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Students Accused of Sending Porn Via School-Issued Laptops

Posted November 5, 2007

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— The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into three Greene County Central High School students accused of creating and sending pornographic material with their school-issued computers.

In one case, a 16-year-old student reportedly sent video of himself with his 15-year-old girlfriend to a teacher by mistake.

"I'm extremely disappointed in these students," said Greene County Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Mazingo. "I do not think the overwhelming majority of our students would engage in this type of activity."

For a minimal insurance fee, students in sixth through 12th grades in Greene County get a MacBook to take home. The school system leases the laptops with a combination of tax money and grants. Each of this year's computers has a built-in Web camera.

"So, there are probably more opportunities for them to record things and to do things with the computers that they haven't had before, unfortunately" Mazingo said. "It also greatly enhances the educational opportunities."

Authorities have not charged any students yet, but they could face felony charges and mandatory jail time for a first offense if they were convicted.

Mazingo would not say exactly how the students in this case are being punished at the school level, but said that in general, students who violate computer conduct policies can be banned from using any school computer, or at least lose all Internet access.

Mazingo said the school system does not plan to cancel the laptop program. Administrators, however, are working with the district attorney's office on a video to teach students about how serious charges can be for using the cameras inappropriately.

He said administrators would also continue to monitor closely all activity on every issued computer.

The district attorney's office said it would wait for an SBI report before deciding whether to charge the students.

72 Comments

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  • Air Biscuit Nov 7, 12:14 p.m.

    Bartcow--

    Your point is well said, and I agree to a point.

    I have taught for 15 years in our glorious public school system, so I am not one of these people who are in the dark "shouting at each other"

    Maybe my wording should have been "politicians" instead of making it about political parties.

    However, I still think it is incredibly foolish to issue a computer to a student. Students, for the most part, have no regard for decency, and the general public does not...just read most of the posts, and you'll see proof---when there are adults who see nothing wrong about 15 year olds having sex and displaying their naked bodies online, then why make a news item about kids seeing nothing wrong?

    It's people like this who elect the morons we have running our educational system, conservatives and liberals alike.

  • race81 Nov 6, 9:39 p.m.

    I am a teacher in Greene County. Before you judge our school system you should check us out: http://www.gcsedu.org. As with anything new there has been a few problems but at least our county is willing to step out and try new things for our students. As for the tax money IT WAS GRANT MONEY!!!!!!! Before you judge us you should try knowing ALL THE FACTS. I am proud of our school system and the opportunities that we offer our children. The people of Greene County have been supportive of our initiatives. Maybe some of you are jealous of the opportunities that our children have!

  • SANDHILL Nov 6, 7:13 p.m.

    I guess these kids were just sending their sex ed home work to the teacher. They probably are not in the porn business, just dumb. It has become politically correct to take dicipline and morality out of the school system so why should this come as a big suprise?

  • Hans_Dieter_Peter Nov 6, 6:27 p.m.

    I find it really funny that the issue of computers in schools has come up. While I was in highschool some years back I purchased a mac laptop my sophomore year. That was one of the best ideas I ever had. Sadly that one just died a few weeks ago after a long and hard life. Not only was I able to do projects/research anywhere (Davis Library @ UNC, A condo @ the beach, @ open-eye in Carrboro), but I also had all my work with me. I know I was a bit ahead of the times when I started using my laptop for highschool, but it's almost manditory now days.

    As for the students making their own flick... Disappointed is the word. I personally would not charge them with a thing. My guess is they already know what they did was really stupid and totally inappropriate. If I'm the Greene County School System, I would highly limit their computer activity until I felt very comfortable that they were able to follow acedemic guidelines. Even so, I'm not sure when that would be.

  • Billfisher Nov 6, 4:59 p.m.

    You are dealing with teens, hormones, technology and a minute ammount of parental control. Of the four we have the power to effect two of these factors. Removing technology from the masses due to the missues of the few makes no sense, so where does the blame fall.....With the parents. Teach your children right from wrong, don't let the figure it out the hard way.

  • masdo Nov 6, 4:14 p.m.

    Greene County happens to be one of the poorest counties in North Carolina and the School is getting the grades. The laptops are available through a grant from Apple and the parents have to pay for insurance for the laptops to be able to go home with the students. The laptops are helping the students achieve the upper hand for tommorrow's technology and opening doors that would have otherwise been shut. Greene Central has some of the brighter students that are winning schlorships and acadimics and sports. Teenagers are going to be teenagers without the right guidance.

  • IfByWhiskey-a-go-go Nov 6, 4:06 p.m.

    "Whoever got law enforcement involved in this should be ashamed of themselves."

    Are you serious? Do you realize the parents or any other adult that resided in that house could be investigated or arrested for child pornography? C'mon. Think.

  • masdo Nov 6, 3:48 p.m.

    NC Teacher I agree with you. Parents have to pay insurance on these laptops for the kids to bring them home and as the technologies fields are growing the laptops help the students become more advanced in that area. Greene County is one of the poorest counties in North Carolina and the high school has some of the best kids in academics and sports.

  • bartcow Nov 6, 3:44 p.m.

    "1) Your liberal lawmakers...

    2) Your liberal lawmakers...

    3) Get real...the liberal lawmakers...

    Our educational system is so stupid...and we wonder why teens are so dumb..."

    Airbiscuit, thanks for unnecessarily playing the good ol' liberal/conservative card. It gives me the opportunity to point out that the current educational program was devised by a conservative President and Secretary of Education. So that argument really doesn't work here. Most schools are scrambling for anything they can get their hands on in order to meet NCLB standards. Maybe laptops aren't the answer, but I'll leave that arguement for the other 65 comments.

    The real problem here is that most educational programs are designed by people who have never set foot in a classroom (regardless of political affiliation). Then things like this happen, and people who wouldn't last a day as a teacher get to go online and shout at each other...

    Whee!

  • talkabout Nov 6, 3:32 p.m.

    It's not a big enough story people. Ooooooo a 15 and 16 year old were having sex. Have you forgotten what it was like to be 15,16,17....hormones firing out of control, love is in the air blah blah blah. Get a grip and a clue. This happens MORE than we know and it's NOT that big of a deal. Sheesh! Let's get some real news worthy topics here.

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