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Legal Actions of School Against a Proxy's Host? 200

Posted by Cliff
from the slippery-legal-slopes dept.
WakefieldHS-students asks: "I attend a public school, Wakefield High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. A friend of mine recently created a site that hosted a web proxy browser. It ran for a few months, and others at our school found out about it. The original domain was blocked by the censorship software the school uses, and it was changed a few times to get around this. Recently, he was forced to take down the proxy, with the threat of not graduating and the taking of legal action by the school. What legal rights, if any, can the school use to ban someone from hosting a website? Furthermore, what rights does the U.S. Government have to censor such websites?"
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Legal Actions of School Against a Proxy's Host?

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  • by Pyromage (19360) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @09:28PM (#15511101) Homepage
    I'm relatively certain that the school wasn't just arbitrarily chasing the site across every domain he owned, not unless they had reason. Why was he running a proxy? What material was he or his friends accessing from the school?

    As far as legal rights to censor that, they can do just about whatever they want in loco parentis.
    • by Cyphertube (62291) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @09:34PM (#15511123) Homepage Journal

      Of course, since the operation of proxy server is not done under school property and doesn't have anything to do with the care of the student, the argument for it being in loco parentis doesn't really hold water.

      Of particular note, if he's near graduating, he may well be 18 already, at which point in loco parentis no longer applies. By threatening his academic situation, a publically mandated and required function of the school, by regarding his own actions off school time, then they could actually be sued on grounds of harrassment.

      Now, they could pursue action against him for access the proxy from the school, but not against him for others.

      Moreover, since I was nailed under in loco parentis when I was in middle school, I can tell you that loco parentis ceases the instant you enter your front door, if you ride the bus home from school. I got nailed for verbally assaulting the bus driver (who later was nailed for felony hit and runs against mailboxes, thus disproving the slander and defamation charges they 'threatened' me with). As I was told, if I'd entered my house, come back out, and then yelled at her, it would have been out of the school's hands.

      • In my IANAL-And-He's-Not-Telling-Us-The-Whole-Story opinion:

        1) The kid and his friends were repeatedly and systematically violating school rules, and can certainly be punished.

        2) The precise ultimatum that the school gave him is probably not within the school's power to make.

        3) The question is how much effort and money he's willing to expend in court on a grey area case, when the school would be perfectly within bounds to give him a clearly legal and much more serious punishment.

        4) I don't get what the US g
        • by martinultima (832468) <martinultima@gmail.com> on Sunday June 11, 2006 @09:43AM (#15512636) Homepage Journal
          This actually sounds just like my school district vs. me. This (last) year I had to do a personal project for the IB program, which in my case happened to be maintaining a Linux distribution. And I figured that since I was in the computer lab as a student helper one of the class periods, I'd just borrow one of their machines and create an SSH tunnel to get to my machine at home, then use x0vncserver to forward the desktop so I could tweak stuff and come back right where I left off. [Not the most efficient way, I know...]

          Anyway, long story short, they don't really notice until I start checking things on my homepage as well; nothing bad or anything, and not even personal stuff, just the Linux-related parts of it that I'd need for the project. So they block it. So I e-mail them, politely asking to unblock it – and just to be sure, I check their censorware program's homepage, and since they've also got it blocked, I e-mail them.

          Couple days later, no response from my own school district – but the censorware people were more than happy to unblock my site.

          Few months later, the district people call a bunch of parent-teacher conferences about the whole thing, saying that I was bypassing their proxy server and "compromising system security" – the ironic part was, I was actually safer doing an SSH tunnel, because it was one-way only and the only machine that would be affected by the fatal typo of doom or whatever would be my own at home. But either way, they don't get their way, so a few days later they actually send their people down to personally yell at me. (Talk about wasting taxpayer dollars – these people apparently have enough free time that they can just drop everything else to come yell at a single student in a school of over 1500. And this is a fairly big school district, so there's other schools, too – but no, they have more of a threat coming from some kid using an SSH tunnel than from all the other would-be hackers visiting porn sites, installing spyware, and posting to MySpace.com. I still don't understand their logic...)

          But, either way, those school district people, even if their intentions are good – you just have to watch out for those guys. They're kind of like the BOFH, really, only they use expulsion and no graduation rather than killing people – they consider it their job to keep the network running smoothly, and if it means kicking people off and expelling them / denying graduation / etc., they'll do it – because they only need to worry about the network, not the people.

          Just a tip from someone who'd know...
          • They're kind of like the BOFH, really, only they use expulsion and no graduation rather than killing people - they consider it their job to keep the network running smoothly, and if it means kicking people off and expelling them / denying graduation / etc., they'll do it - because they only need to worry about the network, not the people.

            Err, yeah... Two things:

            1) If I may gently offer some advice -- being smarter than other people doesn't mean you always have to get your way. I get your technical point,

            • 1) If I may gently offer some advice -- being smarter than other people doesn't mean you always have to get your way. I get your technical point, but it's their network, not yours. Honestly, you'd be wise to learn that lesson now before you have to learn it with much more serious consequences in the future.

              But in this case, it doesn't sound like he did anything out of line. They didn't forbid him to do what he was doing - they suddenly began blocking it as a security threat. He then a note to all the resp

          • I've heard from school network admins that doing a school's IT is the worst. Some teachers don't have the slightest clue on how to even turn on their computer let alone use it, while many students are constantly trying to blackhat the network. In a normal job, you could just get the troublemakers fired, but you can't exactly fire a student for messing around with the network (especially with an apathetic school administration if applicable). Then you have state or local laws requiring crap like nanny sof
          • by Anonymous Coward
            I can sympathise with your position because I have been in one which, at least to me, seemed similar.

            I tend to be a pretty forgetful person, and I do all my work on computer, often so I don't lose anything. I had to email all my home work from home to school and then vice versa each day. However, on a few occasions, I forgot work even though I'd done it, which was rather frustrating. Rather than keep the teacher waiting who wanted to collect all the work in and get the marking done over the weekend, at lunc
            • As you were accessing your own computer, the Computer Misuse Act does not apply. If they had insisted that it did, then all you would have to do is give yourself written permission to remotely access your own computer.
          • They're kind of like the BOFH, really,

            Now, they're worse. The BOFH does have technical expertise.

    • by techfury90 (806273) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @10:22PM (#15511270)
      I go to WHS, so I know about this story. Basically he was running a proxy to allow people to visit banned sites such as MySpace from there, which was its typical use. Every time someone was in the computer lab, you'd see MySpace up via this website.
    • Seems like they are actually trying to be nice about it. The student is providing a proxy server to get around the high schools security. All they have to do is make a rule that if you use a proxy server you are expelled. First they are blocked it and now they are giving the kid a warning. I am shocked that they are being so reasonable about it. Seems simple to me. Just don't try and get around the schools security. If you really want to run a proxy server you can probably do it with no problem. Just never
  • They can block what they want on their network.
    • Agreed.

      The real question here is whether they can do things like prevent his graduation.

      Of course, I agree with one of the other posters that we don't have the whole story here.

    • Yeah, but since when could they block what they wanted OFF their network, by threatening the operator?!!

      I really don't care if this guy was running a proxy to MySpace or child porn or the Christian Coalition. The school system should not have any right to tell him what he can or cannot do with his on equipment, period!

      If he was doing something illegal, then the school system should just contact the police and have them handle it, because at least the police are subject to oversight by the judicial system

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @09:29PM (#15511109) Homepage
    A private school can do that kind of thing. That's why I like them better (among MANY other reasons). That's the way things are.

    But, you said it's a public school. I don't see why a public school can do that. And I'd be willing to wager a large amount of cash he didn't have to sign a "I will not host a web proxy server" document when he started to attend the school.

    So what does he do?

    Sue

    That's all that works these days. If the school administration is going to be like that (note: I'm assuming he just set it up for personal use or something and isn't encouraging other students to use it to break school policy) then they obviously aren't willing to deal with him on this. In such situations (especially with a government institution like a school) a strongly worded nasty-gram from a lawyer will make a world of difference. Indicate you are willing to reach a compromise or something (that you're not just a "Free speech at all costs sue the school for $100,000,000" nut-job and are willing to be reasonable) and I'm sure something will get worked out quickly.

    When faced with a lawsuit, most of the time in the US the person being threatened with the suit will just cave or try to work it out fast, even if they are right (which, in this case, is easily debatable).

    • I wouldn't bother. The government or the school cannot force him to take the site down. The school could withhold his diploma, or proceed with disciplinary action -- that's most likely within their rights. If you really feel strongly about it, you could talk to a lawyer, but it's probably not worth the effort.
      • by jrockway (229604) * <jon-nospam@jrock.us> on Sunday June 11, 2006 @07:02AM (#15512370) Homepage Journal
        > it's probably not worth the effort

        It's definitely worth the effort. My school (not exactly private; IMSA [imsa.edu]) kicked out a number of students for supposed thought crimes. Writing a song about a teacher they didn't like; posting "racist" comments on a private message board from home; etc. I wish someone had the balls to sue them -- I'm sure they would have lost big time.

        Just beacuse you're under 18 doesn't mean you deserve to be considered too dumb / young to have a voice. "First they came for those under 18, then they came for "the terrorists", now they're here for me and nobody is left to speak out." Don't put up with them.

        OTOH, if the OP did something stupid, then they might have a case. Not telling us the details just hurts you in the end.
        • Thought crimes? Grow up. Just try writing a song about a boss you don't like, and see how long it will take for him/her to fire your butt. Same thing goes for racist comments. Out there in the real world, you have to be careful about what you say, how you say it, and who hears it. Otherwise, be prepared for consequences. Sounds like someone learned this lesson the hard way.

          Not to mention, you are talking about a magnet school. Seriously, if you don't like it there, go somewhere else. I'm sure there
          • Thought crimes? Grow up. Just try writing a song about a boss you don't like, and see how long it will take for him/her to fire your butt. Same thing goes for racist comments. Out there in the real world, you have to be careful about what you say, how you say it, and who hears it. Otherwise, be prepared for consequences. Sounds like someone learned this lesson the hard way.

            Been there, done that. Incident #1, I posted a song about my employer's change from a pretty generous bonus policy to an all but no

    • by ceejayoz (567949) <cj@ceejayoz.com> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @11:12PM (#15511423) Homepage Journal
      And I'd be willing to wager a large amount of cash he didn't have to sign a "I will not host a web proxy server" document when he started to attend the school.

      My public school required the signing of an Internet use contract before getting an account on the network. The bit about not doing anything to evade the school's blocking software would certainly apply in this case, and I would be very surprised to hear of a public school that didn't require a similar contract with their students.
      • Yes, and the maximum penalty under that contract is usually not being allowed to use the computer network. They're threatening to not let this guy graduate, which is entirely unreasonable.

        • If you think a public school would restrict itself to revocation of computer privileges for breaking the contract, you haven't been to one. They keep as many punishment options as possible open.
      • Minors can't enter into valid contracts.

        -molo
    • No, but he and/or his parents probably had to sign a computer/internet acceptable use policy for the school. If nothing else, they can get the guy, and by proxy (pun intended) every other student who accessed sites with it. Depending on what the punishment is for violating the schools acceptable use policy, this could work. The fact that he is specifically setting something up to allow for the illegal circumvention of the policy is where they might have a case.

      Think of it like any threat to a school. Su
    • "A private school can do that kind of thing. That's why I like them better (among MANY other reasons)."

      Za friend za friend! You are a real brother to us! The government/private schools needs more power to crack down on these anarchist youth! Viva El Presidente! Fight for your government too!

      (Note: If you wouldn't have said that you like them better because they can do that kind of thing, my post wouldn't have been called to existence. It is one thing that it seems US schools public or private are so aut
      • The biggest problem with schools in the U.S. is that they don't have enough authority. There is very little they can do to punnish a student who has done wrong that isn't actually rewarding them. Detentions are nothing more than after school study hall, in-school suspension is a chance to sit there and not be bothered by teachers, out-of-school suspension is a vacation, and expulsion means you go to a different school where they aren't yet on to your schenanigans. Students know this, and they exploit it
    • note: I'm assuming he just set it up for personal use or something and isn't encouraging other students to use it to break school policy

      So what if he is? The school system still doesn't have the right to punish him for it, because it's still the other students who are breaking the rules by accessing it, not him! He has the Right to Free Speech regardless of the power the school system fascists think they've given themselves, and has done nothing wrong!

  • It's not really the website, it's that you're using a tool to circumvent their filters.

    IANAL, but I don't think they have any legal recourse for shutting down the site, but they can go after you for bypassing the filters.

    Now, if all you're doing is mirroring content, then that's another story. It depends on the content.
    • It's not really the website, it's that you're using a tool to circumvent their filters.

      Yeah, except that he wasn't using that tool (presumably), other students were. He just set it up, and most importantly, did so at home which is outside the jurisdiction of the school!

      If they want to give students detention if they catch them using the proxy at school, I see no problem. However, they're trying to punish this guy for stuff he did at home. And that's something I do have a very large problem with!

  • by scdeimos (632778) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @09:37PM (#15511135)

    There's a whopping huge difference between hosting a web site and hosting a proxy server. To me it sounds like the student hosting the proxy server was doing this to circumvent the school's access controls, so it's a precedent for intent, irrelevent of it being malicious or beneign.

    If the school's network admins had half a brain then all access beyond the border routers would have been deny-by-default, allowing access only from their content-filtering server(s) and mail server(s) thus making this sort of thing impossible to do anyways./p

    • by Lord Kano (13027)
      If this proxy is simply a website with a "Insert Web address here:" field and a "Go" button, it would look like any other website to their routers. Unless you're willing to impose and then troubleshoot a "deny by default" policy on all web traffic, it'll be easy to play cat and mouse with the network admins for quite a long time.

      LK
      • But that's not really a proxy server is it? Trying to implement that sort of functionality in a web page with server-side code is usually a pain due to the requirement of having to rewrite image/embed/object/stylesheet/etc URL's so that those things are accessed through your hacked-up page and not their original addresses (or their now-broken relative URLs), although it is simplified with things like the CFHTTP tag in ColdFusion.

        If the school's content filtering is based purely on domain names then the ab

        • If a proxy server is configured to run on port 80, accessing it would look pretty much like accessing a web server. So what are their filters doing on the ports other than 80? Are they filtering by IP address? Host name? Domain name? URI content? And what are they doing about SSL which many sites now require on the login page? All the filters can know for SSL is what IP address and port the connection is being made to. There are a lot of ways to slip through the filters.

          Hey kids! If you are going

          • by whizistic (33541)
            You'll get all the education you need, just you won't be allowed on the internet. When I worked for a school district, those who had their parents sign the paper got filtered internet access. Those who didn't got intranet access only. Simple active directory groups combined with websense.

            Catching those who used other peoples accounts was trivial the instant two logins to the same username happened (since once someone gives out their password, it spreads like wildfire)

            Catching those who used external SSL pro
      • Actually, the second time it happened the admins (if they had a brain) could set a rule in the acess control software so anyone attempting to access any website containing that exact html code would get either a fake verion that did nothing, or an error page saying that the network was down or any number of approaches.

        but since this student owned the proxy, he still could have played cat an mouse by changing the html code being produced, but that would require having access to the proxy webserver to alter t
  • by technoextreme (885694) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @09:50PM (#15511170)
    What legal rights, if any, can the school use to ban someone from hosting a website? Furthermore, what rights does the U.S. Government have to censor such websites?

    Bah.. There are probably plenty of Supremem Court cases related to this but without being a lawyer it's really hard to draw analogies. The closest argument I can find that seems to make sense is this link to a wikipedia article about public forums.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_forum [wikipedia.org]
    PS. If you really want to find out who is right have your friend take the school to court and bring it all the way to the Supreme Court need be. Then you will really know.
    • So, for example, if you want to protest your child having to go to a biology class on evolution, picketing with signs inside the school is not going to fly. The Principal can force the editor of a school sponsored newspaper to change his editorial. The general rule is that the Public School can take reasonable steps to promote a positive learning environment and enforce discipline relating to those ends. So, banning a privately published student newspaper is unconstitutional, as is forbidding students wh
  • It depends (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @09:51PM (#15511174)
    As others have noted, you haven't told us the whole story, so it depends on that.

    However, even assuming is was real simple, ie kid hosts site, school doesn't like site, school threatens kid, it still depends. What it depends on is if you mean what are they legally allowed to do, or what will they try to do and get away with. Legally they can't deny graduation for things not related to the school itself. That's why things like random drug test are always targeted at peopel who do extracurricular activities. They can make them consent in that case, but to try and say "you do it or you don't graduate" wouldn't work.

    Ok fine, but that doesn't mean they can't TRY to stop him from graduating. They can refuse to issue a diploma, fail him in all his classes, expell him, whatever. When that happens, he then has to fight. If he's in the right he'll win eventually, but the question is one of if it's worth it. Would it be worth potentially putting your life on hold over a website?

    So here's what I'd do, depending on the kind of person he is:

    Just let it go. Who the fuck cares? Take the site down. If he really wants to put it back up, use a registrar that hides personal information as others suggested and ensure it can't be linked to him. Just give in, it's not a fight worth fighting.

    Or, if he's not the give in type, go the revenge route. Your post implies graduation is something happening soon. So leave it alone for now, very soon the school has no say in your lives. When that happens, hit them back. I'm not going to bother listing all the perfectly legal things you could do to give them grief, I'm sure you can figure plenty out.

    Now by the way, if the point of this proxy is to circumvent the school's rules on what you are allowed to access, then yes, they can punish you for that. Next time don't be idiots: Create a front site for it, use SSL and don't fucking tell people about it.
    • Re:It depends (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @02:41AM (#15511881) Journal
      Contrary to what you said Sycraft-fu, we do have the whole story.
      The original [proxy] domain was blocked by the censorship software the school uses, and it was changed a few times to get around this.
      Translation: Someone(s) accessed the proxy from school, the school blocked the domain name, the proxy owner started playing cat & mouse with the domain name.

      Someone(s) were circumventing the "censorship" (how is filtering boobies, at school, censorship?) software and the school wanted it stopped.

      What the school did is emminently reasonable. The owner of the proxy (a student) undoubtedly signed an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) stating that they wouldn't even try to circumvent school filtering software. That's all the school needs to fuck with his graduation.

      The fact that the kid didn't get smacked down the first time (or the second time) that he got caught suggests to me that the IT people were quite willing to let it go. On top of that, the school admin don't want to keep the kid from graduating, they just want him to stop.

      I'm not sure how legit it is to force the kid to take the proxy down, but arguably (and realisticly), requiring that the proxy be taken down seems like the only way to guarantee compliance. (Why they didn't blacklist the proxy IP, we don't know)

      Conclusion: Take it down & be glad they aren't slapping him around for the rule(s) he broke. And if you're going to do something illegal about it, do it while it's still on your juvenile record.
      • No, we don't have the full story. You are inferring what happened. I infer the same thing, but that's assuming facts not stated.
      • What the school did is emminently reasonable.

        I disagree.

        If he made the proxy in order to get around the school's filters, then he (and students who used the proxy) should suffer the penalty laid out in the school's acceptable use contract. If he simply made the proxy for any othe reason, then there should be no penalty whatsoever, lest we allow the schools to dictate what students can and can't do in their private time.

        Now, if he was changing the domain name after the school caught on, that would seem to

      • You have the basis of it. If he did sign or agree to something, then the school is in the right. If he did not sign or agree to something, then he is in the right.

        If anything, the school should go after the students accessing the material the school doesn't allow. Imagine all those students getting suspended. Yeah, that will make the person very unpopular for providing the proxy in the first place.
  • More importantly, how can a High School keep you from graduating if you're not breaking the law?

    If you've completed your core requirements, they can't stop you from graduating...

    • If you stupidly signed that little piece of paper in which you agree not to do certain things (for which there is no law against, otherwise they wouldn't need this piece of paper to be signed) under penalty of not graduating, then yes, they can. So just don't sign it. Then they have nothing but what the law requires or prohibits of you or them. So just obey they law after you refuse to sign the paper and thus you give them no basis to deny you an education or to graduate if you complete the requirements

    • That assumes that the only requirements for graduation are core requirements. Might there not be others? How many of us actually sat down and looked at exactly what it is we need to graduate? Perhaps my school counselor only talked to us about the core requirements because most people have no problem with the non-core requirements.
  • I don't understand why the actions of a school board has anything to do with the U.S. Government.
  • by delirium of disorder (701392) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @10:17PM (#15511255) Homepage Journal
    Public schools should not use in school punishments for actions one takes outside of school. However, American school boards don't care much for the constitution. Administration views anyone who fights censorship and helps kids learn freely as more threatening then any violent offender. Your fried is lucky he wasn't expelled for running a proxy like I was. [textfiles.com] People concerned with these issues should get involved with peacefire [peacefire.org].
    • Hmm. If matters are that bad in American schools maybe the students should start employing cryptography - maybe by communicating via encrypted files or, more low-tech, exchange slips of paper with messages encrypted using a simple to remember cipher. Another way of keeping the messages secure could be the use of a non-standard alphabet, maybe a variant of the Alphabetum Maldeorum [wikipedia.org].

      If the teachers don't trust the students enough to let them speak freely then ahy should the students trust the teachers enough
    • by chazzf (188092) <cfulton AT deepthought DOT org> on Sunday June 11, 2006 @10:16AM (#15512709) Homepage Journal
      The absence of the mod (-1, Incorrect) remains a consistent source of frustration. I suspect the main reason this individual is in hot water is the rampant abuse of his school's Acceptable Use Policy. This isn't a free-speech issue, it's a network-usage issue. Unless you think all AUPs are worthless and should be ignored.
    • Public schools should not use in school punishments for actions one takes outside of school. However, American school boards don't care much for the constitution.

      You mean the Constitution written by folks accustomed to and accepting of corporal punishment for trivial schoolkid hijinks? The Founding Fathers would likely be quite surprised at the extreme leniency of modern schools.

      Apparently this school board feels they have failed their task of instructing this student how not to be an ass. Not graduating
  • by RingDev (879105) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @10:25PM (#15511279) Homepage Journal
    they are only as good as the legal battle that ensues.

    Can a public school force a student to shut down a web site (even a site designed to circumvent the school's security)? No. Can the student be expelled for violating the school's computer use agreement? Yes.

    If the school says shut it down or you won't graduate, the answer is to sue. The only reason why that "we won't let you graduate" arguement holds any weight is because students and their parents allow it to. Of course, challanging a school on that can get messy. If you remove their ability to threaten graduation, the only tools they have left (the correct ones!) are suspention and expulsion.

    I got busted in high school also, with two of my friends. This was back in '95 or '96. To make matters worse, my father was the IT director for the school district. Luckily, I had a chance to clean up my tracks a bit prior to being busted (my friends were busted earlier in the day, and as I'm sure you are aware, news travels fast in HS). Both of them were suspended from school for a few days and we all lost our network access for the rest of the school year. We had to work on laptops or independant work stations the rest of the year.

    So in short, he can keep his site, but he has to face the concequences of his actions. If the school makes a deal with him, shut down the site and we will drop any threat of non-graduation or expulsion, I'd say take it.

    -Rick
  • It was pretty obvious that it existed only for the use of students of my high school. It was a CGIProxy running over HTTPS (so it was harder for them to use their usual filtering technique with SmartFilter). It was restricted so that only users from the school's IP address could use it (they used NAT). In its most popular/stable year, it lasted from September until March before the IP was blocked. I changed the IP address & DNS entry (I had a /29), and that lasted for about a month. At that point,
    • They did, however, threaten in private to the site's creators to take away the next band Disney World trip if the site was not taken down. (It was down the next day.)


      That puts the school in a very legal grey area. I very much suggest consulting a lawyer.
      • Well, this happened a few years ago... ...and how is it a grey area? The school band program is not required to take a trip to Disney World. They said they were going to
        cancel the trip completely if the website wasn't taken down. Since the next trip was still 2 or 3 years away at that time, the next trip was not announced, planned, scheduled, or booked in any way. I doubt the Disney trip was codified by the school board or anything like that, so I don't see why the band directors would be obligated to o
  • Grow up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285)
    First, public shool is paid for by public dollars for the express purpose of encouraging students to engage in activities that build the mind of said student. As such there are experiences that are considered to be of of a net benifit to the student, and therefore are encouraged, or at least allowed, and activities that are of little or no net benift, and therefore are prohbited. For instance, socialization is of a benifit to student, therefore social intercourse is allowed and encouraged. OTOH, sexual i
    • Re:Grow up (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hahafaha (844574) *
      The question is not whether or not the school can block the website. They have full right to do that, and this is largely not disputed. What *is* disputed, is whether or not they can threaten him for running the proxy while not in school. The anwer is no, as far as I know, because he runs it outside of the school's power. Thus, while he is outside of the school's power, the fact that he is a student is irrelevant. It would be the same as them threatening a random person who has nothing to do with the school
      • I severely doubt that they can do that, because that is an extension of school power outside of school grounds. They couldn't make that ammendment any more than they could make an ammendment to their policy stating that you have to wear a tutu every Saturday night.

        It's a matter of overreaching their authority. The school has a say on school grounds and on school related activities (i.e. field trips and bus rides home). The school does not have authority over what a kid does in their house. If the kid is
    • There isn't any insight here, just a semi-literate mess that isn't worth the trouble to deconstruct.

      Using a "bringing a gun to school" analogy for an action that didn't take place on campus... whoever modded this up should apologize to the community for stupidity.

      "Fermion", you should devote your efforts to getting an education for yourself from whatever middle school you are attending and not commenting on subjects you don't appear to know anything about based on your post.

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      For instance, socialization is of a benifit to student, therefore social intercourse is allowed and encouraged. OTOH, sexual incourse is not so schools do not provide bedroom for student to penetrate each other, and in fact try to discourage such acts.

      Sez you! Soon after graduating highschool, I was very embarassed by how klutzy I was at unhooking a bra by touch alone (no peeking). No man should be allowed to graduate without at least some sort of training or experience with that.

  • is keep the proxy down, for the rest of the year watch your p's and q's graudate, and forget it ever happened. If they're not going to put it on your record then you should be okay for college too. BUT, if you do to go to college, I wouldn't try this shit there. It's a little more serious there where it can and will haunt you the rest of your career life.

    Oh and the paypal link on the site. That's nice.
  • I had a friend in HS who also hosted a proxy. Before he was in my school, I used to use I think diebess or bessswatter proxy or something like that to get past the bess web content blocker (damn bitch *bess's logo is a dog*). I told him about it, he put one up for himself, and gave me the address he was using so I could use it too since I gave him the idea.
  • by EvilMagnus (32878) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @11:56PM (#15511538)
    Find a lawyer, file a lawsuit and find out.

    Chances are the District will settle for enough money for you to pay for college. As far as I know, schools have very little say in what you do when you're not at school, so long as it's not illegal.

    Now, they could probably say "don't go to that proxy during school hours, from school computers," and they'd probably be on good ground. But to ask you to take the proxy down or not graduate? Ground less stable, methinks.

    But as I said; find a lawyer, file suit, find out. Let us know how it goes!

  • The Insiders Story (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Opsive (948514)
    I figured that since I was the previous lead webmaster for WakefieldHS.net (just graduated today!) and know (almost) the whole story behind this, I have to comment.

    I first saw the proxy [wakefieldhs.org] that WakefieldHS-students is referring to over a month ago. In order to use the proxy you had to create an account. I never actually used the proxy, but I saw numerous people using it. The most viewed site by far was Myspace, I never did see anybody looking at porn on it but it probably happened.

    Anyways, after it go
  • by Associate (317603) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @12:57AM (#15511667) Homepage
    Couldn't wait to get home to update your myspace account?
    They blocked Fark where I work for pornographic reasons. You know what I do? I wait til I get home.
    Face it. You got caught. You should have given up the first time. Repeatedly moving it just makes you look guilty. Guilty of what? Not running a proxy. Guilty of using school resources inappropriately. See http://www.wcpss.net/Technology/pdf/6446.pdf [wcpss.net] I think anyone who reads it will agree that regarless of their support of the rules or lack there of, you did in fact break the rules. Better you learn now at an early age there are consequences for your actions. You can't disregard rules you don't like and expect nothing negative to happen to you. Wait until you get to college. No one there will give a rats ass about you. You will be expected to do things you don't like. When you fail, you fail you, not some well meaning underpaid teacher. Best thing you could do right now is admit to your mistake and suck up the consequences.
    • They blocked Fark where I work for pornographic reasons. You know what I do? I wait til I get home.

      You know what's even worse? I'm a public school teacher, and they block Slashdot at my school because it's a "message board". You know what I do? Read reddit [reddit.com] and (gasp!) sometimes Digg (neither of which are blocked... yet) during my conference period, and catch up on Slashdot when I get home. I can't even check my personal email from school. BFD.

      Let's all repeat after me, class: blocking your access

  • Contact the ACLU (Score:3, Informative)

    by DerKlempner (249063) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:02AM (#15512024) Homepage
    Fifteen years ago, my best friend was in a similar situation. Two weeks until graduation and a suspension rolls in for distributing our homemade "newspaper." The suspension was a temporary punishment while the school tried to start expulsion hearings based on the fact that the school faculty didn't like what was printed in the newspaper. We contacted the ACLU and immediately had a representative at the school's expulsion hearing. The school didn't like to hear an ACLU lawyer telling them how they were going to be sued for denying two constitutional rights of free speech and free press. Three days after the initial suspension, my friend was back in school and went on to graduate.

    The events weren't even placed in his school records.

    If you think the school is trying to quash the rights of free speech and ideas, then by all means contact your local ACLU representatives. They'll help you fight against the the school's attempts to punish you if it's unconstitutional.
  • by gozar (39392) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @09:55AM (#15512665) Homepage
    1) If they accept e-rate funding, the district is required to have a board approved acceptable use policy, which is signed by the staff, students, and parents. This AUP usually spells out things you are not allowed to do, and are written so that bypassing the filtering would fall under the no hacking policy.

    2) Filtering is required by the CIPA.

    3) School districts can punish students for things students have done on their own time on their own equipment if it disrupts school activities. For example, if a student puts up a website with negative info about a teacher, but no one goes to it, then the school can't punish the student. If the student puts up negative info about a teacher and everyone in the district is visiting the website during the school day, then the school district can take action.

    In this case, if it was disruptive in school, then the district can punish the student, including not allowing them to participate in commencement activities.
  • If he's in trouble for using the school's computers to access the proxy, then it makes sense. The submitter makes it sound like he's in trouble for something he did with his own computer (or a rented colo like Linode, or whatever), though, and obviously it's inappropriate for a school's Acceptable Use Policy to regulate when someone does on their own hardware.

    The submitter might be tricking us, though. It sure smells like it. I bet the guy got in trouble for using the proxy from school, rather than for

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