A school accused of secretly switching on laptop webcams inside students homes is being investigated by the FBI, an anonymous spook said.
The school found itself in hot water last week after parents launched a lawsuit against it alleging breach of privacy and numerous other complaints.
The parents reacted after their child was reprimanded over "improper behaviour" he was accused of having indulged in at home. The school cited evidence gleaned from the webcam nestling in the laptop he borrowed from teachers to do his homework on.
The Lower Merion School District admitted that webcams in their fleet of student laptops had been remotely activated 42 times in the past 14 months. But it said the webcams were only activated when the laptop was missing or unaccounted for.
All 2400 kids at Harriton High School in Pennsylvania Lower Merion School District have access to Apple laptops that they can use at home.
The District office said its administrator at Harriton had been, "unfairly portrayed and unjustly attacked in connection with her attempts to be supportive of a student and his family," the statement on the Lower Merion School District site said.
The student Blake Robbins and his parents, Michael and Holly Robbins, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing it of violating wiretap laws and his right to privacy. They are seeking class-action status for the suit.
Robbins and his family told reporters that the official must have mistaken a piece of candy for a pill and thought he was selling drugs.
An FBI spook told the Associated Press that the bureau had opened an investigation into the affair. The wire said the spook wanted to remain anonymous because it was supposed to be a secret.