Parents voice concerns at Lower Merion school meeting

    When first scheduled, the meeting was to have been about general education topics. But last night one issue was front and center: the lawsuit accusing school officials of webcams on school-issued laptops to spy on students.

    About one hundred parents packed Narberth Borough Hall on Feb. 23 to talk with Lower Merion school officials.

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    When first scheduled, the meeting was to have been about general education topics. But last night one issue was front and center: the lawsuit accusing school officials of webcams on school-issued laptops to spy on students.

    Lower Merion School District Superintendent Christopher McGinley declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying a court ruling prohibited him from discussing the laptop situation.

    Superintendent Christopher McGinley talks to parents
    Superintendent Christopher McGinley talks to parents

    The laptop controversy was on the minds of many parents, including Susie Bode, whose daughter Katherine has one of the computers. Bode says the sophomore covered the webcam with tape to prevent people from seeing her.

    Bode: She’s always kept it closed when she doesn’t use it. She talks to her friends and stuff but if she takes a shower and she’s coming out of the shower the computer’s closed. It’s always been that way. We need to watch our kids more, that’s all.

    Parent Robyn Needelman
    Parent Robyn Needelman

    Other parents expressed two distinct concerns about the laptops.

    Some said students spend too much computer time on social networking sites like Facebook. Other parents said
    they worried the lawsuit would drain the District’s finances.

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