Happened in Norwich by
I have no clue since there is so much to write about.
So, I suppose the best way to start is to just jump in and let go.
see…how about this one?
you are a substitute teacher in a small town. You aren't very computer literate
and even need help making cell phone calls. Now suppose you are using the internet
for some information in your class, you get a message to call your husband, you
leave the room for a few minutes and when you return, several students are looking
at some website for various hair styles.
No big deal, right?
Now, you start the class again, and then without any warning, the computer starts
showing popup images for porn sites. Then the more the teacher tried to close
out the images, the more came, for all to see. The current terminology for this
is a 'pop-up storm'.
Now, this poor teacher had been instructed not to
turn off the computer. As a result of these images being displayed to her middle
school age students, this teacher was charged, tried and convicted and faces a
possible sentencing of forty years in prison. Her sentencing is now set for March
prosecution has admitted that the school did not have the proper filtering programs
in place and that they did not check to see if the offensive sites were caused
by adware or spyware which may have misdirected the websites to the pornographic
ones which were viewed by the students. They also could not understand why the
teacher had not covered the screen with a jacket or just shut the monitor off
when the images first appeared.
This teacher (Julie Amero- Norwich, Conn.)
has had her life turned upside down as a result of this ordeal. Obviously her
defense is a huge expense to her family as well as the humiliation of having to
go to trial. At her trial, it was admitted that no one had investigated her computer
to determine if it was possible for these porn sites to get through the antiquated
filtering system which was in place. The only evidence given was that of some
of the students who had been in the classroom.
I suggest that Mrs. Amero
might have used better judgment and pulled the plug on the entire thing and suffer
the resulting consequences, whatever they might be. But, let's look at this situation
realistically. Did her defense ask the offended students if these images were
the first of these kinds they had ever seen before in their lives? While this
entire situation is very touchy, and I don't wish to suggest that teachers go
around showing porn in their classrooms, I would be very surprised if most of
these students had not been exposed to this stuff before. Either on the internet
or on television.
What we see or are able to see during prime time today
was banned as being pornographic less than twenty years ago. At our house we stick
with the History, Discover and Food channels more than anything else. I find it
sad that you pay something like a hundred dollars a month for 200 or more channels
and you are reduced to watching some guy from New Orleans making brownies at seven
in the evening because there isn't anything else decent worth your viewing time.
God only knows what teenagers have access to in this day and age.
on, the local newspaper account stated that the students observed several images
of couple engaged in a sexual act that was the same as described in the impeachment
of a recent president of the United States. As the former leader of our country
described it in his testimony, what he did 'was not sex.' Everyone laughed and
the country moved on past that little point in time. No harm done was the overall
consensus. Or was it?
After reading all of the news accounts that are available,
including ones from computer experts I find the conviction of Mrs. Amero to be
unbelievable. Should she have received some form of disciplinary action?
certainly along with some computer training to improve her skills, but a potential
of forty years in the slammer? Murderers, rapists, and child molesters often receive
less than this.
No way should this have happened.
Of course, Norwich
is only 120 miles from Salem.
Letters From North
April 10, 2007 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
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