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Being Julie Amero

Robert McMillan | Nov. 27, 2008
If there's a poster child for the dangers of spyware, it's Julie Amero.

Julie Amero: I went into the classroom and the regular teacher was there, Matt Napp. He was on the computer and I talked to him about the work for the day and I asked him if I could use his computer at some point. I wanted to e-mail my husband because he had just taught me how to e-mail and was on a business trip.

He [Matt Napp] was like, 'Yeah, it's all logged on for you; you're all set to go. But don't turn it off because you have to do attendance and this and that with the computers.' And I was like, 'Sure, I'm going to run to the ladies' room before class starts.' When I came back he had left, and there were two kids sitting at the computer, which was at the side of the teacher's desk.

I looked at the screen and it was kids looking at hair sites -- red and green spiky hairdos -- it was no big deal. I started my day and did attendance. Some of the kids were talking and giggling. They were glancing toward the computer which was not facing them, it was facing the window which looked out to a courtyard, and I looked and things were popping up on the screen that were inappropriate. And I knew no better than to, the little tiny box on the right hand corner, click it off. And every time I clicked it, more came.

IDGNS: What was on the screen?

Amero: Little itty bitty tiny pictures of sites: Viagra sites, sex enhancement creams, women in lingerie, things of that sort. Nothing lewd.

IDGNS: So no pornography?

Amero: No.

IDGNS: Was there nudity?

Amero: There was no nudity. There were sites listed. And the things they said [in court] I clicked on and went and looked at have been proven that they never were clicked on and looked at. The things that were on there were just inappropriate things to be looked at in a classroom; Victoria's Secret kind of stuff, you know.

IDGNS: So what did you do?

Amero: There was a woman in the classroom; she was an aid that helped with a little girl who was deaf. I actually asked her if she'd watch the classroom because something was going on with the computer, and she said, 'That's not my job.' So I had to actually sit there, and I was pretty peeved that she would not watch the class.

So I had to wait until my break and at breaktime I ran, literally ran through the halls to the teachers' lounge. There were four teachers in the room ... and then the art teacher said, 'You know what, you should probably let someone in the office know.'


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