A group of Lower Merion and Harriton High School parents will meet tonight to discuss ways to derail the possibility that a federal lawsuit over laptop spying could lead to a lengthy and expensive class-action case against their district.

Bryn Mawr resident Michael Boni, one of the organizers, said yesterday: "We have spoken to our neighbors and friends, and it seemed that there was a groundswell of opposition to one family with one lawyer bringing this action on behalf of the community."

He said the parents were "not suggesting there weren't problems" with how the district has handled the laptop issue. "But we don't think [a class-action lawsuit] is the answer."

The group, which calls itself lmsdparents.org, is limited to parents of students at the two high schools. Between 300 and 400 parents had signed on by yesterday afternoon, said Bob Wegbreit, another founder.

A related group calling itself Parents in Support of the Lower Merion School District, which said it shared the same objectives, had garnered more than 700 signatures on an online petition by yesterday evening.

In a lawsuit filed Feb. 16, Michael and Holly Robbins said their son Blake had been confronted in November by a high school assistant principal with a picture taken of him at his home by his school-issued laptop's Web cam, showing "improper behavior." The suit contends that the district could remotely activate the Web cams to spy on users.

The district said it triggered the Web cams only in efforts to recover stolen or missing computers.

The suit seeks certification as a class action but has not yet been granted that status by a judge.

Boni, a lawyer who has litigated class-action lawsuits, said that if the Robbins lawsuit was not certified as a class action, "it would limit damages and litigation costs to a great degree."

Mark S. Haltzman, an attorney for the Robbins family, said yesterday that he had offered to attend the meeting but had received no response by late afternoon.

Douglas Young, spokesman for the Lower Merion district, said he was aware of lmsdparents.org but could not comment on its activities.

Andy Derrow, a Harriton junior's father who has joined the new group, said yesterday: "There are a lot of us who are incredibly skeptical of the motives of the Robbins family." He said the district was a "pioneer" in buying laptops for students to use at home as well as in school.

"It is so easy to second-guess the decision [to use the laptop theft-tracking device], but there was no handbook out there for how to do it," he said. "We are all waiting for all the facts to be known, but so far, our attitude is that we want to help the school district fix whatever needs to be fixed and to move on."

The number of people expected at the Narberth meeting was already over the hall's capacity by yesterday afternoon and only people who had already signed up to attend would be admitted, Wegbreit said.