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High school student gets detention for using Firefox
TechRepublic ^ | Dec. 17, 2007 | Jay Garmon

Posted on 12/17/2007 11:41:53 AM PST by twntaipan

firefox_eats_ie.jpgLast week, a student at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pennsylvania was given detention for using Firefox on a school computer. Quoted below is the key explanation from the official detention writeup:

“Today in class [name] had a program launched called Foxfire.exe. I had told [name] to close the program and to resume work but he told me that is was just a different browser and that he was doing his work. I had given him two warnings but he insisted that it was just a ‘better’ browser and he wasn’t doing anything wrong. I had then issued his detention.”

I’m sure whether I should laugh or cry. It says so much about the state of technical education, respect for authority, what passes for civil disobedience and–of course–the all-consuming corporate hegemony of Microsoft. We live in a strange world.

Once again, hat tip to my buddy Lizard for the heads up.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: firefox; idiocy; marines; microsoft; microsoftnazis; mozilla
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The (Micro$oft) Empire Strikes Back.
1 posted on 12/17/2007 11:41:55 AM PST by twntaipan
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To: twntaipan

The goverment requires me to use internet explorer in the office...but the minute I get home...its firefox all the way.


2 posted on 12/17/2007 11:44:59 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: twntaipan

In our school district, that would probably get you suspended, but just because we don’t install FireFox, and students are not allowed to install software on the systems. So the suspension would not be for using Firefox per se, but for installing unauthorized software on a district computer.


3 posted on 12/17/2007 11:45:06 AM PST by CA Conservative
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To: twntaipan
He got detention for not doing what the teacher told him to do.

The sysadmin may have an IE-only policy. That would be his prerogative.

4 posted on 12/17/2007 11:45:11 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: twntaipan

Perhaps the school had a rule against installing non-authorized software on school computers. In a virus crazy world this would not be an unreasonable request. (I am not opining on MIE vs. Firefox - I think the best browser is the one you enjoy using the most.)


5 posted on 12/17/2007 11:45:23 AM PST by joebuck
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To: twntaipan; rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

6 posted on 12/17/2007 11:45:47 AM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: twntaipan
It’s the school’s computer and the teachers/administrators can enforce any rules they want.The proper thing for the kid to have done was to obey the teacher and,at some point,make his case for the application’s use to said teacher or to an administrator.
7 posted on 12/17/2007 11:45:51 AM PST by Gay State Conservative (Wanna see how bad it can get? Elect Hillary and find out.)
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To: twntaipan

If the kid downloaded and installed Firefox on a school computer, he may have violated the district’s computer use policy. More facts needed.

This comment brought to you via Firefox.


8 posted on 12/17/2007 11:46:35 AM PST by PAR35
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To: Gay State Conservative

How did Firefox get on the machine?


9 posted on 12/17/2007 11:46:44 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: twntaipan

I use Firefox for most purposes and think this teacher probably overreacted. However, all institutions and enterprises have their standards. If you run unauthorized software in some companies it is cause for disciplinary action.


10 posted on 12/17/2007 11:46:52 AM PST by driftdiver
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To: twntaipan

They probably think that “Mandrake” is a gay porn search engine.


11 posted on 12/17/2007 11:47:33 AM PST by steve-b (Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. --RAH)
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To: twntaipan
Really? I'm waiting to get arrested for typing my Free Republic posts on my Firefox browser!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

12 posted on 12/17/2007 11:48:37 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: twntaipan
Firefox is a better browser, but this was not (name’s) computer. He needs to be sure and understand that at some point.

That attitude will get him fired in the corporate world.

13 posted on 12/17/2007 11:48:49 AM PST by AlGone2001 (He's not a baby anymore...)
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To: pepsionice
what is the difference, really? I use I.E. but I have tried firefox and see no diff, except that sometimes it doesn’t work correctly (for sites not firefox compatible)
14 posted on 12/17/2007 11:48:52 AM PST by Mr. K (Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help)
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To: AppyPappy
How did Firefox get on the machine?

Not sure.Perhaps this kid...or another kid.If it was an administrator or teacher you might have an entirely different story.

15 posted on 12/17/2007 11:49:02 AM PST by Gay State Conservative (Wanna see how bad it can get? Elect Hillary and find out.)
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To: twntaipan

This isn’t anything new, back in the 80s, I was teaching the teachers routinely that were teaching the programming and computer classes.

By the time I was in those classes I was already doing 6502 assembly and playing around with hardware and software interrupts, while their training was based on a few courses in Apple II basic.

I wouldn’t say its gotten any worse, just not any better.


16 posted on 12/17/2007 11:49:53 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: twntaipan

The kid did not get detention for using Firefox, he got detention for talking back to the teacher.

Or is that only true if the kid talks back about wearing his Che tshirt?


17 posted on 12/17/2007 11:50:29 AM PST by dmz
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To: twntaipan
Apparently the school, like many entities, has a rule about loading unauthorized software (due mostly to license concerns).

Had the lad gone to the school’s IT department (most likely run by kids) with the Firefox license info and EULA and gotten permission first, he would not have been punished.

Where I am currently, I can’t load anything unauthorized like Spyware Blaster, or anything with a “for personal use only-no commercial use” license. GNU seems to be OK. I have been given permission to load several things, but a check with IT first is advisable since their job is to manage the whole system. I could fire up something that may destabilize the setup.

I don’t see where Microsoft comes into it unless the school has a Microsoft Only policy.

18 posted on 12/17/2007 11:50:51 AM PST by DBrow
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To: twntaipan

I’m still using Netscape because that’s what I started out with when I wasn’t even sure what a ‘puter was in 1997.

I use Netscape 7.2, and older version, but it’s the only one w/Netscape Composer on it, and I like Netscape’s bookmark toolbar at the top of the page.

There are a few things I need IE for, and since you cannot even buy a PC w/o IE on it, I just switch to IE when I get stuck using Netscape. Lotta people tell me Firefox is really Netscape w/a new name—I dunno.


19 posted on 12/17/2007 11:51:05 AM PST by gunnyg
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To: twntaipan

What a moron. When Firefox is outlawed only outlaws will have a good browser. (Posted from Firefox. Come and get me, coppers!)


20 posted on 12/17/2007 11:51:10 AM PST by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: twntaipan

The Kiddies can do what they want AT HOME!

The same goes with my users!


21 posted on 12/17/2007 11:51:25 AM PST by WakeUpAndVote (Ho, Ho, Ho!)
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To: AppyPappy
“How did Firefox get on the machine?”

It is an easy free download. All you have to do is got to

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

They have a free one, and then they encourage you to upgrade (at cost?).

22 posted on 12/17/2007 11:51:38 AM PST by AlGone2001 (He's not a baby anymore...)
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To: HamiltonJay

Whenever life was going a little too well, I sat down and tried to learn assembly language.


23 posted on 12/17/2007 11:52:16 AM PST by dmz
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To: twntaipan
had told [name] to close the program and to resume work but he told me that is was just a different browser and that he was doing his work. I had given him two warnings but he insisted that it was just a ‘better’ browser and he wasn’t doing anything wrong. I had then issued his detention.”

Sounds like he was given detention for not following his teacher's instruction. The district may have security measures set up through IE profiles that are in place to protect the district's computers. But, even if that isn't the case, the teacher told him and gave him two warnings, the kid should have been punished.

24 posted on 12/17/2007 11:52:21 AM PST by mnehring
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To: PAR35

“This comment brought to you via Firefox.”

The above mentioned comment viewed via Firefox.


25 posted on 12/17/2007 11:52:25 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: twntaipan

You VILL USE THE INTERNET EXPLORER OR ELSE!.........,


26 posted on 12/17/2007 11:53:02 AM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: gunnyg

Once upon a time, there was a program called “NCSA Mosaic” ...


27 posted on 12/17/2007 11:53:55 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: joebuck; CA Conservative; E. Pluribus Unum

Your scenario assumes the student accounts have admin privileges. If IT gave the kids admin rights and is now mad because he’s using Firefox instead of IE, sounds like he’s more qualified than they are.


28 posted on 12/17/2007 11:54:32 AM PST by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: twntaipan
Much to do about nothing and since you are talking about school it is, I’m not sure whether I should laugh or cry.
29 posted on 12/17/2007 11:55:07 AM PST by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: Mr. K
what is the difference, really? I use I.E. but I have tried firefox and see no diff, except that sometimes it doesn’t work correctly (for sites not firefox compatible)

I have had NO problems whatsoever using FireFox. When I use IE, it crashes practically every time, so as to be completely unuseable.................

30 posted on 12/17/2007 11:55:08 AM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: CA Conservative; twntaipan
In our school district, that would probably get you suspended, but just because we don’t install FireFox, and students are not allowed to install software on the systems.

Then these folks should have the login-account privvys setup correctly. They probably have the kids logging in as root/admin...and they deserve what they get.

31 posted on 12/17/2007 11:55:17 AM PST by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: Mr. K

I use IE7, and I’ve found Firefox takes a bit longer to load. Plus IE7’s tabs are easier to manage.


32 posted on 12/17/2007 11:55:57 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: steve-b

Yes, gay porn involving ducks. Therefore qualifying as protected behavior at goobermint skewles.


33 posted on 12/17/2007 11:56:09 AM PST by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

“He got detention for not doing what the teacher told him to do.”

I agree. I’d also bet there is something more to the story than what the headline implies.

When I was teaching I used to have a saying for parents; “Believe 50% of what your child says about me and I’ll believe 50 % of what your child says about you.”

Today, I might hedge that down to 30%.


34 posted on 12/17/2007 11:58:14 AM PST by incredulous joe ("Alan Keyes is my homeboy!")
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To: twntaipan
RIGHT ANSWER: Firefox? Cool. Just do me a favor and wipe the cache/history/cookies when you're done, and don't leave an icon on the desktop.

WRONG ANSWER: WTF? Dentention for you!

...posted via firefox, of course...

35 posted on 12/17/2007 11:58:42 AM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: twntaipan

What a dumb article. Institutions have standards for a reason. It doesn’t matter if Firefox is better, and this has nothing to do with Microsoft. This kid should be following the rules instead of being a jerkoff.

Yes, Johnny you are a unique and special individual. Just like everyone else.


36 posted on 12/17/2007 11:58:42 AM PST by Doohickey (Giuliani: Brokeback Republican)
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To: dmz

I loved the old C64... the 6502 (actually a 6510) was a breeze to code for, and the SID and VIC II chips let you do some very powerful effects with very little (relatively speaking) coding.

Closest thing I’ve touched since those heady days of C64 and C128 8 bit days have honestly been the video game systems. Particularly the Nintendo systems... The Gameboy in particular reminded me a lot of those systems, very open access to the hardware and ability to play around with it.


37 posted on 12/17/2007 11:59:12 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: CA Conservative
I had told [name] to close the program and to resume work

We need more information. This part makes me think he was suspended for not doing his web-based work. Since the teacher didn't see IE he thought the assignment wasn't being performed. There are a lot of people out there who still think IE=WWW, and unfortunately some of them are teaching our kids.

Still, the student should have closed the browser and then gone to the administration to tell them the teacher is a moron.

38 posted on 12/17/2007 12:00:02 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: HamiltonJay
In Junior High (must have been 86) we were using C-64's in the computer lab/class. Only AP students got to take the class.

The class without the computers and the lab with the computers were two separate rooms with a locked door in the middle.

One day I programmed what I called a "sound bomb" to disrupt class. Just a quick program that ran silent for 25 minutes then made a whole hell of a lot of racket.

Hit run and turned up the volume all the way....on all 20 computers.

Learned two things: First, under stress Junior High teachers cannot unlock doors, second under stress Junior High teacher also forget how to turn off power and insist on just banging on a disabled keyboard.

She never did figure out who did it.

39 posted on 12/17/2007 12:00:05 PM PST by Domandred (Eagles soar, but unfortunately weasels never get sucked into jet engines)
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To: sam_paine

With Windows as I know it,...when you login YOU are the Root user and thus administrator....


40 posted on 12/17/2007 12:00:51 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Once upon a time, there was a program called “NCSA Mosaic” ...

Man, does that brings back memories.

I use Avant quite a bit these days myself.

re: this policy, curious if students or parents are required to sign a contract that specifies a specific browser only.


41 posted on 12/17/2007 12:02:24 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICE’s toll-free tip hotline —1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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To: AppyPappy

It is likely that the kid brought his own flash drive and plugged it into the USB port. The advantage is that you can run your own browser app, which retains your own personal links and history. So, if you are working on a school project and need to remember a link when you get home, you don’t have to write it out. Also, you can save all your personal work and keep it with you in a pretty secure format.

Of course, other advantages include the ability to bypass any security put on IE and IE itself for that matter. It is simply a bonus to make your teacher look stupid at your tech savvyness.


42 posted on 12/17/2007 12:04:08 PM PST by Lord_Calvinus
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To: twntaipan
I had told [name] to close the program and to resume work but he told me that is was just a different browser and that he was doing his work. I had given him two warnings but he insisted that it was just a ‘better’ browser and he wasn’t doing anything wrong. I had then issued his detention.”

Let's see, the teacher told the kid to use a different browser, he refused. The teacher gave him TWO more warnings, the kid still refused, then the teacher gave him detention.

The kid got detention for being DISOBEDIENT, this has ALWAYS happened in schools (in years past it happened much more frequently and was generally more severe) and through history the reasons behind it have often seemed trivial (chewing gum in class, etc.).

43 posted on 12/17/2007 12:04:38 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

No. Each machine must have at least one account with admin rights. As IT/admin, you log on and can create user accounts with various levels of authority. So create a generic user profile or one per student, and only give them that user name and password. That was the way it was always done on mainframe systems and it worked just fine.


44 posted on 12/17/2007 12:05:00 PM PST by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: antiRepublicrat
Here ya go!


45 posted on 12/17/2007 12:05:50 PM PST by twntaipan (To say someone is a liar and a Democrat is to be redundant.)
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To: pepsionice

I finally changed to Firefox and like it much better than IE, except my Hotmail inbox doesn’t format as well.


46 posted on 12/17/2007 12:05:55 PM PST by peggybac (Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing)
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To: NormsRevenge
I'd almost be willing to bet that the "teacher" is unaware of the existence of any "browser" not named "explorer". Ever. In the entire history of computing.

I had told [name] to close the program {firefox} and to resume work

The "teacher" is unaware, here, that the "work" could be done using a program other than "explorer".

47 posted on 12/17/2007 12:08:06 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: twntaipan

I have no problem with the school Admin limiting what software/browsers can be run on thier computer. The scary things are:

1) The school IT department apparently doesn’t know how to set up thier computers to prevent users from installing unauthorized software.

2) The teacher in question didn’t have a clue what Firefox was, even though computers (and internet browsing) are apparently being used as a learning tool in thier class.

It’s not that they were wrong for giving out the detention... it’s just sad the level of ignorance they displayed WHILE handing out the detention.


48 posted on 12/17/2007 12:10:17 PM PST by Grumpy_Mel (Humans are resources - Soilent Green is People!)
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To: twntaipan

Thanks. While all the potential IT policy violations given here are legit, it looks like this happened specifically because the teacher is a moron and the kid has little patience for morons.

Kid had better hope he doesn’t join the military though. Even when they tell you something stupid, you do it.


49 posted on 12/17/2007 12:10:44 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: ArrogantBustard

If the kid didn’t install Firefox (not impossible, but not likely in a school; if he could install a program on a school computer, the school has a serious IT problem), and if he was told to use the Internet to do research, he didn’t do enough to warrant suspension.

The assignment wasn’t to use Internet Explorer; it was to do research on the Internet.


50 posted on 12/17/2007 12:10:54 PM PST by twntaipan (To say someone is a liar and a Democrat is to be redundant.)
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