Collaboration

Silent destroyers: Ignorance, negligence and the not-my-fault mentality

We need to look closely at conditions victimizing people in the wrong place at the wrong time. If it isn't a crime to use public ignorance of technology to shift responsibility for acts of cyber-negligence, maybe it should be.

In 2004, a substitute teacher—a person with little or no experience with computers—became a victim.  Julie Amero was a victim of a lingerie and possible porn advertising flood caused by something downloaded from the Internet.  Further, she was, and continues to be, the victim of ignorance, negligence, and a pervasive somebody-has-to-pay mentality.

Julie Amero, 41, was substitute teaching in Norwich, Connecticut when a classroom PC began displaying what Amero described as Victoria Secret-like ads she couldn’t stop.  Amero told the full story in an IDG News Service interview.  The short version?  She tried to stop the flood of inappropriate ads and she informed school officials about what happened.  However, pressure from parents caused the school to report the incident to the authorities.  Ignorance of how technology works apparently played a role in her being tried and convicted in 2007 of four felony counts of endangering minors.

So after almost two years, pressure from Sunbelt Software, which took up Amero’s cause, prosecutors settled on a plea agreement in which Amero was required to plead guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, pay a $100 fine, and forfeit her state teaching license (Yahoo.Tech).  (Forfeiture of the teaching license was just a formality, since no one would hire her as a teacher after the 2004 incident.)

I have a problem with this entire issue, including the final plea bargain.  The facts about this incident have been public knowledge for some time.  Nothing points to Amero intentionally visiting questionable sites or knowingly allowing her students to do so.  So who was really to blame in this case?

When this incident occurred, technology existed to restrict students from visiting unsuitable Web sites.  Why wasn’t it installed at the school?  When Amero reported the incident, why wasn’t it immediately investigated by the school and steps taken to prevent it from happening again?  Why did it take pressure from understandably concerned parents to push the school to do something?  And why when the school decided to do something did the finger swing toward the substitute teacher instead of school administrators?

In my opinion, school and network administrators were negligent, allowing unfettered access to an Internet known to contain content unsuitable for students.  Here is a lesson to be learned by schools and businesses alike: if it’s available on the Web, students or employees will find it, either intentionally or by accident.  Protect them from themselves, and your business or school from liability, by filtering and controlling access. 

And then there are the prosecutors.  Apparently they have nothing better to do in Norwich, Connecticut than use apparently limited knowledge of cyber-crime—or how computers, the Internet, and spyware work for that matter—to prosecute someone who looks like she might have, sort of, you know, exposed children to unsuitable content.  After all, she had a lot of control over acceptable use policies, network controls, and security safeguards to protect her students…

Even if we allow some latitude (i.e., cut the prosecutors some slack) because they might have been a little behind relative to cyber-law and related crimes, it’s hard to overlook their unwillingness to just let this one go.  Instead of admitting a mistake, they forced Amero to accept a plea bargain before allowing her to continue with what is left of her life.

Maybe we need to look beyond our traditional definition of cyber criminal and look at those who can destroy the life of an innocent person, a person guilty only of being in the wrong place (a school using unprotected Internet access) at the wrong time (when unwanted software just happened to strike).  If it isn’t a crime to use public ignorance of technology to shift responsibility for acts of cyber-negligence, maybe it should be.

What do you think?

About

Tom is a security researcher for the InfoSec Institute and an IT professional with over 30 years of experience. He has written three books, Just Enough Security, Microsoft Virtualization, and Enterprise Security: A Practitioner's Guide (to be publish...

75 comments
user support
user support

I am not familiar with the school district nor have I worked as an employee of a school district but I am having difficulty believing that the teacher is the victim here. Ultimately the teacher (even a substitute) is the employee in charge of the class, all other employees are just support personnel. It also seems that the reason this incident was reported to authorities and went to trial maybe due to lack of IT related policies in place to stop this type of incident. The articles says that technology exists to restrict users from visiting unsuitable websites, even free technology. Was that or simiilar software tested for compatibility with other applications on the school network? Was the purchase of such software planned for in the annual school board's budget? Was this issue even discussed by the school board and residents prior to implentation of computers in the school district? Was this problem isolated to one pc or did this problem happen to all pc's on the school's network. If it was isolated to one pc; how many user profiles are allowed to use said pc? Public schools have been finding themselves in competition with charter schools and cyber charter schools that seem to do a better job of planning and implementing computers, networks and controls. At my work site (not a school), our team sets up pc's for new users and does the orientation when they are to begin using the pc. Part of the contract of becoming an employee with our company is sign an Internet/Email user agreement. It basically explains what is the "Best Practice" in the industry. All employees: permanent, contractors and temps must agree to this policy before they begin to work. Many policies (not just IT) are overwhelming for employees to digest but nonetheless, break them and you are subject for dismissal. When the problem described happens at this work site, the employee either calls the helpdesk directly or asks help from fellow employees. Any issue with pornography can become an issue of sexual harrassment so as a support person you want to make a site visit or remote onto the pc in question right away to stop any damage. It sounds like the teacher was more passive in this situation because she did not want to break any rules that might jeopardize her being employed as a substitute teacher. As a person maybe she should have been more assertive and demanded collegues or IT personnel help her out right away to resolve the issue stopping any further possibilities of children being exposed to the situation.

CTM2
CTM2

I see this outrageous TR article has been given a second run to begin another trolling for hip shot responses. When this story was becoming big news across the country and around the world, the Norwich Connecticut Bulletin published the entire trial transcript, which apparently is no longer available from them, in a series of pdf documents that had to be laboriously downloaded and the witness testimonies read in parcels. Thus it may have been easier for our esteemed journalists to do what they do: merely parrot what others had written rather than to go to the primary source. Too bad. Here is a link from the Wikipedia article on the subject, and it contains the complete transcript on one web page: http://julieamero.blogspot.com/. See for yourself how others described the events. In my opinion the transcript shows that news sources from print media to talk show hosts to computer columnists have misrepresented the situation, and all continue to do so, because they base their stories and opinions solely on Amero's version of what happened. No one needs to have a lot of computer knowledge or to resort to technological nitpicking to understand the basics of the situation. For starters, a month earlier she had been reprimanded by the principal, who was acting on a complaint from other teachers, for engaging in excessive Internet use during class when she was supposed to be interacting with the students (She may have been a computer dummy, but not, as she has been described- at least not in my use of the word, a computer newbie). Note the one student's testimony about coming into class and finding the monitor a little turned awkward. Read what these young kids had to say, especially the one she hit on the face and who admitted that it hurt a little bit. Note Ms. Lehtinen's testimony that when Amero went to get help from the other teachers, she did not immediately specify upfront that the pop-ups were pornographic. That she subsequently did not receive any help gives the impression that, in my view, her colleagues believed that she was just surfing the net again and getting a lot of pesky advertising. Forget what you've read elsewhere about the temporary Internet files or the merits and demerits of Computer Cop Pro and read not only the direct examination of the police officer, but also towards the end his very important rebuttal examination regarding the clicking of links. Finally, note the kind of web pages Amero was accessing. The big question to ask is: With all the spyware, malware, adware, trojans, viruses and other assorted parasites allegedly on that computer, how come the pornographic pop-ups began only on that one October day in the middle of the second period when Julie Amero was surfing away at adult web sites of lesbian discussion boards and clicking on their links? As I recall, the Bulletin reported that the prosecutor initially offered Amero generous terms to dispose of the matter. They included a year's probation followed by expunging the case from her record, suggesting that he really did not want to take this case to court. She should have accepted those terms. To her credit Amero took the stand, but what she told the court varied from what every other witness testified. To me her behavior was indicative of someone who got caught in a bad way doing something for which she had previously been disciplined. When you go into court with dirty hands, they're going to throw the soap at you. I will add that this is clearly a case where the judge by all rights probably would have reduced the felony convictions to misdemeanors and maybe added a fine to the prosecutor's original deal. I will also add that I completely disagree with how the jury arrived at their decision. According to interviews, the jurors disregarded how the pop-ups came to be on the computer and instead exclusively passed judgment on Amero's degree of resourcefulness in dealing with them by offering solutions whose feasibilities were not substantiated by testimony. The most aggravating part of this story is that a good police officer, Mark Lounsbury, has been savagely pilloried by the press and by readers and bloggers who are either uninformed or misinformed. The bottom line is: by continuing to maintain her false innocence Julie Amero in the end has a conviction on her record and has lost her teaching credentials.

alxnsc
alxnsc

What we observe here is a tremendously erratic approach. Internet transferred data are not approved as legal documents, they have no function to serve as an evidence in court. Any "document of this type may be be considered no more than "hear say" evidence in order to be accepted by court. That strange court there has treated memories about pop-ups as evidence against a teacher. By the way, it is not the teacher who has generated these pop-ups! The court has to be considered computer, Internet and law ignorant. There are ways to dismiss illiterate courts, I hope...

scarville
scarville

Judging from this account and what I know of the case from other sources, Julie Amero did everything right. Unfortunately she fell afoul of stupid laws and a legal system in love with its own rules. First, remember that prosecutors are political animals. They know their careers are ultimately determined by how "tough on crime" they appear. The so-called Computer Decency Act exempts educational institutions from being held be civilly liable for any harm caused by material that comes through the Internet. Prosecuting the school administration under that condition would be a sure loser and losing a high profile case is not good for a career. Remember Marcia Clark? So the DA did what politicans do and tried to preserve the appearance of justice while covering his butt. Based on other reports I've read, the DA was charge stacking on the poor woman -- that always looks good at the press conference -- and hoping to plea bargain down to some minor charge after the public interest cooled. However, Julie Amero insisted on her innocence and went to trial instead. She probably could have prevailed if her lawyer hadn't neglected to give a copy of his independent expert's report to the prosecution. Forget what you've seen on TV about last minute witnesses saving the day for the innocent. Exculpatory evidence can be suppressed if the opposing side is not made aware of it in a timely manner. The saw about rules trumping justice has a firm basis in fact. I hope some of you out there will remember this incident the next time you are tempted to argue that "the innocent have nothing to fear." On the bright side, she was luckier than Jean Charles de Menezes.

ToR24
ToR24

Regardless of the curriculum presented to her, she has the authority in the classroom to act in the best interest of the students, school, parents and the public. Upon recognizing that events were unfolding beyond her exclusive control, she has the duty to act, appropriately and without delay. Although she may not have realized that she could held criminally culpable for all events in the classroom, regardless, she has the responsibility to avert or mitigate the damage if such reasonable opportunities exist. It would seem prudent, even to the average non-technical person, that the computers could have been shut off or every cable pulled from the back of them in haste, and additionally discussed with the class how computers were to be used appropriately or not at all, or refined the classroom curriculum to remove the use of computers until another authority took control of the situation. As a substitute teacher, I believe she was not treated in a fair manner, because on the surface, it seems apparent she was not given the necessary support and training to manage technology in the classroom, which I believe requires a very specialized skill set. Furthermore, classes become uncontrollable in the presence of a substitute teacher without the assistance of the assigned teacher, neighboring teachers, staff and administration. Unfortunately, I am in the minority and I believe that given the limited facts and the rules typically in effect in most jurisdictions, she is guilty, but so too is everyone else surrounding the case. It is sad that the classroom support environment did not take the steps necessary to prevent this event from ever occurring, given that it is seems foreseeable.

1DaveN
1DaveN

There's a whole culture with law enforcement personnel where they defend their beliefs and actions to the bitter end. There's no way those prosecutors could have let Ms. Amero off without at least a minor sanction, because there's no room in their world to admit an error or bad judgment, ever. Have you ever noticed that when people get released from prison based on DNA, the prosecutors almost always defend the original conviction? Knowing the person's innocense beyond any doubt rarely persuades police or prosecutors that they were wrong in their actions. So sure are they of their own infallibility, they fight to even allow the DNA testing in the first place.

Wcoyote1
Wcoyote1

This does seem rather ludicrous based on the article presented. And some have mentioned that we probably don't know the entire story, which considering today's media is more than likely. So, we have one side and if it's to be taken as fact and we don't question the possible veracity of the victim (teacher, not students), she was poorly treated, used as a scapegoat, and unjustly coerced into a plea bargain just so she could get on with her life. The education field of technology seem to be too much with too little. Not enough people, not enough equipment, not enough knowledge. Yes, there are filtering systems that check words, URL's, and IP addresses of website that will block content, and one of those should be in place. Yet, most schools, being underfunded as they are, rely on outside agencies to provide their networking resources. These outside companies are usually ignorant of the Child Internet Protection Act, and the requirements that it holds. In addition, some of these system administrators are actually teachers pulling double duty because they happen to know more about it than anyone else in the district. There's a myriad of problems that are faced in the educational world. With money tightening, schools just can't afford to hire most IT professionals for a long term. So they end up "making due" with what they can find. Am I exonerating the administration? No. Nor do I disregard the prosecutor who went on a witch hunt for a conviction. If anything, the entire situation was a comedy of errors and a travisty of justice. I suppose anyone in the IT community should actually pray that if something like this ever were to happen to them, they could find their "Shining Star" to come to their rescue.

gasparderek
gasparderek

This is a very sad case of Ignorance and ignorance sitting in Judgment of itself. The School Administration Board cannot plead innocence. It is the responsibility of the Board to ensure that the children under its direction in the School be restrained from viewing prohibitive material during school hours hence they should have engaged the services of Technocrats to ensure that the Internet facilities were protected form un-authorised surfing of sites on the prohibited list. Had this been done there would not have been need for Litigation to apportion blame and the unfortunate teacher who got a RAW deal would still be progressing in her vocation and calling. A very sad care indeed. Derek Gaspar

CTM2
CTM2

You have all been fooled. Read the trial transcript and you will get a completely different story.

Regulus
Regulus

Management bears the ultimate responsibility. In this case, it is possible that they were as naive as the teacher - but what if the playground contained cast-off dynamite sticks. Are they to be ruled innocent of letting they kids play with the dynamite? Management has a basic responsibility for training middle-management (teachers) for safety on the job prior to work (class) commencing. And, yes this could go on for hours, but in the end, management allowed the persecution / prosecution of the teacher to save their own whatever.

eddiemustafa
eddiemustafa

There are only so many things a tech can do. Sometime, somewhere, someday the teachers actually have to pay attention to what's going on in their classrooms. The Internet is a baby sitter for warehoused kids in most schools. A return to actually teaching would be a refreshing change.

rtillotson
rtillotson

I was a substitute high school teacher. I taught Computer Fundamentals for 2-1/2 months at the end of the school year at a local high school. My class size averaged 22 students, each using a PC by themselves. School administrators turned a blind eye to properly firewalling the network, which allowed students to access porno and anything else. It is impossible to continuously watch all students. While helping students one-on-one, some students surfed out of boredom or prureient curiosity. Administrators can stop it all, but won't. Go figure. -Ron

reisen55
reisen55

Managed by First Consulting Group. Read this and weep. 11,000 computers in three hospitals that I worked in: Roosevelt, St. Lukes and Beth Israel. Computers were rampant with malware, virus and porn. One system used by children who were being hospitalized was instantly infected by porn, as was just about every other system. We would re-image and within 1 week ...JUST THAT LONG... it would all be coming back in again. FCG provided no controls, no management and we were wrecking ourselves. 30 computers STOLEN from St. Lukes room 613 and FCG just fudged inventory count to cover the theft. HIPAA violations rampant. I had a nervous breakdown on this job and am damn glad to be OUT OF THIS HELLHOLE. The teacher was entirely unjustly treated, and the sys admin of the district should be fired. Period.

mforman
mforman

We don't know the whole story here. Like cases where a teacher is "prosecuted/persecuted/disciplined" for displaying political material, we only look at the general, public facts in the case. What we don't know is how this teacher handled this situation in the classroom, her attitude about the incident, and her history and competance as a sub teacher. Rarely does a news story contain all the facts. What *really* happened in the classroom that day? Did she immediately switch off the machine in disgust, or did she make snarky comments about the models, while trying to close the windows and continue her lesson (further exposing the students, and potentially advocating bad behavior)? We don't know, so its hard to impossible to make opinions on simple, highly-edited information. IMO, it would be damn tough to get a real prosecution and conviction on *four* felony counts based on whiny parents. Something happened there that we just don't know about. Sorry, just not enough information for us simple readers to make a judgement.

IAMheretohelp
IAMheretohelp

I read this story yesterday and was very disturbed by it, how can such a travesty be allowed to happen . That night we discussed it at the dinner table. My 8 year daughter informed me of what they do in their school. If something inappropriate pops up on their computers they turn their back towards the screen and raise their hand. We are in agreement that the teacher should not have lost her job or have been charged.

g01d4
g01d4

I get the feeling something's missing. Even in the interview we're only getting one side of the story. How exactly did the prosecution assert that she failed to protect-the-children?

lefty.crupps
lefty.crupps

> Why do you believe Amero was convicted? A plea-bargain is not a conviction, its taking the responsability for a lesser crime than the original prosecution was pushing to get.

CTM2
CTM2

In my opinion, speculations of passivity and arguments for assertiveness are irrelevant in this situation. An article by the Norwich Bulletin advanced passivity as causing her dilemma, and the jury condemned her for lack of assertiveness despite not faulting her for causing the event. I disagree with both. I see her furtive responses to the crisis as a person guilty of an activity for which she had been disciplined and which she then tried to cover up. This behavior was falsely interpreted as passivity because her guilt made all out assertiveness not an option. To me the record shows Amero to be a poor teacher and a bad employee. The analogy to her case- in kind but not in degree- is that of a driver who drinks, gets a DUI and then continues to drive drunk, eventually causing an accident and killing a person. Many would call for prosecution on a manslaughter charge, or maybe even murder. Although the driver had no outright intent to kill, any driver should know that driving while intoxicated is tantamount to operating a vehicle in such a reckless way that a fatal accident is certainly foreseeable. By surfing the net all during class Amero spent her time not in keeping with school policy, and by not interacting with students she certainly was not fulfilling her job requirements. The principal's testimony reveals that she was reprimanded for this. Nevertheless, she continued to violate policy and did so to the point of operating a computer in a reckless manner by surfing adult web sites, and consequently- as I think the testimony shows- she caused an accident. As a parent I would not have been satisfied with anything less than a dismissal from further employment at that school, but I would have been satisfied with that. It seems other parents wanted more punishment. I continue to think the prosecutor did not want to take this all the way to trial, and his offer of probation and then to expunge the case from her record to my mind gave the outraged parents what they wanted and, conceding that she certainly had no intent to put on a porno show for the kids, gave her the chance to retain her teacher's license. Julie Amero, however, stubbornly maintained her innocence, and in my reading of the transcripts, got on the stand and prevaricated through her teeth. Her tale was bought hook, line and sinker by all the media outlets and sensationalized with the headlines that she faced 40 YEARS IN PRISON, a theoretical calculation that in reality was clearly an absurdity. I was surprised to see this case come back from the dead. When we last left Julie Amero, the judge had granted her a new trial, affording the prosecutor a splendid opportunity to drop the case. The Judge had reached this decision after receiving numerous letters and petitions from technology professors and from journalist such as those from Windows Secrets newsletter. Ryan Russell, who really took up her cause, reported in the June 14, 2007 newsletter that he has had "some limited contact with Julie's family." Hmmmm. If I were convicted of a crime such as hers, and I were truly innocent, I would be out there thanking every single journalist and computer expert who showed up, shaking his or her hand, exhaustively answering every single question they had, and asking how I can help them help me. Not Julie Amero apparently. The result is that Amero now has a misdemeanor conviction permanently on her record and has lost her employment credentials. This resolution of her case comes presumably after all that new evidence submitted by the experts was examined and any reasonable doubts about the charges entertained. You are right, though, user support. The teacher here is not a victim. The concerns expressed in this article are not exemplified by what befell this particular person. Julie Amero in her misuse of the school computer is no more a victim of the justice served on her than is the drunk driver who in killing someone is a victim of a manslaughter conviction. The lesson here is: do your job, follow company policies and don't be so stupid as to surf risky web sites on a company workstation.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

that I know of for one person (read: teacher) to be behind 30 monitors at one time. The school district, via cr@p IT policy is significantly more responsible for the problem than is the teacher. Edit to add: this in no way defends Ms. Amero.

mforman
mforman

My apologies to Paul Harvey. I *knew* there was something more we weren't made aware of, but shoddy journalism trumps truth every time.

Robbi_IA
Robbi_IA

I deal with teachers every day in my 9-5 job. I can tell you that many are afraid of their computers, and absolutely afraid to do anything that might break them. Pulling cables, plugs, etc out of the computer to shut it down probably never entered her mind. I've seen how teachers react to an error message, I can only imagine how my teachers would react to a slew of pornographic pop-ups.

Tink!
Tink!

do you have a link?

Regulus
Regulus

Management bears the ultimate responsibility. In this case, it is possible that they were as naive as the teacher - but what if the playground contained cast-off dynamite sticks. Are they to be ruled innocent of letting they kids play with the dynamite? Management has a basic responsibility for training middle-management (teachers) for safety on the job prior to work (class) commencing. And, yes this could go on for hours, but in the end, management allowed the persecution / prosecution of the teacher to save their own whatever. by Regulus | 12/02/08

seanferd
seanferd

Very little work for Net Admins here. Just a little research or awareness of their profession.

chris
chris

got kids? ever done anything like teaching?

Pringles86
Pringles86

Since you can block all of that kind of stuff for free there is no excuse for not doing it. I implemented opendns.com where I work and I like it a lot. Filtering out all the porn that people shouldn't be looking at here. I was surprised by the number of hits when I first started opendns, it has decreased significantly.

IT-Mgr
IT-Mgr

I just starting working for CHP I'd be interested to hear more

seanferd
seanferd

It has been heavily documented.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

you don't mind if us less than simple ones have a go though do you? :p It would be easy to get a prosecution, all you need is twelve more simpletons, and this place seems to have abundance. Makes you wonder at the quality of their educational institutions in fact.

chris
chris

prosecutors make it as bad as they can so that they can come in and offer a lessor to make it go away. that way their number show a better conviction rates.

Tink!
Tink!

Yes, we got a pretty one-sided account of the whole situation, and based on that information we're all pretty much in agreement that there was unfairness throughout. Therefore we should not be too quick to condemn everyone else (the administrators, prosecutor) involved. I disagree with the [i]it would be damn tough to get a real prosecution and conviction on *four* felony counts based on whiny parents.[/i] A good attorney can make a case out very little. All it takes is making the judge/jury [b]believe[/b] that something wrong was done. And whiny parents are a very strong force to be dealt with. The power is in the numbers. When a whole bunch of huffy adults start raising a raucous, administrations usually try to quiet things as quickly as possible - often resulting in the take down of a scapegoat.

Craig_B
Craig_B

We got the "short version" that seems to lead us down a path, instead of just the facts so we can make an informed decision.

IC-IT
IC-IT

The kids ARE still occasionaly exposed. Rather than address the issue with a hardware/software solution; Raise your hand. Meanwhile there sits little Johnny. :-) Seriously, think about it, more questions need to be asked. If they can't afford to attempt a safe environment, then perhaps they don't need WAN access.

seanferd
seanferd

There has been extensive coverage.

chris
chris

there was quite a bit about this all over the news a while back.

seanferd
seanferd

and that conviction was tossed by a higher court. This was, unbelievably, a re-trial (and plea bargaining). The school and prosecuter's office remain ridiculously unapologetic and steadfastly ignorant despite all they could have learned since 2004. Yes, that was 2004. Once more, with feeling: SINCE 2004!

road-dog
road-dog

is upon you, the only way to make it go away is to plead out. This isn't to say you admit guilt, but the system can and will destroy you trying to convict you. One likes to believe that they would fight and win, but when you're charged with 24 counts (1 per child in the class who might have seen something) the fear of losing is huge. That's how it goes, charge with everything under the sun, get a plea on a minor charge, then congratulate yourself that justice was served.

Tig2
Tig2

I didn't see anything in the story that indicates that she acted negligently. She reported the incident to administration who chose to not act on it until they were pressured by parents. The administrators who should have taken the responsibility to filter inappropriate content to begin with. The teacher was punished because the prosecutor was an idiot and chose to make her the scapegoat. That woman should be in a classroom teaching. Instead, she was required to surrender her license- even though she couldn't really be a teacher any longer having been tried in the court of public opinion for doing nothing wrong. A plea bargain may be the offer to accept lesser charges, but the individual is still convicted of those lesser charges.

DelphiniumEve
DelphiniumEve

She has been convicted of a lesser crime. It is still in every sense of the word a conviction. That is how it will show when you do a background check.

husserl
husserl

I've seen a mixture of opinions and misleading 'facts'. One poster wrote something to the effect that Amero had assaulted a pupil. Totall irrelevant to the case in hand, and thus a non sequitur. Another wrote: "I see her furtive responses to the crisis as a person guilty of an activity for which she had been disciplined and which she then tried to cover up. This behavior was falsely interpreted as passivity because her guilt made all out assertiveness not an option.". Opinions frequently convict people in some countries, indeed opinions and beliefs played a not inconsiderable part in the Salem incident, and are dangerous. If a system permits risky behaviour, then the people who set such a system up have much to answer for, and that is not an opinion.

CTM2
CTM2

Good call. In all fairness, though, I think that all the computer related people who covered this story, including the TR blogger, are good people who, although mislead by the media, didn't themselves show enough curiosity, skepticism or balance required for good journalism.

eddiemustafa
eddiemustafa

To answer your question, yes... to both. Two kids... pre-med junior honor student and a senior in ed technology (and all all-conference college decathlete and strong safety) Teaching experience? 27 years at the hs and college level...even voted "Teacher of the Year" for my state in 2002...also coached 6 state championship teams in football, basketball and track There is virtually no control in classrooms today, much less on the digital level.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...is a perfect example. INGREDIENTS FOR A F-UP Take 1 'political hot button topic' Mix in 1 part overly righteous administration Add 2 parts prosecutor looking to make a name Stir in 1 judge that is looking to legislate from the bench Sprinkle in 1 grand jury that couldn't tell you what comprises the Bill of Rights Presto, you've got a F-UP. Please enjoy in moderation. ;) I said that in jest, but seriously, if you look at just about any one of those types of 'doy duh doy doy' cases, the basic 'ingredients' are all there every time.

IAMheretohelp
IAMheretohelp

You miss the point The have a procedure in place that they all know how to follow. In case the technology that supposed to stop this stuff fails for what every reason. If you know of anything that will guaranty 100 % protection , I will like to know about it. And the answer is not they are not occasional exposed. If they where, I agree with you that there is a problem.

seanferd
seanferd

Despite all the backing she has, she can't handle it any more. Can't blame her.

chris
chris

she just wanted out is my guess. this is one of those major issues with our "system". Make things so bad then offer a "solution" just so the prosecutor can impress his boss with his numbers. guaranteed he/she (the prosecutor) doesn't give a _____ about the truth or what's right.

CTM2
CTM2

I encourage all who wish to comment to set aside what you have read or heard about the situation, read the transcripts and form your own opinions. In my postings the facts were quoted from the transcripts, and those statements that were not facts I hope I qualified as my opinion, my thinking, my view or my reading. Labeling any facts as "misleading" (?) should be left to those who have done the homework. I did not use the encounter where she "hit" the student to conclude that Amero caused the events. I didn't need to; no non sequitur here. I mentioned it only because this was repeatedly described in the press as a "shoving" of the student in an effort to "protect him," words that I think mischaracterize what she did. If you do the required reading, husserl, you yourself may discover that your terming it as "assaulting" the student is entirely erroneous. I did think the encounter to be relevant in forming an opinion on her overall behavior because in reading the testimonies I interpreted her action as a frenetic and panicky response arising from a reflex to cover up her activity as opposed to a controlled response founded upon a responsibility to shield the student from what she was seeing on the screen. I'm bringing in my own knowledge and experience here, so you may disagree with me on this, and that's fine. What I challenge is the notion that that this so-called "computerphobe" was up in front of her class teaching her heart out, or fumbling around the Internet trying to look up the capital of Balochistan, when suddenly without warning and with no provocation the machine fell under a spell, and someone needed burning at the stake.

gasparderek
gasparderek

Did I miss THE POINT or did the Administrators who in the first instance made a Corporate decision to provide online facilities for the students of the school. The point is that they should have investigated the environment they were going to expose the students to and the intendent dangers. The IT consultant should have put in place the relevant safe-guards to ensure that no student would have been able to surf unauthorised websites. It is done by Business all over America and in my Third world country Guyana, South America. They MISSED the POINT of their responsibility to the prents of their students.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

Just another 'win' on the ledger to show to the press when he/she runs for a larger public office. When I was younger, I never got the subtext to zombie films. I suppose I should offer a 'thanks' to lawyers and politicians for helping to clear that up for me.

Editor's Picks