Friday night topic: sub teacher sunk by malware


— 5:48 PM on February 23, 2007

TR reader liar writes in with a suggestion for this week's FNT: the case of substitute school teacher Julie Amaro. You will want to read the opening paragraphs of this article in order to understand what happened in her classroom, how a computer goof-up could land her in jail for 40 years. Here's just a part of it:

You step out of the classroom for a moment. When you get back the kids are clustered around the computer, checking out hairstyle websites. But one is actually a link to porn sites, and it loads a Trojan onto the unprotected computer.

Suddenly, pop-ups start appearing — X-rated popups.

You start to panic. You're not supposed to shut the machine and you don't realize you can just shut the monitor. You try to block the screen, but — like normal seventh graders — the kids are curious and pushy.

You run to the teacher's lounge for help. Finally you get some and the crisis ends. But the kids have seen the porn. They tell their parents. The parents tell the school.

You tell the school administrators what happened, but they don't bother (or don't know how) to check the computer for the adware you described. Instead they fire you.

And soon you're arrested and charged with four counts of "risk of injury to a minor, or impairing the morals of a child." You're facing 40 years in prison.

And she was convicted. Yikes. liar asks: "Where does her responsibility start/stop? Right or wrongly convicted? How can we (digerati) expect fairness from joe sixpack? What's the fix?" Discuss.
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