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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.

I went down to tell ... the vice principal and she wasn't there, so I was like, 'OK I'll catch her toward the end of the day.' I went back to the lunch room and talked to them. I was really worried and I said, 'I don't know what to do with it. I keep popping the little Xs, but more come back.' And [a teacher] said, 'Make sure you tell somebody by the end of the day.'

At the end of the day, I ran into [the vice principal] and I told her, 'Hey did you hear?' and she said, 'Yes I did. Don't worry about it. See you tomorrow.'

IDGNS: So there was never anything pornographic?

Amero: [The prosecution] said there was one site visited, where there was a thumb-sized picture of oral sex.

IDGNS: So they found one picture of oral sex on the computer, but you didn't see that?

Amero: No.

IDGNS: When did this become a criminal case then? Because what you're describing doesn't seem that bad.

Amero: I worked for a couple of days after this incident. It took two or three days. I finally got called down to the principal's office. He sat me down, shut the door and said, 'What is this?' And he showed me a list on paper of a bunch of sites. And I don't know what they were.

So anyway, he gave me a ration of shit and he said, 'You're going to go home and you're not subbing for a while.'

That night he called me at home and said I wasn't working for that school anymore. He said, 'Right now, we just can't have you here. The kids are talking about the sites in the classroom. They peeked and they saw a few things, and we can't have that. And a couple of parents called and they were kind of upset about the kids seeing things in the classroom.'

A couple of days go by and I never get anymore phone calls about [substitute teaching]. Then all of a sudden, the police called. They asked me to come down and give a statement. They told me when I went in that I was going to be arrested for 10 counts of risk of injury. They just took my picture and said, 'See ya.'

IDGNS: How did you feel?

Amero: I was numb. I was like, 'What is going on?' I had no idea.

We came home and then the fun began. All the news people showed up on my front lawn and we got a lawyer.

IDGNS: Why do you think you were initially convicted on these charges?


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