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Volume 72, Issue 95, Monday, February 19, 2007


Staff Editorial


                        Robyn Morrow             Chris Elliott                        Mark Suarez
                                               John Arterbury       Caitlin Cuppernull

Avoid jail time; enable pop-up blocker
A flood of pornographic pop-up advertisements could send a substitute teacher to prison for 40 years.

 After attempting to e-mail her husband while teaching at Kelly Middle School in Norwich, Conn., Julie Amero exposed a seventh grade class to a number of pornographic ads, The New York Times reported. Authorities convicted her of four counts of risking injury to a child and Amero could end up with 40 years of jail time.

 While Amero should not have been using class time to send an e-mail, she should not be punished for images that appeared on-screen beyond her control, especially with a 40-year sentence. Such images should never have been on a school computer in the first place.
 The New York Times reported that there was a mistake in the upgrade process on that particular computer, thus allowing the advertisements to appear. School officials should do a more thorough screening of their technology. If this had happened on a computer in the school's library, there would be no teacher to blame and the school would have to take responsibility for its lack of action in protecting its computers and students.

 However, a teacher was present. 

 Amero claimed that she is so uneducated in computer technology that she did not know how to turn off the monitor. She also said that she did not unplug the machine because she was told to not touch items in a teacher's classroom. Amero should have recognized the seriousness of the situation; the trouble she may have gotten into for unplugging a computer would certainly be much less severe than the 40 years she faces now.

 While claims that Amero was looking at pornography are unfounded, Amero is responsible for her inaction. Living in an era often dubbed the "Information Age," a grown woman should know how to turn a computer monitor off. 


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