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Austin schoolteacher who didn't believe Linux existed

From linuxlock:

A teacher in Austin who threatened to report a local free-Linux-machines charity to the police because "there's no such thing as free software" and they had therefore deceived the student she caught distributing Linux disks in class.

The teacher sent an email to the blog, which sparked this whole incident.

The teacher's initial email: (Thanks, gmoon!)

After confiscating the disks I called a confrence 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. I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older verison of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them...

Original Article which started the situation

New Article that clears things up

Picture of Austin schoolteacher who didn't believe Linux existed
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bounty10128 years ago
Lol, the only operating system I will ever use is either Windows Xp or the new windows 8.0
Windows 8.0?! Damn, I've only just got used to the idea of 7 - is this beta? L
Lolz I cant remember what number it was it was eitther 7.0, 8.0 or 9.0
(I think it's 7 actually)
Keith-Kid (author)  lemonie8 years ago
The future is now....
KentsOkay8 years ago
Austin Texas Austin?
I will deal with this miscreant accordingly, show them the Bliss that is Mac...
Kiteman8 years ago
Fortunately, though, after a horrendous, over-the-top reaction from the slash-dot community, the facts have been set in place, and four days after the original blog-post, the blogger is apologising for setting the whole mess in motion.

Because of one blog-post about one teacher who was ignorant of one fact that didn't affect her professional approach or her ability as a teacher, an entire profession got dragged through the mire for a few days, and mud sticks, especially when many of the commentators will not have bothered to check the facts, and then not checked back later for developments.

*I too would have confiscated discs a child was handing out during a lesson and telling their friends to put on any computers they use, and I would also have been sceptical about the motives involved (the software might be free, but discs aren't, and it's quite possible that the discs were deliberately infected with something, or contained unsuitable material). I wouldn't have contacted the police without checking first, but that's a minor quibble, since any teacher has to treat as suspicious an adult handing out free discs to minors.
That and schools are very tetchy about security on computers, usually from fear of explicit material scarring someone, we have an issue in tech with it all, our macs are barely surviving because they are now connected to a server across town, which is a bad plan for trying to run demanding video editing software and it's probably killing their servers, now we keep losing work as the machines suddenly wet themselves and they keep babbling about security issues, more so because there are students as young as 15 on the machines at some points and special needs classes are occasionally run. I have strong enough opinions on the way those classes are run as it is, a teacher actually told me how nasty I was because I had an intelligent conversation with a guy in the class one day, which was sickening, both of us were doing photoshop and were teaching eachother different tricks in it and discussing general stuff, apparently unless the class is molly coddled and patronised they'll never learn
Just this year my old middle school banned flash drives(well, at least the head computer teacher did) because another, less convenient, way of transferring files between home and school has been found. My high school has also banned them but I do not know if this is the first year that they are banned.
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