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LA schools give kids iPads; kids hack them

A Los Angeles School district is stunned that kids given iPads to take home manage to hack the security controls. So, well, it's stopped giving them out.

Kids these days. I don't know. KTLA-TV Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

"Hey, kids. We've got great news. You're going to be doing your homework on cool new iPads. Isn't that great?"


"One thing, though, kids. You can't surf the Web on them willy-nilly. So please don't try and hack the security controls."

How could anything possibly go wrong with this fine, modern plan of the Los Angeles Unified School District?

Well, as the Los Angeles Times reports, quite a bit.

It took not very long at all for 300 kids at Theodore Roosevelt High School to hack their way through the security controls and make merry.

It seems that this was not terribly hard. All they did was delete all their personal information and the iPad suddenly became a normal, everyday, surfing iPad.

One student explained the motivation behind the kids' behavior. (As if it needed explaining.)

A senior at Roosevelt High, Alfredo Garcia, told KTLA-TV that the unlocking had happened because "they took them home and they can't do anything with them."

"Doing something with them" means going on Facebook, Twitter, Pandora and, you know, some of those other sites that kids enjoy.

It's a wonder that no one in the school district anticipated such actions.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that there may now be a halt to the wholesale distribution of the iPads, which was originally intended to ensure every kid had an iPad within a year.

It's possible that tougher security programs might have to be inserted, or, perhaps Web-capabilities entirely deleted.

I have a better idea.

Perhaps they could also get the kids to teach a class once a week on, you know, computers and security.

It would surely be edifying for the teaching staff.