Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. If the accusations are proven true then this is a total breach of privacy but if they are not, then it is a case of overreacting. Right now if I were a concerned parent  all they have to do is put duct tape over the camera to block it.


Paul L., Monette
Newport City Elementary School
166 Sias Avenue
Newport, VT 05855
Tel: 802-334-2455 x 380
Fax: 802-334-0161
From: School Information Technology Discussion [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Everett [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 10:52 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Thoughts

I'm with Vince on not jumping to conclusions about what really happened. These online "news" sources are not much better than the Enquirer and the TV newszines that are pushing out the network news programs. (please don't take this as a defense of where they seem to be sliding)

There was an application mentioned in a keynote at McAuliffe last fall that's intent was to help you recover your Mac should it be stolen.

It had several features, shutting it down, tracking IP info, sounding an alarm, flashing or shouting (cant remember which) "I'm stolen!", at opportune moments. I recall activating the webcam and seeing who was using the machine if it was in use was one of the options as well. This may not be the exact one:

So I guess if a school had something like that on their Macs, then they could spy on their students, or teachers too for that matter. Does that mean they do or will? Cant imagine time being spent that way.

But if invasions are the concern, there are others that have been put in play at least for some school networks. Yes to protect, but is it always to serve?


First, we need to note that this issue is in the early stages of litigation; the accusations have not been proven to the satisfaction of a court of law.  But let's, for our purposes here, assume that plaintiff's claims are true; do you think this represents standard practice in American schools today?   Do you think something like this is likely to happen in Townshend?  Or in any Vermont school?  Or occur in any but the most isolated of incidents anywhere in the country?

The tone of your message seems to indicate that you believe it already has and we should man the barricades, as if American educators are involved in a conspiracy to deny our young people their personal privacy.   That's crazy.  Besides, who the hell wants to watch a teenager friending people of Facebook for seven hours at a time?

And as far as knowing "this day was coming", I would say kids' privacy is respected far more today than it was when I was in high school in the early 1960's.  I remember, for instance, that we had a girl expelled from school because she had been involved in a sex act that was considered depraved (but would no longer be in most places today). The act took place outside of school with another party who was not in our school system.  That's 45 years ago or so and I'd say that was a bigger invasion of that girl's privacy (and damage to her life) than you'd likely see happen in a school today.  I think it's proper to be vigilant about privacy violations - with children or anyone else - but I think if you want to "stand up and say,'No more!'", there are more pressing issues than privacy to say it about.  Like underfunded schools and underserved populations.


From: School Information Technology Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Rick Hege
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2010 6:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Thoughts
At the risk of defaming those who contract for my services, I must say that the following post is in no way approved by them. However, being entirely independent, and, therefore, not in a position to have to defend educational policy I submit the following for intellectual purposes only.
Being on the down side of old and a teenager during the Nixon administration, this type of thing bothers me a great deal. Yes, I try to interject a bit of that experience into elementary ed, very carefully. But, at what point did education become Big Brother?
And, while the Feds expect the schools to be responsible for everything the children do, ever, on computers, what will it take for education to stand up and say, "No more!"
But, I knew this day was coming 15 years ago when I was rearing my own children. They were warned. That is why the article was sent to me by one of them.

Tech Support
Townshend School District
PO Box 226
Townshend, VT 05353-0226
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