NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee middle
school allowed security cameras to film children undressing in
locker rooms and then stored the images on a computer accessible
through the Internet, according to a lawsuit filed by a group of
The lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Nashville seeks
$4.2 million in damages.
The parents contend the school system violated students' rights
by putting hidden cameras in boys and girls locker rooms at
Livingston Middle School. The cameras reportedly captured students,
ages 10-14, in various stages of undress.
"The parents have been devastated by the conduct of the school
officials, by the videotaping and by the breach of trust," said
attorney Mark Chalos, who represents the parents of 16 girls and one
Chuck Cagle, lawyer for Overton County Schools, said he wouldn't
comment because he hadn't read the lawsuit.
EduTech Inc., the company that installed the surveillance cameras
in several Overton County schools also was named in the lawsuit.
Officials with the company had no comment.
Parents learned of the cameras when a student reported a
suspicious device in the school at Livingston, about 80 miles east
The lawsuit contends that images captured by the cameras were
stored on a hard drive in the office of the assistant principal
could be accessed from remote computers by the Internet. It claims
the computer's password security had not been changed from the
factory default setting.
The images were reportedly accessed 98 times between July 2002
and January 2003 sometimes late at night and early in the morning
and through Internet providers in Tennessee and South Carolina.
William Needham, director of Overton County Schools, said the
assistant principal has been transferred to another school in the
Chalos said he doesn't know if the cameras are still operating.