Oct 162010
 
 October 16, 2010  Surveillance, Youth & Schools

Jennifer Abel writes about the recent Lower Merion settlement and case:

So what happened to the school administrators, to McGinley, Matsko and the others who spied on teens at home, then lied about the extent of it?

Nothing. No jobs lost and no financial consequences, either – they’re not responsible for the $610,000 payout. The municipal insurer will cover it, then charge higher premiums to Lower Merion taxpayers. The same people whose rights were violated will foot the bill for those very violations.

Is anyone reading this a student in Lower Merion? If so, remember: you are still obligated to show respectful deference to Principal Matsko, Superintendent McGinley and all the other grownups at your school – even the ones who got their jollies peeping at you while you slept. You teenagers might be justified in thinking, “I don’t feel safe around middle-aged people who think it’s OK to spy on me and my friends. Why is this allowed?”. But don’t say that where administrators can hear you, or you’ll get detention for defying their authority.

Read her entire column in the Guardian.

I tend to agree with her, as I’ve blogged about numerous times — that if you put students under surveillance, you create a mindset about being surveilled that is not healthy. And that’s apart from the basic inequity of students facing consequences for their misconduct while school personnel do not face consequences for theirs.

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