Answers likely to linger in Lower Merion webcam case

    So far the Lower Merion webcam spying incident has generated as many questions as answers. Things might stay that way for quite a while.

    So far the Lower Merion webcam spying incident has generated as many questions as answers. Things might stay that way for quite a while.

    A federal class action suit claims Lower Merion school officials snapped photos of a Harriton High School student inside his home, using the webcam on a school-issued laptop.

    So far, the photos have not been revealed. And names of school officials who allegedly took the photos remotely are unknown. Another unanswered question is whether the laptop had been reported missing or stolen, which could explain why the webcam was activated. School district officials have implied it was; the family says no.

    Bernard Smalley is an attorney who works on class action lawsuits. He says it could take some time just to determine whether this case meets the tests for a class action, including similar harm suffered by plaintiffs. In this case, he said, it will be hard to put a dollar figure on the harm to students:

    “It is extremely difficult to quantify that kind of injury and that kind of damage may not be there.”

    Because the case involves children, Smalley said, the courts may want to speed up the process.

    The case clearly has stirred strong feelings among parents and students in the district. One indication of that is a fan page that has sprung up on Facebook. Called “Blake Robbins is full of sh*t,” the page has more than 400 fans, most of whom identify themselves as students at one of the two high schools.

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