doing things with Snapchat and Twitter. A lot of announcements like tryouts, and casting for a play or prom this weekend. They are just advertisements for the school."

Above and below the announcements are also advertisements, which help generate money for the school.

Some parents claim that pushing digital ads on students at school is not appropriate.

There are also concerns about privacy and hacking.

A couple months ago, someone appears to have hacked into the system, which is run by a California company called Skool Live.

The hacker posted a series of vulgarities and derogatory images.

"Oh, it was a big surprise when someone showed me a picture of it," said Serrano. " We called immediately and had it turned off until we were sure it was fixed."

Serrano said he was assured by Skool Live that the software has been improved, making it more difficult for hackers.

School officials will decide at the end of the year whether the digital billboards remain on campus next year, Serrano said.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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