The case of Julie Amero has drawn national attention and deserved outrage. I have wracked by brain to try to come up with some tips for teachers to help protect themselves from situations like this where an incompetent administration completely fails the teachers, students, and parents.
Every teacher in America, especially those in Connecticut, should request explicit written instructions from the principal as to exactly what steps to take if inappropriate content should appear on the screens of any computers in their vicinity.
Teachers should familiarize themselves with the location of the power button on the computer monitor.
Never, ever be afraid to turn off the computer or pull the plug on the computer, regardless of potential damage to the system. If you do so, compose an email, BCC yourself to an off campus email address and indicate that your actions were to prevent students from being exposed to pornography to the best of your ability.
Finally, take a stand and oppose gross injustice. At http://julieamer.blogspot.com/ you will find a list of references you can contact and voice your disapproval.
The poem “First they came” comes to mind. There have been many variations throughout the centuries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came).
Despite many variations, the last line is “When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.”
The teachers at Kelly Middle School who were too afraid to share what they know about the misinformation presented by their administration would be advised to reflect upon who will be left to be there for them.
For audio commentary on the case you can listen on iTunes at http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=169608810 or hear the MP3 at http://www.eset.com/podcasts/
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET