Monday, February 22, 2010

hey Lower Merion, you created this problem

Those of you who have heard about the Lower Merion School District case of wire tapping or spying or whatever it is being called let me enlighten you.

The LMSD gives all 2300 students an Apple laptop. Apparently the laptops are able to be remotely monitored. The school district says it is used to track lost or stolen computers.

Now when talking to my son this morning he took a different take of this issue and I have to agree wholeheartedly with him.

Lower Merion gets 2300 computers. LMSD then gives these computers to the students. LMSD assummes many will be lost or stolen and tells this to the kids. Tells them that they will track stolen or lost computers.

My son's take is do not give out computers and tell students you assume many will be lost and or stolen. Just hand out the computers. Tell the kids, bring them back at the end of the year. If the district cannot trust its students and tells them this, then they invited the mess.

Better idea, you hand out the computer, charge the kids for the insurance to cover loss or theft and then forgot about it.

Why have insurance if you are then going to use the spying equipment to track them? This whole case only illustrates the sick mentality of school administrators which assumes students are cheaters, thieves and to be mistrusted.

Why not change this paradigm and assume the kids will use the computers responsibly? If they use them irresponsibly, that is what the insurance is for. You lose your computer or break it, you do not get another one and the insurance reimburses the district for the loss. End of story.

No spying equipment needed. Get an insurance policy that will cover reimbursement. Charge each kid for this policy. Whatever the cost of insurance, surely it is not as high as the cost of the new computer. If students do not want to pay for the insurance, then no computer. If student says he cannot afford insurance, just ask him if he has an ipod or a cell phone. If he does, he can afford insurance.

Sorry for the rant, this case is beyond pathetic and points to all that is wrong in education. That awful "gotcha" mentality, no wonder kids get fed up with school. Schools constantly assume the worst of the kids.


Kathy said...

I think we might not have all the facts. I read that the kids did pay for insurance for the laptops. Kids who could not afford the insurance could borrow laptops but were not to take them home. They could use them in school. It is not clear if the kid who flied the lawsuit had borrowed the laptop and taken it home without insurance or if he had paid the insurance. This might explain why the monitoring system was turned on.


Libby Maxim said...

ya either give out computers or you don't

this half assed thing that the district did deserves all the problems it created with their we do not trust you policy

like I said, you either offer the gift or you don't

if lower merion did not trust their student, then no one should have gotten a computer

pathetic in my book