The Scenario (Fiction)
A Primary school student (Y6) is given a nice “EeePc” which they are allowed to take home to do “school work” on. The OS is Linux. No changes to the OS have been made (possible due to lack of knowledge). The (free) AV provided has been configured and is working. It has been configured for Internet access on the school LAN which is filtered.
The school has got the parents to sign the appropriate “AUP” provided by the school. When the student gets home, they connect the PC to their home network and proceed to surf the Internet to some inappropriate sites. They then make an anonymous threat against another student.
The other student eventually tells their parents that they have been threatened and the threat is eventually tracked back to the culprit after many weeks.
The annoyed parents of the threatened student want to know why it took so long to track down the culprit and why did they give a child something that could be used to threaten another child.
The parents of the offender state that this would not have happened on the home PC as they have appropriate software that stops this activity.
Was enough (from an ICT perspective) done to mitigate the risks and inappropriate Internet access by the student on the school PC.
Last edited by Warlock; 26th February 2009 at 11:30 AM.
... I was never good at writing fiction plus some cut and paste but point taken and changed .
No, definitely not.
The EEE PC should not have been able to connect to the internet from within the school, without going through the proxy. I'd've thought that should be standard for all devices going through the school network, whether joined to the domain or not.
I really can't understand why the student would've been left capable of making changes to the OS, you're talking about a support nightmare. Its not hard to do a bit of research into Linux and discover how to lock down the system partition so that the student wouldn't be able to install new software and so on. I'd also be questioning why the student was left with the default Xandros setup, which gives them root access to the system.
However those points not-withstanding, the defence of the offender's parents is patently ridiculous. I'm not aware of any software that they'd be likely to have installed to prevent the student sending threatening e-mails through any one of the thousands of webmail providers. Beyond that, they signed the AUP, which means that it was at least to a degree their responsibility to ensure that they (and by extension their child) adhered to it. They didn't.
Finally if a child really wants to bully another, they'll find away. The parents attempt to offset this by trying to blame the school's lack of precautions is simply pointless. The victim's parents, on the other hand, have a strong point. Not on the fact that the child was given something that could be used to threaten a student, but on the fact that it took so long to find the offender.
Hmm. If the student was hit by a hardback book from the school library giving him a black eye, is it the fault of the author, the librarian, the publisher, the school or the other student? Should a paperback book have been issued instead? Would it have made a difference if it was fiction or non-fiction?
The threatening what done by the student using their home internet connection.
There is no point is giving devices like this to students and them not being able to use them away from the school network.
Presumably the parents home pc has net nanny or something like that installed.
In school you may have securus but I doubt there is a linux client.
Securus can operate in an offline mode so violations are still recorded and then uploaded when possible.
So, let me check I've got this straight. A pupil bullies another pupil and IT Support get it in the neck because it was cyber-bullying? If the student had instead written a rude note, would the person who bought the paper be in trouble?
This is a case of bullying and is to be dealt with by the class teacher/headteacher in accordance with the school's anti bullying policy.
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