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Re: Confusion about legality of Linux

* Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net> [2008 Dec 10 06:54 -0600]:
> 2008/12/10 Nate Bargmann <n0nb@n0nb.us>
> > * Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net> [2008 Dec 10 05:52 -0600]:
> > > 2008/12/10 Tom Ashley <tomashleyjr@gmail.com>
> > > > http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2008/12/linux-stop-holding-our-kids-back.html
> > > "After confiscating the disks I called a confrence with the student and that
> > > is how I came to discover you and your organization ... I cannot either
> > > support your efforts or allow them to happen in my classroom ... putting
> > > linux on these machines is holding our kids back ..."
> > >
> > > Bloody hell, that's a teacher who ought to be disciplined for libel, and
> > > maybe also for theft (since the physical disks were the student's property
> > > and were not hers to take unless she was freely offered them).
> >
> > No doubt, the teacher in question was misinformed, but, she does have
> > the right to do what she needs to do to quell a disturbance and restore
> > order in her classroom.
> My feeling is that she should have investigated whether this really
> was a "disturbance" before intervening. It is not clear to me that the
> action she took was "needed". Hence my comment.

Like me you're probably not an authority figure, there fore our
reaction would be quite different.  Her training and mindset are that
of authority figure and her actions as described were consistent with
authority figures as I recall from my youth.

> > After she is informed on the matter and
> > understands that the disks are not illegal, contrary to her initial
> > claims, she should return the disks to Aaron.  She also has the right
> > and obligation to enforce rules of conduct in her classroom and if that
> > involves no use of laptops except for school work, then so be it.
> We don't know what Aaron was demonstrating. It may be that he was
> showing his classmates that they could potentially improve their
> productivity and understanding re: school work by using open source
> software. 

It's possible, but recalling my attitude as a kid, I would have been
demonstrating anything but homework or how to do it easier, etc.  While
I doubt that kids in t he main have chnaged much, there are alwayst the

> If what he was doing was totally irrelevant to the class,
> then perhaps she was right to tell him to stop, but that does not
> suggest to me that she needed to confiscate the disks, nor that she
> was right to libel* Ken Starks, "I assure you, the claims you make are
> grossly over-stated and hinge on falsehoods".

If the student's action were irrelevant to the class, then she has the
obligation to restore order.  Yes, she was completely wrong about Ken
and his mission, which I applaud highly.  However, her approach to Ken
belies her vision of herself as an authority figure and her natural
inclination to set the world right on her terms.  Still, she is the
head of the classroom and must be the sole authority in that setting.

> > I do hope that she comes away from this experience not embarrassed and
> > angry, but rather with an appreciation of the path of learning that her
> > students would like to voluntarily take.
> I broadly agree, though I do feel a degree of embarrassment on her
> part would not be inappropriate.

Heh.  I think I understand your intentions and I do relish the thought
myself.  However, as I understand authority figures, embarassment
usually leads directly to anger and revenge.

I look forward to reading Ken's next installment on this matter.

> *In my opinion. IANAL.

My opinion as well.  Have a great day.

- Nate >>


"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all
possible worlds.  The pessimist fears this is true."

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