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Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone

Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone

We couldn't make up a story as good as this if we tried. The Associated Press details how a school district in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, issued iBooks to 600 high school students--a good idea if we ever heard one. But, the laptops were locked down, preventing things like chat programs from being installed and allowing school officials to monitor the screens of every computer in the system.

A bunch of the kids bristled under the restrictions and saw this as an opportunity to use those creative problem-solving skills schools are supposed to teach. The students quickly managed to remove the restrictions--thanks in part to the system password being printed on each laptop (the school's street address was the password). Naturally, The Man didn't take kindly to this and 13 of the students were threatened with felony charges.

A deal has evidently been worked out, with the kids being offered a slap on the wrist, and most seem likely to accept the deal, but reading the unofficial Web site of the "Kutztown 13" and the school district's response, you can see that the gulf between the two sides is still deep.

On another topic--my last blog post got "Slashdotted," which is pretty neat.