Robbins v. Lower Merion School District

Lower Merion School District used webcams to record students without their knowledge

Court/Assoc.: Federal District Court, Eastern District of PA

Attorneys/Firms: Mary Catherine Roper, Witold Walczak (ACLU-PA); Stephen Shapiro, Theresa Loscalzo, Justin Park (Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP)

In February 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a Lower Merion School District student, Blake Robbins, who had filed a lawsuit against school officials for allegedly using a school-issued laptop to take photos of the student at home without his knowledge. The case is Robbins v. Lower Merion School District.

The ACLU filed a motion in April 2010 asking that asking the judge presiding over the "webcam case" to prevent anyone other than the students whose privacy was invaded from viewing any photographs or other materials gathered through the school district's practice of remotely accessing students' laptop computers.

The motion, filed on behalf of Harriton High School senior Evan Neill and his parents, Richard Neill and Elaine Reed, also asks that the Neill family be permitted to intervene in the lawsuit as additional plaintiffs, so that they can protect their privacy interests. The Neill family does not seek any monetary damages, but asks that Lower Merion School District be permanently barred from remotely accessing students' school-issued laptops without putting in place proper safeguards.

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