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Today's Lower Merion District statement on web cam tracking

April 16 Update from Board President David Ebby

Dear LMSD Parents/Guardians:

As you know, our outside counsel and a computer forensic/computer security expert have been investigating the circumstances surrounding the use of the LANrev "tracking" feature. They will provide us their findings in the next few weeks and we will release them to you. We will do so regardless of whether or not we resolve the Robbins litigation. On April 14, 2010 -- two days ago -- the Court issued an Order mapping out the events that we hope will lead to a resolution of the litigation. All parties agreed to the framework set forth in the Court's Order. Indeed, a meeting among the Robbins' counsel, the proposed interveners' counsel and our counsel is scheduled for this afternoon.

A Motion filed yesterday by the plaintiffs ostensibly was against Carol Cafiero, but instead appears to be a vehicle to attack the District. We do not feel it is appropriate for anyone other than the investigators to dictate the timing of the investigation and the release of complete findings. As we have made clear since day one, we are committed to providing all of the facts -- good and bad -- at the conclusion of the investigation. In light of what has been raised by plaintiffs' counsel, however, we feel it is critically important to provide immediate clarification regarding key items.

A substantial number of webcam photos have been recovered in the investigation. We have proposed a process to Judge DuBois whereby each family of a student whose image appears in any such photos will be notified and given the opportunity to view such photographs. Our counsel proposed that Chief Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter handle that process. While our counsel has not yet met with Judge Rueter, Judge DuBois has agreed that such a process makes sense. We hope to start that process shortly. During that process the privacy of all students will be strongly protected.

Also, the plaintiffs' Motion suggests that the LANrev tracking feature may have been used for the purposes of "spying" on students. While we deeply regret the mistakes and misguided actions that have led us to this situation, at this late stage of the investigation we are not aware of any evidence that District employees used any LANrev webcam photographs or screenshots for such inappropriate purposes. Please also be reminded that we continue to fully cooperate and provide transparency to the United States Attorney's office in its investigation of the matter. To the extent there is any evidence of inappropriate conduct, it will be disclosed in the findings of the current investigations.

We are committed to disclosing fully what happened, correcting our mistakes, and making sure that they do not happen again.

Thank you for your continued patience during this process.


David Ebby
President, LMSD Board of School Directors