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Lower Merion Case Heats Up

Posted 25 Feb 2010 | Comments Off on Lower Merion Case Heats Up | 3,420 views

A key player in the Lower Merion webcam controversy made a public statement regarding the allegations. Assistant principal Lynn Matsko held a press announcement (not a press conference). She stated that she is “legally and ethically prohibited from commenting at this time with respect to these allegations.” Matsko also stated she never monitored a student via a webcam or authorised the monitoring of a student via webcam. Matsko did not answer questions or offer clarifications to her statement.

“At no time I have I ever monitored a student via a laptop webcam nor have I ever authorised the monitoring of a student via a laptop webcam, either at school or in the home, and I never would.”
– Lynn Matsko, Assistant Principal, Harriton High School, 24 Feb 2010

The Robbins family released a statement to the press in response. The family said they are reqesting immediate access to webcam pictures and screenshots to verify that the district’s statement regarding monitoring was truthful. The district has claimed that it has remotely activated the webcams 42 times for the official purpose of retrieving lost or stolen laptops. The family also claims that the school districts is refusing to cooperate with the attempt to verify their claim.

“Ms. Matsko does not deny that she saw the webcam picture and screenshot of Blake in his home; she only denies that she is the one who activated the webcam. We have no reason to doubt Ms. Matsko’s statement that she did not personally activate the webcam on Blake’s computer, but that has never been the issue. The issue is that we know someone accessed Blake’s webcam and provided Ms. Matsko with a screenshot and a webcam picture in his bedroom.”
– Mike, Holly, Blake, and Paige Robbins, 24 Feb 2010

The question of whether the district monitored students at home could be determined by producing the image that sparked the whole lawsuit. Parents are already upset over the possibility of monitoring, and some are upset that their students are being forced to used school owned equipment instead of personal computers. Confirmation that the school did invade the privacy of the home would only add to the legal troubles from their redistricting plans.

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