April 22 2010

Possible Settlement Talks Happening In The School Webcam Case

It seems that the Lower Merion School District may be open to the idea of a settlement outside of court over the webcam spying case.

As the tale of the spying laptops has dragged on, it was revealed the other day that the cameras were turned on 80 times since Sept. 2008. Over the course of those instances, over 56,000 images were shot. Almost all of them were over reports of lost laptops, but it seems the school administrators forgot to turn off the programs after the laptops were found, so they continued to collect screenshots of whatever was on the screens as well as pictures of the students.

Currently there are 15 occurrences of the program being activated that no record can be found of why it was activated.

In the case of Blake Robbins, the students who brought the lawsuit against the district, his camera took an image every 15 minutes for over two weeks.  Why the school did it for so long is unclear, but multiple images were captured of him sleeping and in various stages of undress.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr. Robbins lawyer met with the lawyer for the school district, the President of the School Board and others in a judge’s chambers on Wednesday for four hours, and while no official details were released, apparently a financial settlement is being discussed to end the lawsuit.  There are also talks of allowing parents to see what images were captured of their children.

Even if the lawsuit goes away, this does not end the potential headaches for the school district as a federal investigation is still underway by the FBI.

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