Local/State

2nd lawsuit in school webcam controversy

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The suit was filed by a student who graduated this spring that says his laptop's surveillance software was activated for over two months.

"When I saw these pictures I was like it really freaked me out," said Jahlil.

18-year old Jahlil Hassan sat next to his mother and his attorney when talking to Action News on Tuesday. They explained their horror and disbelief upon learning he was among the students secretly being photographed through a school issued laptop.

"I had like a lump in my throat and in my stomach because I had no idea that these pictures were being taken," said his mother Fatima Hassan.

"It's like scary because who you know watching me doing what I'm doing at home is really scaring me," Jahlil said.

Jahlil says back on September 18th, 2009 he forgot his laptop in his cooking class at Lower Merion High School. A teacher later found it and turned it over to the IT technical class.

On Monday when Jahlil went to pick it up they gave it back to him but he had no idea that they had activated computer theft software which secretly took 1,018 web shot photos of him and screen shots of his computer until it was turned off when the Robbins' family filed their lawsuit on February 18th.

"They gave it back to Jahlil on that very same day why was it even turned on if it was in their possession," said Fatima.

The school district has since deactivated the software and has no plans to activate the webcams ever again even as the class action suit moves forward.

Meanwhile, Fatima Hassan says she pulled her son out of Philadelphia schools out of concern for violence and thought he would be safer at Lower Merion.

"But then when I'm looking at these pictures and I'm looking at these snapshots I'm feeling like where did I send my child.

The school district gave Action News at statement that reads in part ..."given all that it has accomplished regarding the matter of student laptop security continuing litigation is clearly not the right way to proceed and not in the best interests of the students or the school district community."

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pennsylvania, webcam controversy, local/state, dann cuellar
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