Who will end up paying for laptop spying?

    Will taxes go up to pay a settlement?

    The suburban school district defending itself from a civil rights lawsuit may end up footing the bill. An insurance company says it won’t pay any legal costs for Lower Merion school district regarding the laptop spying case. Residents are split over whether this will drive up their taxes.

    A high school sophomore and his family have sued the the district for secretly using the webcam of a school-issued laptop to snap photos of him in his home. The district admits to capturing 56,000 photos and screen shots of students over the course of two years.

    Some district residents, like Edward Meyers, worry about rising taxes.

    “They’re to the point of do we have to move, can we afford to stay in the Township any longer? And with this lawsuit, who’s gonna pay it?”

    Bill Dingfelder, of Bala Cynwyd, says he doesn’t think the lawsuit will have much of an impact on the taxpayer’s bottom line.

    “I think compared to the overall cost of school district, the fact that we have the highest paid teachers, which I think is great. And the fact that we just built two new high schools which were badly needed. All those things cost way way more than those things will ever cost. So I think in terms of putting it in perspective, I don’t think it will have a big impact on taxes.”

    Graphic Arts Mutual Insurance Company its personal injury policy with the Lower Merion School District will not cover costs stemming from the alleged spying.

    That could leave the district paying for potential damages or settlements.

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

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.