In an unusual twist of events, the L.A. Times is reporting today that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is taking back iPads from students and staff at some of the schools designated early adopters of the Apple tablet program.
The LAUSD has been dealing with some issues lately with missing tablets and a widespread student hacking job. However, this new action was apparently unforeseen by staff interviewed by the LA Times.
According to the report, District officials confiscated approximately two-thirds of the 2,100 devices that were issued to students and staff at Roosevelt High and Westchester High on Monday.
After the recent issue where more than 300 students across three schools figured out how to bypass security measures, District officials announced that school issued iPads would no longer be allowed to leave campus.
At the time, District officials were openly expressing admiration of student’s technical abilities, even if it was used for the purpose of hacking into computer software, and discussed the possibility of creating an anti-hacking committee with some of the offenders as members.
Last Friday, however, iPads were ripped from student’s clutches as officials at Roosevelt and Westchester were directed to return their devices until further notice. “They carted them out of every classroom in sixth period,” Westchester senior Brian Young said Monday after school. “There has been no word of when they’ll be back.”
One staff member at Roosevelt High told the L.A. Times that the administration reported only collecting about two-thirds of the issued iPads by the end of the school day on Friday.
If that information is correct, it means that approximately one-third of students violated the band on taking the device off campus.
It is possible that the confiscation of the iPads across the District is simply so that technicians can add further security measures to deter hacking and the devices will be issued back to students as soon as they are all updated.
A spokesperson for the District told the L.A. Times in a statement that they are working with Apple to develop a solution that would allow students to use the devices at home, but in the meantime, “Our team is working with each school to assist them with options for allowing students to use the devices at their school only.”