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Second Lawsuit Filed Against Lower Merion School District
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Another lawsuit has been filed against the Lower Merion School District in Pennsylvania by a student. This time, the plaintiff is the sister of the teenage boy who filed a lawsuit against the district regarding webcams in the school’s laptops. Administrators at the school claim the lawsuit is “an attempted money-grab and a complete waste of tax dollars,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The student, Paige Robbins, claims that the school district invaded her privacy when the webcam on a laptop took pictures of her while she undressed in her home. Robbins is the sister of Blake Robbins, who filed a suit while attending Harriton High School. Blake and the school district settled out of court for $175,000. A photo taken by the webcam on the boy’s laptop showed him sleeping in his bed at home.

  
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“Paige Robbins was an innocent victim whose privacy rights were violated by the school,” said her attorney, Mary Elizabeth Bogan.

Paige graduated from Harriton High School in 2010 and was issued a laptop by the school during her junior and senior years. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court and claims that the webcam took photos of her while she “was in the bathroom, or in the nude, or partially dressed or sleeping or in her bedroom in a compromised state.”

Harriton’s assistant vice principal, Lynn Matsko, gave a deposition on April 7, 2010 that included the following:

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Q: “Was she – Paige Robbin [sic] naked in the pictures that you looked; Do you remember? Her top was off, right? In the picture that you looked at?”

A: “There was a picture of probably Paige Robbins’. I can’t imagine any IT person umm, I mean, it . . .”



Paige’s attorney claimed that Paige delayed filing a lawsuit because of the sensitivity of the matter. School district spokesman Doug Young issued a response to the lawsuit:

“The complaint is deceptive and misleading, relying on excerpts from a deposition transcript that have been edited to omit key words,” Young said. The district spokesman went on to say that a federal investigation found that “no one ever saw a compromising image of Ms. Robbins or anyone else.”

“There’s no indication whether this was a webcam image or some other image,” Young said. “It appears Ms. Robbins simply waited to turn 18 so she could attempt to obtain a payout of her own from [Lower Merion] taxpayers.”

Bogan replied to the comments by Young with the following:

“Who did the wrongdoing here? The school district is attempting to shift the focus to . . . a 19-year-old woman standing up for her constitutional rights, when the school district has a track record of wrongdoing.”

Bogan did not tell the media what the photos showed or if her client had seen the photos. The lawsuit is asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, and $1,000 per day for each day that the electronic wiretapping laws of the state were broken.



 

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