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Student Given Detention For Using Firefox [UPDATED]

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the teacher-actually-an-opera-fanatic dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 818

An anonymous reader writes "Several sites are reporting that a student has been given detention for using Firefox to do his classwork. No, really. The student was in class, working on an assignment that necessitated using a browser. The teacher instructed him to stop using Firefox and to do his classwork, to which the student responded that he was doing his classwork using a 'better' browser (it is unclear whether the computer was the student's own computer or not). The clueless teacher (who called the rogue program 'Firefox.exe') ordered him to detention." Update: 12/17 20:09 by SM One of the school officials was nice enough to contact us and let us know this is a hoax. If you are planning on calling the school please refrain from doing so, I'm sure they have had enough excitement for one day.

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SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728374)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
student given A+ for using goatse [goatse.ch]

OSS is evil. (4, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728380)

The teacher was right. We have to stop this communism right here, right now!

Re:OSS is evil. (3, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728610)

The teacher was right.

Well, the teacher was right... and wrong.

First, the teacher was wrong for not knowing what FireFox (FoxFire) is. Any teacher with a computer in the classroom should have AT LEAST that level of knowledge.

Second, the teacher was right in assigning detention. The teacher is in charge and has the right to tell the students what they can and can't run on school computers. If a student is running an application and the teacher tells the student to close it, the student needs to close it, period, end of story. It's no different in the real world. If an IT director tells you shut down Cain&Able, you can get fired if you don't. It doesn't matter that the IT director doesn't know what Cain&Able is.

Re:OSS is evil. (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728718)

I don't the teacher should have the right to say what they can and can't run on school computers as that is up to IT people for the school. What you needed some new peice of software to get your work down and that one teacher dose not know about it?

And the IT director thing sounds like a PHB story and if you do that you have to cover your ass when things hit the fan so you don't get the blame.

authority figure is a moron (-1, Flamebait)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728782)

In the military, A commanding officer can order you to drop your pants and shoot yourself in the left testicle too but you have the right to disobey. Especially if the order is stupid, immoral, without merit or could get you into trouble. On always has the right to disobey when the authority figure is a moron.. such is the case here.

Re:OSS is evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728712)

This happened in my home town down south, east of the mississippi [myminicity.com]

detention for disobedience (3, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728382)

It appears the infraction was probably closer to being for disobeying the teacher than for using Firefox. While it exposes an interesting deficiency in the general knowledge of educators about browser technology, it isn't necessarily their specialty. (We don't know if this was some proxy of a teacher who was unaware of options for browsers.)

Without any more information, this is merely a potential story... I wouldn't bother sending e-mails to the school. You may want to consider first:

  • did this student have a history of infractions?
  • was the student explaining his choice as a better browser as a canard?
  • was the assignment specifically geared toward, or requiring of IE?
  • was the firefox browser installed as an option and available, or,
  • did the student download and install without authorization?

Re:detention for disobedience (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728498)

No surprise here, US schools have become so much about teaching to the test that kids are being taught not to think, but just blindly, mindlessly obey. No wonder there haven't been any sound leaders coming from the US this generation... because no one is learning how to think for themselves, think critically, and do what is right even when it conflicts with doing what you're told. Even Hollywood is in on it - try watching Dead Poet's Society sometime...

Re:detention for disobedience (1)

Nicholas Bishop (1004153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728548)

Why would you take into account whether the student has a history of infractions? You don't discipline a person more just because they've caused you trouble in the past. As for the rest, if the student put Firefox on IE-only machines, it doesn't matter whether he had authorization; he did them a favor, period. Think schools, not prisons.

Re:detention for disobedience (1)

CriminalNerd (882826) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728678)

IIRC, it is common, and socially accepted, to hand out a heavier punishment to a student who has more infractions (ie: tardiness) than to a student who has, say, maybe one or two (ie: one late day).

re: detention for disobedience (1)

ed.han (444783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728704)

if the student put firefox on IE-only machines, it does matter what account he was using and whether he had admin rights. in a lot of user environments, your average user is not given the rights to install new software and whether it's stupid or not, it's the admin's right to make that decision for that environment. in a classroom, it would in fact make sense that the desktops be locked down to preclude bandwidth-abuse (MP3s, etc) or prevent "adult" site viewing, which would expose the school to liability in legal action, etc.

ed

Re: detention for disobedience (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728798)

you can run firefox off of a usb key and it does not need to write to the HDD.

Also some school use stuff like deep freeze to lock down the systems. Some software may need admin to work and deep freeze just lets reboot the system to make it go back to where it was when you booted it up.

Re:detention for disobedience (2, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728554)

This is an apology for authoritarianism - assuming innocence on the part of authority, and granting benefits of doubt to their actions while also itemising possible hypothitical infractions by the accused.

That is how fascism is apologised.

Re:detention for disobedience (5, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728732)

his is an apology for authoritarianism - assuming innocence on the part of authority, and granting benefits of doubt to their actions while also itemising possible hypothitical infractions by the accused.

Uh, no. I expect Authority to be... well, in charge. Imagine that. Should the students be allowed to install and run anything they want on school computers? Can you do that at YOUR job?

That is how fascism is apologised.

Blow it out your ass. Just because someone is in charge, in this case a teacher in charge of the classroom, doesn't mean that the school is fascist.

Re:detention for disobedience (1)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728740)

This sounds like a lesson in the "bullying style" of authority. "I am the teacher, you shall do my bidding unquestioningly or face my punishment" is a lesson where it doesn't matter if it's over browsers, flavor of soda, or color of socks.

Not that I don't universally find that sort of "authority figure" to be an abominable example of humanity. There are much better ways to teach, and many better lessons to learn. But sometimes a butt-head teacher will think he's doing the student a favor by "teaching" the lesson of not questioning authority. (They are always wrong.)

Re:detention for disobedience (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728602)

You really need to stop trying to be reasonable.
The Student was told twice to close Firefox and use IE.
He should have just fired up IE.

Re:detention for disobedience (2, Insightful)

Alastor187 (593341) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728616)

I think your points are valid, but since teachers aren't experts on web browsing technology should they just close their mind to anything they don't understand? The bigger question I am asking is, why cannot teachers learn from students everyone once a while? So maybe for the next assignment students could be given the option of using IE or Firefox depending on their comfort level.

Re:detention for disobedience (5, Funny)

Hes Nikke (237581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728644)

this is slashdot, we don't use logic here. for that you need to go to.... um... not the internet!

Re:detention for disobedience (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728702)

You forget that now "A history of Disobedience" means "The student has thought outside the box". I remember reading a letter sent home by a teacher that basically said "I've given this student detention because I made a mistake in class and the student corrected me" and proceeded to rant about how, despite showing the teacher in the book that they were wrong, the student should have simply "obeyed"

Re:detention for disobedience (5, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728722)

I work at a school district in IT, and I can assure you that some (too many) teachers can barely teach, let alone manage to run a classroom with computers.

I would love to require all teachers who want to use computers have to attend a class on computers in the classroom by someone like me who can explain the technology and what it can do (and not do) in the classroom.

However, I can equally assure you that the Teacher's Union is so high on itself that it wouldn't allow having a non-teacher teaching anything, let alone other teachers. There is this underlying current of elitism in many teachers.

Suffice it to say, I doubt that 85% of the teachers using computers in the classroom know anything more than "Click the Start Menu" type instruction, and if it isn't Microsoft ________ it isn't used. Period. Firefox isn't Microsoft, so it isn't used, and teachers don't know about it.

I don't know if I should blame the teachers or not. However, this teacher was running the classroom properly. The student had no right to change the instruction of the teacher (even if the student was correct). I know that managing a classroom of people is hard enough without having some rogue student thinking they know better. Even if Firefox is a better browser (it is), that doesn't give the student the right to vary from the instruction (use IE).

One last thing, the last thing I want on computers I manage is students downloading and installing whatever programs they think they want onto computers. If they want to use a program they need to request it through the proper channels. If I caught a student installing software on a computer without permission, I'd recommend they be expelled, regardless of what they were installing. Its not their computer.

Re:detention for disobedience (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728726)

It's a school, not the army. Students are entitled to make the most efficient educational use possible of computers purchased by thousands of tax dollars their parents pay per year. The only restriction is that such use must not interfere with education of other students. Hence no breaking installed educational software, no hogging network resources, no accessing/changing grades, no installing games that will unduly tempt others to slack off during classes. However, installing Firefox is well within educational use. It can make the student more productive with tabbed browsing and download manager. It can also enable him/her to do research using search engines without exposing school systems to malware or being bothered with porno popups.

Re:detention for disobedience: Befehl ist Befehl! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728728)

Jawohl: Befehl ist befehl!
That's why we all love the Americans,
especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This school educates for stupidity.
Students shouldn't use their own brains,
just follow orders to become valuable
members of society?

Re:detention for disobedience (2, Interesting)

lazarus corporation (701348) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728730)

these are all possibilities, but since none of these are mentioned in the teacher's letter [wordpress.com] linked to in TFA then we can dismiss them.

If the kid had a history of infractions then the teacher should have mentioned it in the letter. Likewise if the kid was being a smart-arse in his explanation the teacher should have (and would have) mentioned it. And the same applies to the other 3 points you made.

However the teacher made none of these points in his letter - judging by the teacher's side of the argument (given in the letter) the teacher just didn't know what he was talking about.

Re:detention for disobedience (1)

ducatier (669395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728750)

"While it exposes an interesting deficiency in the general knowledge of educators about browser technology," Not only browser technology, but all computer technology. My wife is a teacher and in College (at a well respected University) she took "Technology for Teachers," the only computer class required for education majors, this class consisted of learning how to open MS office products. The did not go into any detail other than changing fonts and saving. It's unfortunate but most of her colleagues including the computer teacher have to ask my wife for help.

Ah. (5, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728384)

I think we can all safely jump to conclusions here and make some truly insane comments - GO!

Re:Ah. (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728422)

Clearly the teacher was on cocaine. -Taylor

Re:Ah. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728466)

You're right! It's obvious that the teacher in question is actually a super-secret spy working for Microsoft. They are trying to stamp out Firefox usage at all levels, even amongst school children! Everyone should be using IE, in their view, and they'll stop at nothing, even planting "teachers" in classrooms to make their message known!

Re:Ah. (2, Funny)

Praedon (707326) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728624)

Clearly this teacher is the sister of the cousin of the butcher of the brother of the nephew of the aunt of the brother of the friend of the half brother of the sister-in-law of the cousin of the friend of the friend of Bill Gates....

Re:Ah. (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728664)

Thank you. You do me proud, all of you.

Re:Ah. (1)

h.ross.perot (1050420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728660)

Jump to Conclusions? Insert Office Space jokes .. here GO!

Goodness me, what superb teaching skills (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728392)

What an inspiring role model for the next generation. I bet that in 40 years' time that kid's telling their grandchildren the story... "Yes, I never will forget old Mrs Wilkins, heh! heh!"

Well, naturally (5, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728404)

Our schools are supposed to teach discipline, which most people think means following the rules. As Stephen Colbert says, if the rules were logical then they wouldn't be learning respect for the rules, they'd be learning logic.

Re:Well, naturally (2, Insightful)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728694)

Absolutely. We should teach or children to blindly respect the rules, even when those rules are illogical.

Yay for communism.

</sarcasm>

Re:Well, naturally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728736)

if the rules were logical then they wouldn't be learning respect for the rules, they'd be learning logic.

As funny as that is, there is an issue of scope involved. Something that seems very logical to someone who is keenly aware of the "big picture" may seem downright irrational to someone who only knows a subset of the consequences and of who those consequences will impact.

Or, in simpler terms, stupid people need to be taught to respect the laws that are made by smart people because the stupid people are too stupid to understand WHY the laws are logical, and deserving of respect.

Of course, it is also true that many laws are outright stupid, having been made by people who either themselves did not see the big picture, or who are serving the wrong master (e.g., a handful of wealthy people rather than the majority of the country's population), so it is still true that laws should be scrutinized and the bad ones should be rejected.

My point is just that Colbert's take on the situation is an oversimplification...and it comes with a harmful suggestion: "if the law seems illogical to you, then don't bother respecting it," rather than, "if the law seems illogical to you, make darn sure you are aware of the full scope of its impact before you go about breaking it."

Re:Well, naturally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728790)

Well Kemosobee, it's not the schools responsibility to teach discipline, that's the responsibility of the parents (in which outsiders like the ACLU medal in). Look, it does sound like the kid tried to get smart with the teacher, although I do agree with the kid about the browser being the better one, so maybe he deserves detention. We don't really know the whole story.

Some things never change (5, Funny)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728416)

Haha, reminds me of how I got yelled at by an irate "computer-science" teacher ages ago, for breaking a monitor (ie. turning it off with the big red power button on the front)

Re:Some things never change (1)

coolGuyZak (844482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728562)

Didn't I tell you to NOT press the big red button!!!!

at least not opera (4, Funny)

Soleen (925936) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728424)

I wonder would he get an A from music teacher for using Oepra?

so what? (5, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728434)

He was told to use IE, didn't, teacher noticed, told him to use firefox, he mouthed off back to the teacher. Got punished. Nothing to see here.

Headline is a bit sensationalist.

Re:so what? (2, Insightful)

tannhaus (152710) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728508)

Exactly. The issue here wasn't whether Firefox would work or not. The issue here was he was told not to use it and refused to comply.

There really is no difference here between this and a student saying "No, I've decided I'm not going to get on the school bus to go to the field trip. I met this awesome guy in the bathroom of the mall and I'm going with him in his car instead".

Re:so what? (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728582)

Exactly. The issue here wasn't whether Firefox would work or not. The issue here was he was told not to use it and refused to comply.
And you should always do what you're told, even if it sounds like, or is, not the best option? Baaaa, I will obey, baaaa.

Re:so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728734)

I imagine with this attitude you were in detention a lot as well :-p

Re:so what? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728656)

No. These two examples aren't remotely similar.

Refusing to use IE is much like refusing to eat your vegetables before your meat at lunchtime.

This sort of mindless follower mentality is why like directives regarding what order to eat your lunch in even get considered.

What's the Problem? (2, Funny)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728662)

No, I've decided I'm not going to get on the school bus to go to the field trip. I met this awesome guy in the bathroom of the mall and I'm going with him in his car instead


...but, some of my best field trips started like that!

Re:so what? (1)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728706)

This may be the first and only time that Firefox has ever been compared to a child abductor. Bravo, sir.

Re:so what? (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728754)

"There really is no difference here"

A more apt comparison would be the student getting a ballpoint pen and being told to use the fountain pen that will regularly place inkblots on the paper, forcing him to start over.

I mean, what kind of workers would we end up with in the future if we teach kids to adopt more effient means of production. I mean, sheesh, soon we'd be using tractors instead of manually plowing the fields. How could we keep employment up?

Re:so what? (3, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728628)

Nothing to see here.

Except maybe why public schools are having such a hard time of it in the first place. A reasonable teacher might have said, "Interesting -- tell me more about it after class, but for now, stick with the other browser." This teacher, in contrast, played a power game and probably did more to undermine his authority in the classroom than reinforce it.

Re:so what? (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728676)

Umm, despite the typo in your message (the teacher told him "NOT to use Firefox"), I disagree that this is a simple case of "nothing to see here".

This is SOMETHING to see and take note of. I have friends studying to go into education right now, and they tell me the trend is moving towards teaching kids to be critical thinkers. Question authority when what you're told runs counter to what you've already learned.

We often speak of the system of "checks and balances" in government as a good and necessary thing, yet in education, it's sorely lacking. Students are considered "disobedient" and subject to punishment if they challenge a statement or order made by a teacher. Some people are currently trying to change this -- but it definitely meets with great resistance by the established ranks of educators who didn't learn to do things that way.

It's one thing to be disruptive in a class for the sake of chaos.... but another to defend one's position with logic and facts. An attempt to clarify that Firefox is a legitimate web browser choice, and not some type of game, malware, or other diversion from the task at hand is not "class disruption".

Re:so what? (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728752)

The thing is, the detention report doesn't indicate any form of mouthing off beyond arguing back. If the student were being rude, belligerent, or otherwise unruly, I'd expect to see that documented in the teacher's report -- if only as a cover-your-ass move. If responding to an order you find unreasonable or unfair with a counter-argument is mouthing-off, we've got some serious problems that need addressing here.

Re:so what? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728762)

The article doesn't mention IE. The student claimed Firefox was better, but better than what? We don't know.

I, for one... (1)

pebs (654334) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728772)

Would rather be sent to detention than use Internet Explorer. The teacher should be fired for making such a requirement.

Icon (1)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728438)

I approve of the new story icon :)

Re:Icon (1)

syrinje (781614) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728594)

Shouldn't that foot be clad in a jackboot or something!?

Ignorant Teachers = Problems (2, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728448)

It is a problem when the students know more than the teachers.
It isn't clear if this is a "computer class", in which case this is really bad because teachers should know more than the students in the area they are teaching in.

There is much more leeway for an English teacher to not know how to do integrations/derivations, for example. I don't know if this should extend to stuff the teachers use to teach the class, but it probably should. How can you use something effectively to teach if you don't know how it works?

Re:Ignorant Teachers = Problems (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728692)

Um, the students almost always know more than the teacher does, at least when it comes to technology. It just sounds like this was a non-technology related class. If the teacher knows his/her subject area (such as English), then it's not a problem.

Re:Ignorant Teachers = Problems (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728742)

It wouldn't be a problem, but here the teacher was trying to use technology in the classroom. Which it seems like the teacher didn't understand very well.

It was being made technology-related, by the teacher using it in the classroom.

Here's his teacher (0, Flamebait)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728454)

Anyone want to contact his teacher [k12.pa.us] ? or at least /. the school website [k12.pa.us] ?

*stands well back*

Re:Here's his teacher (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728550)

Some other contacts.

Mr. John Scudder, High School Principal
jscudder@bigspring.k12.pa.us

Mr. Christopher Boyd, Assistant Principal
cboyd@bigspring.k12.pa.us

Re:Here's his teacher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728738)

from the article
High School Administrative Office
100 Mount Rock Road
Newville, PA 17241
717-776-2434
If they like the stone ages so much send them some paper mail.

FoxFire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728458)

What is FoxFire.exe??

news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728464)

Considering that you can be reprimanded in certain workplaces for doing the same thing (thankfully I don't work at one of them), is this really news?

Report it right (2, Informative)

Borealid (838626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728474)

It's actually funnier the way the teacher DID report it... 'foxfire.exe', not 'firefox.exe' as the /. blurb says.

Re:Report it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728646)

Hilarious and a clear sign that the teacher is a fogie-- My mother consistently calls it 'foxfire' as well, even when reminded of the proper name.

They're recalling days of yore when the 'FoxFire' series of books were popular.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxfire_books [wikipedia.org]

Evil is FireFox.exe (1)

TheGeneration (228855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728476)

OHMAGAWD THIS IS TERRORISM PURE AND SIMPLE! As somebody who is in no way associated with Microsoft I must say that the use of browsers not written by Microsoft is a clear violation of our - their - intellectual property. Clearly this child should be executed for his crimes against our... their... corporation.

Re:Evil is FireFox.exe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728574)

I'd say something witty here, but I'm not that bright.


I have to agree with you.

Student Given Detention For Disobedience (4, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728484)

While Firefox is indeed a great browser, it is a largely irrelevant part of this sage -- kid runs unauthorized application, is told not to, disobeys instructions and talks back.

Boring.

Sidenote - Do the editors or the submitter start off the tags these days? This story came fresh with 4 tags...I thought it waited until "democracy" spoke. Wisdom of the masses et al.

Student's Side. (3, Insightful)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728488)

Having worked in education for many years (and having kids), I guarantee that the student's side omits mention of defiance or cockiness. This of course doesn't excuse the idiot teacher, but I imagine there is more to it than presented by the submittor. It is astounding how innocent and respectful they believe they were after the fact. I imagine the kid wanted to use a better browser, the teacher got miffed at the install, and they both proceeded to behave poorly. Most likely the browser was just a catalyst in the childish behavior of both. And I say this strictly as having been the idiot teacher.

Re:Student's Side. (1)

calc (1463) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728612)

There isn't much for the kid to need to make up for his side of the story as everything was documented in the official detention notice...

Re:Student's Side. (1)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728770)

Having been both defiant and cocky for a long time as a student, because many teachers I had were plain idiots, I surprisingly never had to give a single detention when in turn I steped behind the desk. Know why ? Because I never felt threatened in my teacherhood by a defiant and cocky student. Moreover, I felt it was my duty to listen to his/her objections, and thought that there was a certain possibility that he/she might be right. That's what I call teaching - accepting constructive criticism, elaborating talks, and drawing conclusions. What you're talking about is herding. Completely different job.

More Information Please (1)

Xchagger (655731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728492)

There isn't enough information here to really jump on top of the school for giving this kid detention. I worked as a tech in a public school district for just over 5 years, we did our best to keep the school's machines locked down tight. But there isn't a lot you can do against a student bringing FireFox in on a USB drive and surfing the net, bypassing some of our security. (OK, there is a lot you can do to stop this, but I'm not going to debate that now.) The school may have certain rules put forth about running unauthorized software. The student was told to stop and didn't. I really don't see anything wrong with the dention. On top of that, as some others have mentioned, we know none of the back story. Does this kid have a history of being a troublemaker, especially in terms of the computer (we routinely had "reapeat offenders", kids trying to break into the school network and getting caught.) A little more information on the schools rules and exactly what had happened would be nice before jumping on anyone about this.

Entirely appropriate. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728496)

The important thing was that the student was not being entirely subservient and obedient to authority. Our school system *exists* to put a stop to this kind of behavior. I applaud the actions of the teacher, and hope they follow through with maximum severity.

Oh no, someone got detention for being an ass (4, Insightful)

yotto (590067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728500)

I'm sure the student sat the teacher down and explained the pros and cons of Firefox vs IE in a clear and respectful manner, and didn't say "Shut up, hehe, I'm using Firefox. It's better than your crappy IE!"

If you are a jerk to a teacher, you get detention. I knew this when I was in school. When has it failed to be common knowledge?

I'd also like to know if the computer was the student's own or a school one. If it's a school computer, then all bets are off. If it's the student's, I would have said that I don't have IE.

Re:Oh no, someone got detention for being an ass (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728714)

> If you are a jerk to a teacher, you get detention.

If you are not totally subservient to a teacher, you get detention.

I fixed this for you...

Well, honestly... (1)

Daemon_Maestro (266788) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728510)

This kid sounds like a real douche bag. Do your work and don't be smarmy.

Am I the only one surprised... (3, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728512)

... that the teacher even noticed the difference? Really, the displays of firefox and ie are fairly similar, and if you aren't looking at the very top or very bottom of the window, a layperson might not notice the difference at all.

I do wonder what version of windows was being used that the teacher noticed it called "firefox.exe" (and then subsequently changed it to "foxfire.exe" in the write-up).

Many possibilities here for detention (1)

acrobg (1175095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728516)

The teacher could be an idiot for assigning detention over using the "wrong" browser in their eyes. But there are a few things that need to be clarified first: (1) what was the other browser option? It is fairly safe to assume it is IE6. (2) was firefox installed on the machine already? Many k-12 schools ahve specific access policies which forbid downloading and running of software on the machines. If Firefox was already installed on the machine, then (3) Why weren't the teachers aware of the programs available on the machiens to the students, and which ones were okay to use? An in any case, the school's surf-watch system is going to be equally effective in either browser. Unless, of course, the kid disabled it in the registry, downloaded firefox, and installed it. Oh well, whatever. Just goes to show how little people know these days.

Disobedience (3, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728524)

The detention was for arguing with the teacher, I'm sure. We all know the school would be better off running Firefox as a matter of course; it would at the least be more secure. But the teacher should be able to, for instance, say "Stop using Word. I want this done in notepad."

It would be stupid, but the teacher can set the parameters of how the kids perform the work.

If the kid wants to promote Firefox, good for him. I'm sure he's sharper than the teacher. But the proper way is to write something up that lists the cost/security benefits and give it to somebody official, not just install and run the software.

(I'm assuming this was the school's machine, not his own computer.)

How about the possibility.. (2, Interesting)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728528)

I wonder if the teacher actually knew what the program was, but wasn't sure if the school's monitoring software would work with it.

If not, I'm sure the teacher could get in trouble for not making the kid use IE.

Not saying its right, just saying its a possibility.

The Slashdot Effect (0, Troll)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728532)

As they say in the article, the school's phone number is 717-776-2434. Let's teach this school a thing or two about the /. effect!

What's New (2, Funny)

fumanchu32 (671324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728534)

Given the context in which this story is presented, the teacher is quite ignorant. Granted, there is probably a lot more going on than what is in the story. Even so, I was given detention for talking in Calculus one day. The problem... I was at home sick. Needless to say it was easy to get out of.

foxfire not firefox fix the typo of a typo please (1)

justdrew (706141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728542)

in the description...

What I hear: (3, Insightful)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728552)

This is what I hear when I read this:

Teacher doesn't know all things about all things, makes request for perfectly reasonable action from child under his/her supervision. Child refuses on the grounds that child knows better than the teacher what the teacher was asking the child to do. Teacher gives child detention for disobedience.

Look, it turns out that teachers are not omniscient. Whether or not the child was correct that he was adhering to the spirit of the request, he was not adhering to the letter of the request, and refusing to do so is still worthwhile grounds for punishment.

Notably lacking from the report is what the kid's attitude was. If the kid copped an attitude, then nothing else would really matter. Also lacking is whether the student installed unauthorized software on the school's hardware. It could be the teacher was cutting the kid a break for a more serious offense by only giving him detention for failure to comply with the request.

There's many unknowns here, and giving the benefit of the doubt, it still breaks down to a student refusing to comply with a reasonable request, and that should be grounds for punishment.

You guys are all wrong (1)

MSDos-486 (779223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728556)

He was using a rouge program, while I use Firefox, I have never hered of a program called "foxfire.exe" (sic). Obviously this student should be punished for promoting animal cruelty as well.

Rouge? (1)

nyet (19118) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728630)

Would mascara.exe have been better?

It would be one thing if it was a better browser, (1)

crossb0nez (1078925) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728558)

... but its not. gg making school network vulnerable!

.exe (3, Insightful)

yotto (590067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728560)

Considering the teacher reported it as ".exe" that leads me to believe there was some sort of process monitoring going on, and the teacher saw that this one computer, presumably in a lab (else how could they monitor a personal laptop) which leads me to believe that the student DID install Firefox on school property and therefore broke the rules and should be punished.

Any chance that I would be outraged by this, which was quite low to begin with, has faded.

Re:.exe (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728696)

It's more likely that "firefox.exe" is on a disallow key in the registry. To avoid this, the student probably changed the executable to foxfire.exe which allows it to run.

Re:.exe (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728794)

Which is why you never enumerate the bad things, and instead enumerate the good things that are allowed. Otherwise you can't secure anything.

School More Educational Than Originally Thought (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728596)

So, what is the take-away lesson?

1. You probably know more than the authorities do.
2. The authorities don't like it when you challenge them.
3. The authorities have the authority to do things to you that you don't like.
4. The world doesn't care that it isn't fair.

Sounds like an excellent, low-cost (1 detention) life lesson that will serve this kid well.

Detention suits him well (1)

pkadd (1203286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728608)

That's what you get for not educating your teachers when it comes to modern technology. (yep, i am being sarcastic)

Where is the IT people in this? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728618)

This maybe just about useing software with out asking IT before hand.

Did IT install Firefox on the systems?

Did anyone form IT even take a look at the system?

Did IT say to give the Student Detention or is just that IT put Firefox on the systems and the teacher is not used to it and the teacher thinks you can't do the work on it?

Is the class work coming from a old work book that only talks about IE and may even show the old IE 6 GUI?

It's sounds the teacher does not know that much about computer systems and is used to useing IE for the web and the teacher may even be the some one who may even think the same way about IE 7 if see is used to IE 6.

Firefox could be career ending (1)

catherder_finleyd (322974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728626)

The kid is lucky he is only getting detention. If he were to use unauthorized software in many workplaces, he could lose his job and very possibly end his career!

Doubtful (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728638)

I find it hard to believe that the teacher punished the kid for using Firefox. He/she probably installed the application without authorization to do so. Not knowing what Firefox is, is hardly an oddity. After all, if every single being knew that there's a browser other than IE, far more would be using FF (or Opera for that matter).

HS tech here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728748)

With a staff of ten to maintain over 2500 pcs and 2 dozen servers, we've had to forbid students in our schools from installing any software. Keeping the machines clean of malware, viruses and all that other happy-crappy was a nightmare before this policy. We don't issue detention, though - the student loses computer privileges and can't get them back until they speak to the principal. Usually that just means five minutes of getting a finger shaken at you and being admonished not to do it again. (This is surprisingly effective.) If a student needs a piece of software installed for something, the teacher requests it of us and 99% of the time they get it.

I agree with the other poster that said this is most likely a case of a teacher getting bent out of shape over the kid being mouthy rather than anything else.

*flame posts about "violating student rights" and "information wants to be free" begin in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . .

Call the school (1)

pyster (670298) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728756)

Notice the phone number is on the notice... I suggest calling them and giving them the abuse they deserve.

it's fake (1)

rhendershot (46429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728764)

look at the complainantt name: P BCalmear

Please B Calmer

come on!

Nothing to see here, move along (1)

DrNASA (849379) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728766)

The kid was told to do something and back-talked. Was he right? Technically yes. But sorry dude - you are about to hit the real world. Someone in authority tells you to do something - you do it. Then, after class, you go the teacher and say - "may I show you what I was using and why?" Have a discussion, demonstrate that you weren't being disrespectful or devious and you won't have a problem.

Obvious Answer (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21728774)

It was an online quiz / assignment, requiring the reading of material and the answering of questions.
Student used FireFox because it has tabs, and he could CTRL+TAB, CTRL+F to find the answers without reading the questions.
(The school is still running IE 6)

IE not required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728784)

I don't think the student is stupid enough to use FF if IE is required for the assignment. Anyways, the teacher referring to FF (firefox.exe) as a program rather than a internet browser makes it very clear that teacher is completely unaware of FF & therefore choice of browsers is immaterial to completing assignment.
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