More on the Norwich Witch Hunt

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/

 

Randy Abrams
Director of Technical Education

Author ESET Research, ESET

  • Phill

    Lounsbury:
    “Unfortunately the truth in this matter is yet to be told to all those who were not located in the courtroom during the trial. Those in the courtroom saw and heard the truth�

    What in the world are we going to hear? Did she actually encourage the kids to “oh, now, try this link here, that really has some cool porn�? Or, did she get up on the table and start doing a dance or something? The point is, what in the world did she do, or not do, that is worth 40 yrs in prison? I really can’t imagine that there is anything I would hear once the “facts� get out that would cause me to think “give her 40 years! She deserves 40 years!�

    If only she would’ve actually had an “inappropriate relationship� with one of the kids, then she probably would’ve gotten less then 5.

    How about we give 40 years to every dad who left a Playboy mag under the bed, or in a drawer or wherever, that was found by their kids (and shared with their friends)? How about we give 40 years to every parent who’s left an x-rated video around somewhere that that their kids (and their friends) found and watched. If this is so serious, why do we allow internet access in the first place, especially in schools?

    I’ve got a lot of questions about what happened, (being a computer person that’s worked in a school system, and know how hard it is sometimes to get through the tie-wraps and other obstacles to actually turn a computer off), but, if detective Lounsbury insists that there’s more evidence to come, I’m willing to wait. But, 40 years? I’m sorry Lounsbury, I just don’t buy it.

  • RichP

    Being a network integrator, VAR, systems builder and having worked with school systems and setup their security I can say without a doubt, the school systems IT dept is at fault. No doubt in my mind, they did not setup their access to federal or even state standards. The fact that the school systems CIO did not come forward and say ‘we dropped the ball and messed up’ speaks volumes about the honor, honesty and integrity of the school systems managment. It also speaks volumes about both the law enforcement officers and the judicial branch being incompetent enough to recognize who messed up here and it was not the end user. While they may have bamboozled the normal readers and followers of this travisty they should be aware that there are literally THOUSANDS of us IT Professionals that know they screwed up and sacrificed an innocent to cover their jobs. To the head of the IT dept at that school system, you need to grow a pair and do whats right…

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