A second lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a student whose laptop web camera was secretly and remotely activated by a Pennsylvania school district, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The letter from Lower Merion school administrators delivered the news three weeks ago–her son had been secretly monitored by the webcam on his school-issued laptop. But only when Fatima Hasan saw the evidence did the scope of the spying on her son Jalil become apparent. There were more than 1,000 images surreptitiously captured by the computer: 469 webcam photographs and 543 screen shots. All were evidence in the case against the Lower Merion School District and its now-abandoned electronic monitoring policy. “I was really shocked. I didn’t know what I was walking into,” Fatima Hasan said July 27 after her son, now 18, filed a civil lawsuit for invasion of privacy against the Lower Merion district and others. “They were all pictures of Jalil, and all web shots from his laptop, and that’s not an easy feeling.” The suit joins one filed in February by Blake Robbins, a student at Harriton High School, and for the first time draws in Lower Merion High School, where Jalil Hasan was a senior. For the high-achieving school district, the second civil suit raises the stakes in an already-costly legal fight. The cases are similar in their broad outlines. The electronic monitoring began after school-issued computers were reported missing. In both cases, the system was simply left on long after the laptops were recovered. Hundreds of photos and screen shots were captured on a predetermined schedule. According to the most recent estimates, the combined legal bills and other case-related expenses from Robbins’ suit alone have reached about $1.2 million already…

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura