A teacher faces up to 40 years in prison in part because the license on Web-filtering software at her school had lapsed, according to published reports. As a result, pop-ups that appeared on the classroom PC also included pornographic images.
Several students saw the images appear. The teacher, Julie Amero, was convicted by a jury earlier this month on four counts of risk of injury to a minor. She is slated to be sentenced on March 2 in Norwich Superior Court.
The Norwich Public Schools had installed Internet-filtering software to prevent inappropriate content from appearing on the school's computer. However, when the incident occurred in 2004, the filtering system wasn't regularly updated with new sites to block, according to a report this week in the Norwich Bulletinlocal newspaper.
The new sites were not added to the blacklist in the WebNOT filter, provided by Symantec, because the software firm had not sent a new license that would activate the updates feature, the district's IT director said at a school board meeting on Tuesday, according to the report. Symantec had no immediate comment on Friday.
TheDay.com, a Connecticut news Web site, reported that the IT director also blamed himself for the computer pornography incident, saying he may have overlooked an invoice for the update.
The prosecution in the case has insisted that Amero actively visited the sexually explicit Web sites. The defense, however, has argued that the substitute teacher was the victim of spyware and Web sites that were programmed to display an incessant stream of pop-ups, including explicit ones.