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Student sets up video sting, allegedly catches teacher

Using two cell phones set to record video -- to ensure all angles are covered -- a high school student lies in wait to catch an alleged backpack thief. There is a surprise.

2 min read
Here's how Betti hid herself. ABC10 Sacramento Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There are many intelligent teens in America's high schools.

They know how to fight for their rights and how to right their wrongs. They are being well-educated, after all.

Yet one California high schooler was stupefied after she set up a sting operation to catch a thief.

As ABC News 10 in Sacramento reveals, Justine Betti was miffed that money and other valuable items seemed to be disappearing from students' backpacks during gym class.

No kids, you shouldn't keep money in your backpacks, but, as you would say, whatever.

Anyway, Betti decided that she was savvy enough to collect evidence. So she hid in a locker and sat in wait for the alleged thief to come by.

Sure enough, somebody did. That somebody was allegedly her teacher.

She told ABC 10: "After all the kids left she stayed in there and went through people's backpacks. I saw her take money and then I told people."

Oh, of course no one believed her. Would you have? So Betti resolved that it was only through technology that she could muster the proof.

So she said she hid in the locker again, with one cell phone and set up another one in an adjacent locker, ready to record video.

The teacher ("she was so nice," said Betti) allegedly repeated her behavior, which both cameras captured.

Armed with the video evidence, Betti and her friends paid a visit to the principal at Linden High School.

He said he would investigate, though he reportedly told her to delete the videos -- which, on "Law And Order," they refer to as destroying evidence.

"But I had already sent it to my dad, " Betti said.

A few other people had already -- unsurprisingly -- shared it too.

The teacher, reportedly a very popular one, has now been placed on administrative leave by the school.

"We feel like we did the right thing but it's still, like, kinda hard," Betti explained.

Clearly, Betti had imagined that it would be another student who would appear in her videos.

Some, though, might find a certain inadvertent poignancy in a story in which technology allegedly catches a teacher out, when schools seems increasingly keen on using technology to keep tabs on kids.

Who could forget the instances of laptop cameras being remotely activated by a school in Pennsylvania?

Or the San Antonio high school accused of not allowing kids to vote for Homecoming Queen unless they wore RFID tags?