Lower Merion School District thought that it had put the school spying case to rest, spending $1.6 million last year in litigation and settlement after news broke that it had secretly captured over 65,000 images of students via remotely accessed webcams.
Unfortunately, it appears as though the Pennsylvania school will be shelling out a bit more cash, as the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that a 2009 Harriton High graduate is suing the district after learning that it had captured nearly 8,000 images on his school-issued laptop.
Filed in federal court, this new lawsuit alleges that the school violated the civil rights of plaintiff Joshua Levin, as well as humiliated him and caused severe emotional distress.
The school is claiming that the lawsuit is motivated by money, reports the Associated Press, as Levin has denied all attempts at mediation.
While this very well may be true, the fact is that it's important--for student and privacy rights--for the school spying case to go to trial.
Lower Merion School District, while previously sued, has managed to settle the complaints against it with large payouts. Though its reputation is shattered, the fact that there is no court precedent dealing with the situation makes it that much easier for other school districts to engage in similar behavior.
Having a judge-reasoned analysis and a jury verdict is much more of a deterrent than a few settlements.
So, even if Joshua Levin doesn't want to take his school spying case to mediation because he hopes for a larger payout, his decision to do so shouldn't be outright criticized.
- Lower Merion School District Sued Again Over School Spying (Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog)
- Caught Napping: Pics in School Spying Case Emerge (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)
- Big Bro Broken: Webcam Spying Suit Settles (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)