A teacher in Austin sent an angry, accusatory email to a local Linux collective ("HeliOS Project, which builds and provides Linux computers to disadvantaged or 'exceptionally promising' students") accusing them of piracy for distributing the free operating system and excoriating them for encouraging her students to do the same. She threatened to have the group's organizer investigated by the police, too.
...observed one of my students with a group of other children gathered around his laptop. Upon looking at his computer, I saw he was giving a demonstration of some sort. The student was showing the ability of the laptop and handing out Linux disks. After confiscating the disks I called a confrence [sic] with the student and that is how I came to discover you and your organization.
Mr. Starks, I am sure you strongly believe in what you are doing but I cannot either support your efforts or allow them to happen in my classroom. At this point, I am not sure what you are doing is legal. No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful.
These children look up to adults for guidance and discipline. I will research this as time allows and I want to assure you, if you are doing anything illegal, I will pursue charges as the law allows. Mr. Starks, I along with many others tried Linux during college and I assure you, the claims you make are grossly over-stated and hinge on falsehoods. I admire your attempts in getting computers in the hands of disadvantaged people but putting linux on these machines is holding our kids back.
This is a world where Windows runs on virtually every computer, and putting on a carnival show for an operating system is not helping these children at all.
The HeliOS organizer kind of goes off the rails in his response, implying that the teacher's been brainwashed by her union to support Microsoft because they get donations from Microsoft. I think it's more likely that she just doesn't know what the hell she's talking about and has received umpty-million "piracy is terrorism" messages from the school board and the BSA.
AISD Teacher Throws Fit Over Student's Linux CD
(Thanks, Chris, Jessica, and Doug!)
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