“At no time have I ever monitored a student via a laptop webcam,” said Matsko, who is in her 25th year working for Lower Merion School District, “nor have I ever authorized the monitoring of a student via a laptop webcam, either at school or in the home. And I never would.”
Nobody ever claimed that Matsko personally conducted webcam surveillance of students. Nor does the complaint allege that she gave some kind of order to individually target any particular student. If we believe the district’s claim about how it uses its remote monitoring software—and there’s some reason for doubt—then the laptop camera was probably activated by a tech trying to determine whether the student had taken home a temporary “loaner” laptop that was supposed to remain at school. The tech may have then seen what looked like drugs on the student’s desk, and forwarded the image to Matsko. In other words, everything Matsko says here and the allegations made by the student and his family can both be wholly true.
She later added that, in more than a decade as assistant vice principal, she had “never disciplined a student” for actions beyond school property that had no connection to a school-related event, apparently in response to the Robbins lawsuit’s allegation the student learned of the webcam surveillance from a school disciplinary action.
Again, nothing here is actually inconsistent with the complaint. The claim made there is that the student was called into Matsko’s office and accused of “inappropriate behavior” at home, captured by the school webcam. There’s no mention of any disciplinary action being taken. The student has since explained that he was questioned about possession of something that appeared to be drugs, but which he says were Mike & Ike candies (of which he is apparently a notoriously ravenous consumer). Maybe he explained this and they believed him. Or maybe they didn’t, but decided to drop it since there was no real way to prove otherwise.
Judging by comments on the news story, most locals are interpreting this as a denial of the allegations in the lawsuit. But closely parsed, it isn’t anything of the sort: It’s a way of slyly implying that the student’s family is lying, without actually saying anything that contradicts their account.