Kutztown 13

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the story of the Kutztown 13, a group of Pennsylvania teenagers charged with felonies for using their school-issued Apple iBooks to circumvent security measures and access forbidden programs (iChat), music, and Web sites. I was reminded of them once again after reading this article in MacWorld. Here’s my belated 2¢ on the issue.

  • What the kids did was wrong. HOWEVER…
  • Using an obvious password (the school’s address) and printing it on the back of the computers was monumentally stupid.
  • Charging them with a felony is excessive. What they did was wrong but most likely not illegal. This should have been handled strictly as a school matter.

One response to “Kutztown 13

  1. well as an attorney for one of the 13 now trying to decide whether to accept informal adjustment or go to juvenile court i must note that my client was never warned or disciplined in any way by the district before the felony charges

    NOTE THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOW ADDED A SECOND FELONY COUNT AGAINST THE 13 FOR COMPUTER THEFT

    MOREOVER UNDER PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL LAW THE DISTRICT MUST ACT "IN LOCO PARENTIS" SO I ASK YOU THIS :

    IF YOU FOUND YOUR TEENAGED HIGHSCHOOLER SURFING THE HOME COMPUTER AT AN INAPPROPRIATE SITE AND/OR DOWNLOADING MUSIC FROM A FILESHARER WOULD YOUR REACTION BE TO CALL THE POLICE AND HAVE YOUR CHILD FACE FELONY CHARGES ??

    and therefore –did the district act in loco parentis here?

    mike boland
    Reading PA
    [atty for 15 yr old member of the "kutztown 13"]