ACLU enters school spying case

    The American Civil Liberties Union has intervened in the case of a Harriton High School Student who sued the Lower Merion School District, accusing the district of spying on students  through webcams on their school-issued laptops. [audio: 100222SPSPY.mp3]

    The ACLU of Pennsylvania has filed a brief in support of the student. The ACLU’s legal director Vic Walczak says the actions of Harriton High School administrators could have violated the fourth amendment.

    Walczak: “What the school district has done, is essentially having a principal sneak into a house and hide in a child’s closet. This is really really offensive if the allegations indeed are true.”

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

     In a court brief filed over the weekend, the plaintiff’s attorney asked to court to order the district to preserve all electronic evidence.

     The Associated Press reports that the FBI is investigating whether the district broke federal wiretap and computer use laws.

     The district says it activated the webcams 42 times to find missing student computers. Officials say they have now abandoned the practice.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal