The tragedy of Julie Amero (here) has finally come to an end. The substitute teacher accused of showing pornography to her middle school class, in which a series of incompetent computer experts and overzealous prosecutors tried to claim that the pornography that appeared on the school computer browser was deliberately viewed. In reality the computer was infected with a browser hijack or other form of malware nastiness that launched a flood of porn pop-ups. There was an outpouring of support and some technical folks like Alex Eckleberry, who led an effort to prove that Julie was innocent of the charges (here), tried to provide free technical services to the defense. Julie was finally offered a plea bargain, and although it isn’t a complete dismissal of charges, as she deserves, at least it is over.
This afternoon, at an empty Norwich Superior Court, Julie pled to the misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, in a deal negotiated by her pro-bono attorney, William Dow.
Her fine was a $100 charge, and her Connecticut teaching credentials are revoked (Julie told me she really doesn’t care, that she has no plans ever to teach in that state again).
One can’t help but think about the injustice that she had to suffer and realize that this can happen to anybody. There is so much that the legal systems doesn’t understand about techology and, unfortunately, we should expect more of these cases.