More than once, the motion asserts, the camera on Robbins' school-issued
laptop took photos of Robbins as he slept in his bed. Each time, it fired
the images off to network servers at the school district.
Back at district offices, the Robbins motion says, employees with access to
the images marveled at the tracking software. It was like a window into "a
little LMSD soap opera," a staffer is quoted as saying in an e-mail to Carol
Cafiero, the administrator running the program.
"I know, I love it," she is quoted as having replied.
Those details, disclosed in the motion filed late Thursday in federal court
by Robbins' attorney, offer a wider glimpse into the now-disabled program
that spawned Robbins' lawsuit and has shined an international spotlight on
In the filing, the Penn Valley family claims the district's records show
that the controversial tracking system captured more than 400 photos and
screen images from 15-year-old Blake Robbins' school-issued laptop during
two weeks last fall, and that "thousands of webcam pictures and screen shots
have been taken of numerous other students in their homes."
Robbins, a sophomore at Harriton High School, and his parents, Michael and
Holly Robbins, contend e-mails turned over to them by the district suggest
Cafiero "may be a voyeur" who might have viewed some of the photos on her
The motion says Cafiero, who has been placed on paid leave, has failed to
turn that computer over to the plaintiffs despite a court order to do so,
and asks a judge to sanction her.
Cafiero's lawyer Thursday night disputed the suggestion that his client had
downloaded any such photos to her home computer. Lawyer Charles Mandracchia
said Cafiero has cooperated with federal investigators and is willing to let
technicians hired by the district examine her computer if the judge so
He also said Robbins' attorney had never asked him for Cafiero's personal
computer. "He's making this up because his case is falling apart,"
Since the Robbinses sued in February, district officials have acknowledged
that they activated the theft-tracking software on school-issued laptops 42
times since September, and a number of times in the previous school year -
all in order to retrieve lost or stolen computers.
But they have stopped short of specifying how many students may have been
photographed and monitored, or how often - information that could shed light
on whether Robbins' experience was unique or common.
An attorney for the district declined to comment last night on the Robbinses'
latest motion, except to say that a report due in a few weeks will spell out
what the district's own investigation has found.
"To the extent there is any evidence of misuse of any images, that also will
be disclosed," said the attorney, former federal prosecutor Henry E.
Hockeimer Jr. "However, at this late stage of our investigation we are not
aware of any such evidence."
The Robbinses' lawyer, Mark S. Haltzman, said the new details emerged in
tens of thousands of pages of documents and e-mails the district turned over
to him in recent weeks.