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Sunday, April 28, 2013

School district spying is not a new phenomena, but will cost dearly.

In 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison:  "A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences."  


Joan Calkins, this post is written for you. 

Joan Calkins you are a paranoid narcissist*.  

  Joan's conduct is detestable, and while you may think you are "protected" against any legal actions of citizens and employees, you may want to closely read the story of Lower Merion School District. While not exactly parallel to some of the issues that you have initiated and presided over while on the Hamburg School Board, the outcome of the actions in Lower Merion ought serve as a grave warning. 

Joan your actions will follow you in your post-Hamburg School Board.

You will not be entitled to indemnification from the Hamburg School district as you live your life post your "lets get physical" school bored theatrics with Steven Achramovitch.  

Robbins v. Lower Merion School District (LMSD) is a federal class action lawsuit that cost a school district in suburban Philadelphia millions of dollars because the superintendent, administration and school board refused to take into consideration the Constitutional protections enjoyed by all Americans. 

A young student approximately age 15 named Robbins(plaintiff) was photographed while sleeping in his bedroom and also with his shirt off. Without telling its students, the LMSD remotely accessed school-issued laptops to secretly snap pictures of students in their own homes, their chat logs, and records of the websites they visited. The defendants were the Lower Merion School District, its nine-member Board of Directors, and its Superintendent (Christopher McGinley). After a lengthy legal battle that cost the district and its insurance companies millions of dollars,  a Federal Court rule in favor of the plaintiff and a settlement was made in excess of $600,000.  Amid the financial cost, the school district, the administration and the board of education suffered severely in a media blitz that painted them in a rightfully earned foul manner. Their behavior classified them all- collectively- as pervert peeping toms.  

The matter brought such shock to privacy and freedom-loving Americans, that the U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee held hearings on the issues raised by the schools' secret surveillance. The district's Superintendent admitted that students and parents were not informed of the secret spying feature, and the district said that "notice should have been given" to the students and parents, and that the district's failure to do so "was a significant mistakeSchool Board President David Ebby said: "It's a big, big horrible error in judgment." One of the district's computer techinians said about the spyware, "This is awesome. It's like a little LMSC soap opera". 

In a strange twist to the story, a group of parents in the Lower Merion school community band together in attempt to stop the Robbins lawsuit as they felt it would ultimately cost them- the taxpayer, and take valuable resources away from the main mission of the school district- educating students.  

A spokesman for the liberal ACLU stated in reply to a question about the Robbins case stated,  "No government official, be it police officer or school principal, can enter a private home, physically or electronically, without an invitation or warrant. In this case, the officials are not just entering the foyer, but a child's bedroom. Assuming the allegations are true, this is an egregious invasion of privacy."

The school district later admitted to "serious mistakes" and "misguided actions."  The defendants commissioned a 69-page report, which was prepared by lawyers from Ballard Spahr, the same law firm that the school district had hired to defend it in the Robbins lawsuit. The defendants' counsel nevertheless entitled their May 3, 2010, report: "Independent Investigation". Strangely, many "independent investigations" in the Hamburg School District have similar "fox guarding the hen house" nomenclature.


The report cited the district for inconsistent policies, shoddy recordkeeping, misstep after misstep, and "overzealous" use of technology "without any apparent regard for privacy considerations.

The report also said that school Board members and school administrators who knew that tracking was in place failed to ask the right questions regarding privacy issues, district lawyers didn't probe the legal considerations of handing out computers, and administrators didn't talk about the ramifications. Sounds like the superintendent, administration and bored of education in Hamburg.



Concerned writes about this case as it seems to resonate with many of the actions of the Hamburg Central School District, its Bored of Education, most notably Joan Calkins.  Concerned has been told, that now, Steven Achramovitch- without Bored approval- has introduced a "username/password" access provision for anyone wishing to read the agendas for Bored of Education meetings.  Somehow, Steve and Joan, this new "username/password" provision fails to meet the spirit of NYS Open Meetings Laws- you know, those laws both of you love to violate or perhaps can not grasp. 

Concerned and many others have concerns that once the district has your information they can track your movements around the internet- a blatant invasion of privacy.  And many opine that the district has already targeted some staff members internet usage while the staff member is off-duty.

A word of advice to Steve and Joan Calkins, we have a Constitution in this country- and you might want to read it. Joan and Steve have conspired in our opinion to trample on the rights of many individuals.  They have gone to great taxpayer funded expenses in an attempt to harass and annoy those individuals who have challenged them and their very small minds.  

0 p.m./budget public hearing at 7:15 p.m. at Hamburg High School, 4111 Legion Dr.
"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson


*the opinion of Concerned Hamburger

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Concerned, you are brilliant. Joan and Steve have run this district into the ground. Her pompous entitlement behavior is costing us. Dr Joan Calkins and Steve Achramovitch have a hit list for district employees, we need to stop them by getting rid of her. It is as simple as this. Education and free speech is under attach. Now they want all our personal informantion.

Thanks for a great post

Anonymous said...

Rick Jetter gave some double talk at the technology meeting regarding signing in for upcoming agenda. Jetter Didn't answer the question, could the sd invade into our personal ip addresses? Rick Jetter dodged the question/ Steve style (a pattern is developing). Big Brother (Joan/Steve) are watching us. Invasion into our personal lives. Do not sign in or sign in from home to district email, Steve and Joan are tracking us.

Everyone get the vote out and stop the oppressive leadership of Dr. Joan Calkins/Achramovitch

Anonymous said...

true,
school employees; The Supt, Rick Jetter & Dr. Calkins wants all our personal information. The district is capable of tracking your internet movements once they have your ip address. Possible bill paying, who you chat with, what sites you visit. It is a big WITCH HUNT and they are particularily after one of our repected and loved middle school teachers. Who else will become a victim in this tidal wave of destruction anyones guess. Please for the sake of our school districts morale please remove Steve Achramovitch and if that means turning Dr. Joan Calkins out of office so be it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with half a brain knows what Dr. Calkins and Supt Steven Achramovitch are up to.

Word is out Rick Jetter, side stepped the question thus affirming that the district is spying on district employees.

Since Achramovitch has come here it has been a real disaster for education for our kids as well as us educators Change in a few weeks

phishing said...

We received the email from union, hope other unions made aware of the districts grand plan.

At tech meeting Jetter didn't deny that this was the intent to get our personal ip addresses, he just stumbled (being polite) without confirming nor denying.

Yes everyone phishing by the school district for our personal data.

Way to go we are on our way to a autocratic school board Dr. Joan Calkins and her side kick Supt Steve Achramovitch.

Anonymous said...

They are snakes the two of them

Anonymous said...

Parents concern

signing in for the agenda will this give my personal internet information to the school? We as parents are wondering what is happening here? We are opt out parents are we being targeted? We are becoming afraid for our children and our own cyber privacy.

Solid State said...

I just created an account on the schools website to get the agenda for the next board meeting (don't worry I'm not a dummy and have resources to keep my info a secret and/or redirected). After I received and auto generated email saying my account has been created, I tried to log in and get the May 7th Agenda. A webpage popes up saying "Sorry, the page is inactive or protected". What a crock of Shit !!!

Anonymous said...

How about 'concerned' just goes to the Admin building and takes a picture of the agenda to post here? How about the facts, not tangental ramblings. Even HCS e- mail addresses can't be used to access the agenda online. No doubt they will be doing something extremely unpopular at this meeting.

Shiela Ruhland No please said...

Found out today
sb candidate for school board Shiela Ruhland (Candy Lane neighborhood) . She is Joan Calkins had picked choice for school board. Please spread the word.

Vote no on JOAN CALKINS and
SHIELA RUHLAND

They support Supt Steven Achramovitch

we are laughing here award to steve for being sob said...

Concerned thanks for a great post. Calkins has to go has to go I cannot spread the word enough. Enough

Steve received a supt award, for what being the do nothing but screw with people award. His award is a joke an award for being a dirt bag. He is a disturbingly dishonest SOB.

Anonymous said...

What snakes

Candy Laner too said...

Ruhland is a friends with Laurie Rettig- an aid or secretary at Armor. These women are so suppressed they will be wearing burkas to the board meetings. Joan is a fool!

Armor carriers said...

To all Unions, please don't use the districts email. Get you members private email addresses and keep all union nessages private. The Armor ladies can deliver the messages by carrier to Joan & Steve.

Anonymous said...

Laurie Rettig is with Maureen Guerra at almost every sb meeting, I can now see the connection.

We need to heal, no more of Dr. Calkins and please do not vote for her selected candidate Sheila Ruhland.

Anonymous said...

The district lifted the email entry requirment---guess the blog worked again. Steve is an asshole on a grand scale!

phishing said...

Its called PHISHING and yes the school district has possibly discovered everything they want on anyone who sighed on to their trap. The question is what the hell do they have getting into our homes. Legal problems again for the school district? school officials who had anything to do with this needs to be held accountable. parents Armor

neighbor said...

We have the full scoop from my neighbor a former administrator. He has horrible tales of Mr. Achramovitch, Please let us know on this blog who to vote for and how can we stop this superintendent.

Anonymous said...

Joan Calkins and Steve Achramovitch should be arrested for squandering the precious Hamburg tax dollars on nonsense. Even the 90 year old's who previously voted for Joan because of her parents should be able to figure out that she is a horrible person and NOT good for kids.

Anonymous said...

Spying on parents ip address Last I heard that is called illegal

Anonymous said...

Anyone

who is on the tech committee, Jordan, Jetter, achramovitch and who else? anyone with a thread.

Anonymous said...

Joan & Steve with pressure removed sign in "I will snatch your personal ip info" off the districts agenda page for future meetings. It was removed on Monday 3/29. The problem, how many were violated by them? We have serious issues, we call it hacking, serious consequences for invading our private lives without our consent. I would suggest illegal.

Anonymous said...

Is this how our tax dollars are being spent spying on private citizens.

dad ms said...

electronically entering my home?

bold & bad move said...

tracking our internet movements through signing onto (user/password) anyone who had the misfortune of giving them what they were phishing for better be prepared. We will support you.It was on for at least 6 days some of us say more. One more reason why not to support Joan or steve.

bold & bad move said...

tracking our internet movements through signing onto (user/password) anyone who had the misfortune of giving them what they were phishing for better be prepared. We will support you.It was on for at least 6 days some of us say more. One more reason why not to support Joan or steve.

Anonymous said...

HTA Elections tomorrow. Cliff H remember is a friend of STEVE ACHRAMOVITCH and his new wife Mary is being challenged by Mr. M.

Solid State said...

Hamburg School Board, Karma is about to bite you in the ass

Newbie said...

Friend told me about this site, but as a newcomer I have to say it's filled with hate, lies, rumors, and nasty gossip. Can't we do better than this, people?

Anonymous said...

8:36...if you are a newcomer, how do you know that the blog is filled with gossip? You appear foolish....this blog has the facts, but you just dont want to hear it. Get a clue.

Newbie said...

Really? This blog has the facts? "Facts" like 'Superintendent and School Board President have a hit list for district employees', or 'Joan and Steve are tracking us', or 'they are particularly after one of our...teachers'? None of those things are facts. "Concerned" does indicate when her speculation is opinion, but the rest of you let fly with paranoid fantasies. I'm not new to Hamburg, just new to this blog, and I can recognize mean-spirited crap when I see it. I challenge ya'll to engage in positive comments that can deliver real change, and stop the name-calling and ranting.

Anonymous said...

Newbie- HER? Do tell...wait til the truth comes out. You will be shocked. The good change will be when Joan is gone. You will then know the truth....an investigation will start soon. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Reading this garbage makes me very happy my children attend private schools! Schools in which there is positive energy and the focus is on our children.

Just sayin said...

Private schools are where the teachers go when they can't get a public school job. Privates schools have drama too...don't ya know about the scandals with the clergy. Sad but true. Let me gues do you practice law across from immaculate?

Anonymous said...

Trust me there is none of this drama. By the way were you educated in the public schools? Learn to spell.