School Spying Scandal Gets Even More Bizarre: Student In Question Was Disciplined For Eating Candy

from the mike-&-ikes dept

The story of the school district that supposedly spied on some students keeps getting odder and odder. While the school district claims that it used the secret remote webcam activation technology 42 times -- and only to track down stolen or lost laptops -- it still hasn't explained why this particular student was punished. He claims his laptop was not stolen and there was no reason to turn it on. The school claims that the assistant principal who supposedly confronted the student with an image from the webcam is being unfairly tarnished.

But here's where it gets even odder. Apparently, the "improper act" that the student was disciplined for was an accusation of either drug use or drug selling. For what? Well, the image showed the student with Mike & Ikes candies, which do have a passing resemblance to pills, but (last we checked) do not appear to be controlled substances.

Now, there certainly could be more to this story, but the school has not done a particularly good job explaining its side of things.

Filed Under: candy, drugs, privacy, schools, spying, webcams

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  1. icon
    rwahrens (profile), 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Constitutionality?????

    "The police said they searched the trash because they "thought" this person was doing something illegal and they didn't need a warrant because the stuff was being thrown away."

    It's called "probable cause", and it is what allows the police to enter private property in pursuit of evidence in a crime. Besides, if the trash company is a public contractor, gathering that trash for the purpose of disposing of it under the aegis of the city/county government, it IS then public property, so there is no violation in that case.

    As others have noted, the interpretive nature of the Constitution allows the SCOTUS to discern the existence of rights that are not explicitly mentioned by name, so just the simple lack of the words "right to privacy" is no argument as to its non-existence. There ARE cases where the SCOTUS has explicitly mentioned the existence of that right to privacy.

    But that right is not unlimited, and the police DO have the ability to invade that privacy when the public's interest in law enforcement or public safety is paramount.

    Also settled case law.

    The key here is that little thing I mentioned called "probable cause". There must be evidence of criminal activity before the police are granted the right to violate that privacy, and in this case, there is no indication that the school had any such evidence before activating that software.

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