Case Study: The Lower Merion School District

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The Lower Merion School District provided laptop computers to high school students as part of a one to one program. The program allowed the students to bring home a laptop computer provided by the school district. Unbeknownst to the students or their parents the laptop computers were all programed with spyware that gave the school district access to the computers’ webcam. The goal of the one to one program was to increase the connectivity between home and school for students. The access to computers enabled the students to access online programs and activities that relate to the information that the students learned in the classroom during the day. The computers given to the Lower Merion School District’s students were not only used by …show more content…
The Robbinses did not only sue on behalf of their underage son, but also on the behalf of all others involved in the one to one program offered by the Lower Merion School District, being a part of the one to one program meant that they were being spied on by the computer program. The lawsuit was not just against the Lower Merion School District, but also against the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools. The Robbinses sued for violation of the fourth amendment. The fourth amendment protects U.S. citizens from unreasonable searches and guarantees the right of those citizens to feel secure in their homes and effects among other things. The computer program spied on students and families when they are in their homes. The spying done by the school district did not allow the students or families to feel secure in their homes or with their effects, in particular the computers. There was no evidence that the Lower Merion School District obtained a warrant to place the spy program on the computers and that there was no warrant for the photographs and screenshots that the school district took using the spyware program on the computers. The fourth amendment also requires a search warrant when searching through someone’s property and information. The parents showed that the school did not …show more content…
This information provides evidence, to an extent, that the school district knew what they were doing was wrong. The actions of the school district show a trend in American society, which extends up to the federal government, of violating individual privacy for some sort of protection. While protection may not have been the reason that the school district gave for spying on students, the actions are similar to those of Baltimore when using the eye in the sky and by the Untied States federal government. The Baltimore eye in the sky is a plane with cameras that flies over the city recording everything that is happening. The United States government, particularly the NSA, use a number of different techniques to spy on citizens. Similarly to Baltimore the Lower Merion School District used video to spy on individuals. Similarly to federal government the Lower Merion School District did not receive a warrant to spy. The actions of the federal government described in the novel No Place to Hide read and discussed in this class and information of the Baltimore eye in the sky was seen in a video presented in class. It is possible that the information about these actions may have been what gave the Lower Merion

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