Court Order Provides Students, Parents Opportunity to View Images Captured by School-Issued Laptops

For anyone who hasn’t heard, a school district in Pennsylvania has recently come under fire for using the webcams on school-issued laptops to capture images of students both during and outside of school hours – about 56,000 of them, according to reports.  According to the complaint filed in this case, students and parents were not informed of the school’s ability to use the webcams.  In at least one instance, a student was called to the assistant principal’s office to discuss an image captured by the webcam on his laptop.  His family has now sued the district and hopes that other students will join them.  According to the school district, the webcams were intended for tracking lost or stolen computers.

On May 14th, the court ordered that affected students and their parents be provided an opportunity to view the captured images.  The order requires that students and their parents receive separate notifications of the opportunity to view the images and, notably, provides students the opportunity to object to their parents’ viewing of certain images.  Upon objection, the student will discuss with the judge “how to handle the situation.”

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