The Lower Merion school district gave out laptops to each of their students. On every laptop was software that granted the ability for certain school officials to turn on the built-in web cam and see what was going on in front of the laptop. One of these school officials turned the camera on and saw what he or she thought was a kid doing drugs and tried bringing down the ban hammer. Bringing said hammer down revealed the fact that these laptops were being used to spy on kids. This feature was never actually mentioned to the students or parents whom received these laptops. This is where the shit storm started.
So what horrible punishment awaits the school officials whom were using these laptops to secretly spy on unsuspecting high school students? Absolutely nothing! It’s nice to see the justice system still works as it always has, in the benefit of the government.
I know what you’re thinking, at least the school will remove the said spying software from the kids’ laptops. Well that isn’t happening either. The school is going to openly admit they have the ability to spy on kids and their Scouts’ Honors they’ll only use it when absolutely necessary. You have to love this quote:
The measures require students and their parents to acknowledge the policies and consent in writing to any tracking, or give them an option to not participate in the laptop program. They also mandate expanded training about privacy and technology for teachers and staff, and will include information sessions for parents.
So you either put up with Big Brother or go without a laptop. That seems fair… so long as you get a tax refund for the percentage most likely being used to fund this program. The damnedest thing here is these spy programs don’t actually accomplish much as any thief with two brain cells to spare will just reformat any stolen computer to begin with. Logic of course has no place in our modern education system hence the promise from proven corrupt school officials is enough to shut the huddled masses up. Oh you also have to love this:
The district has already spent nearly $1 million in legal fees and expenses on the case.
Yes that’s right the school district has spent almost $1 million of tax payer money defending itself against tax payers. Government is the only entity where you sue them and have to pay for both your legal fees and the legal fees of those you are suing. Brilliant little scam right there! And just because it disgusts me here is another quote:
The meeting, at Penn Valley Elementary School, drew barely a dozen community members, and none who asked to speak about the policy.
Every fucking parent with a child in that school district should have been there and raising all levels of Hell. Fire and brimstone should have rained upon the school officials for spying on children. In any other capacity what those school officials did would have been labeled voyeurism and at the very least a massive invasion of privacy. Fuck that single sentence pisses me off to no end!
Let this story be a lesson, if a school gives your child a laptop tape over any built-in web cam and reformat the entire thing before your child uses it.
Edit 2010-08-18 11:16: Spelling and grammar, I don’t haz it. But I believe I’ve corrected the more glaring problems in the post.