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Salem Teachers Recorded Unknowingly In Classroom

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
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SALEM (CBS) — The latest technology has some elementary school students in Salem in the hot seat.

The students were reportedly taping their teachers in the classroom without their knowledge, which is a violation of state law.

Even the youngest of students probably have a cell phone tucked away in their school back pack these days. And those phones and other technology can do all kinds of things including record audio and video without anyone knowing it.

The issue came up recently when a parent played an audio recording for the superintendent of schools. The recording was made in a classroom by a student, and the teacher did not know about it.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports.

The superintendent became very concerned when a second student at a different elementary school did the exact same thing.

William Cameron told WBZ-TV, “I think it was ill advised what was going on there. I think students and parents should know we think this is a very serious matter and we will not tolerate this.”

“The fact of the matter is, it is a felony and in Massachusetts it is punishable by a five year prison sentence and or a $10,000 fine,” said Paul Tucker, Salem Police Chief.

Cameron said, “I do think parents need to be keenly aware of what is permissible in a school setting with this type of technology.”

Outside the Bates Elementary School in Salem parents say technology makes it very easy to break the law.

One young mother pointed out “in school the kids have every kind of media. They have cell phones, iPods and you never know if they are on of they are off.”

Another mother said, “I don’t think it is right. They should not have that technology in the schools with them anyway. And the parents should not be sending them with it.”

At Salem’s elementary schools cell pones are only supposed to be used for one purpose at the end of the day. And that is to make a phone call.

The Superintendent is the one who made these incidents public. Cameron tells WBZ-TV that parents should never encourage their kids to do this.

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