Harriton High School
Used Apple Laptop Webcams
To SPY On Students At Home
Cite the Educational CyberPlayGround, Inc® APA Style of Citation
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Lower Merion School District
301 East Montgomery Ave.
Ardmore, PA 19003
The school district’s insurance provider paid all the fines and fees NOT the tax payer.
12/7/11 Paige Robbins vs. Lower Merion School District and The Board of Directors of the Lower Merion School District and Christopher McGinley SuperintendentAugust 23, 2011
The Lower Merion School District has agreed to pay $10,000 to a teen secretly recorded by his school-issued laptop, the fourth settlement with a student since the webcam scandal broke last year. The school board approved the payout at its meeting Monday night, spokesman Doug Young said. Lower Merion paid more than $1.6 million last year to litigate and settle allegations that it spied on students through webcams on the laptops it gave to each of its nearly 2,300 high school students.
1/2012 The Lower Merion School District is $19,500 away from being done with the webcam spying cases.The Board of School Directors approved the final settlement Monday, to be paid to former Harriton High student Josh Levin.Levin filed his suit last year, claiming the district-issued laptop he took home snapped photos of him with a webcam. Main Line Times reports the district will pay $10,000 of the settlement and its insurance company will pay the rest. The district denies any wrongdoing.
June 8, 2011 Former Harriton High graduate Joshua Levin has filed a new webcam suit against Lower Merion.
According to the suit, Levin was a student at Harriton High School when he was issued a laptop computer by the district. The family in this latest suit says they only learned about the monitoring when they got a letter from the district's attorney, Hank Hockeimer, that was dated June 8, 2010. The district was required to send out letters to all students who had the security feature activated on their computers. Hockeimer's letter told Levin that 4,404 webcam photos and 3,978 screenshots were recovered between Sept. 22, 2008, and March 12, 2009. Students and their parents were given the option to viewing the recovered images.
“Unbeknownst to Plaintiff, and without his authorization, Defendants had been spying on the activities of Plaintiff by Defendants' indiscriminate use of and ability to remotely activate the webcams incorporated into each laptop issued to students by the school district,” the complaint reads in part.
“Plaintiff's younger brother noticed that the light in the camera would go off and on at odd times, wondering if the family was being 'spied on,'” the complaint reads. “Plaintiff's mother dismissed this idea as absurd, as the notion that the school district was secretly monitoring and taking pictures of students was simply incomprehensible and beyond all rational belief. Plaintiff's father was told and believed that the light meant that the laptop was charging.”
Levin says his parents subsequently received a letter from the district around June 2010, advising them that "4,404 webcam photographs and 3,978 screenshots" were remotely captured by the district from the laptop he was issued. The letter then instructed Levin that if he wanted to view the fruits of the district's surveillance, he'd have a one-hour window on a specific day in June to do so at a federal courthouse, according to the suit. Levin says he accepted the offer, "and was shocked, humiliated and severely emotionally distressed at what he saw."
Norman Perlberger, of Bala Cynwyd, Pa is the attorney for Levin claims that many images captured by the laptops may have depicted minors and their parents "in compromising or embarrassing positions," including in "various stages of dress or undress."
Bottom Line 10/11/10
Lower Merion School District pays $610,000 to settle the lawsuit. Student Blake Robbins will get $175,000 placedin trust and his lawyer, Mark Haltzman, gets $425,000 for his work. The second student Jalil Hassan will get $10,000. The district's insurer Graphic Arts Mutual Insurance Company has agreed to pay $1.2 million toward legal and settlement costs. The FBI investigated but declined to bring a criminal wiretap case.
The school district acknowledged it took nearly 60,000 snapshots from student computers, without their knowledge, from September 2008 to February 2010. The district has admitted that the LANrev system it used had a program called TheftTrack that could snap webcam photos, take screenshots and record IP addresses every 15 minutes.
John Steinbach Chief Information Officer Vestige Ltd. www.vestigeltd.com/ Medina, OH owned by Lawyer Don Wochna was hired to conduct his own forensic investigation into district-owned computers as a follow-up to one done by Level-3 Communications for the district. That investigation culminated in the report that was made public in May detailing an estimated 60,000 LANrev images found on district computers. He reviewed a mirror image of the hard drive that was on the computer used by Michael Perbix, one of two district employees who had access to the program that was able to remotely activate the student-issued computers.The computer used by Perbix is being checked since he was the employee who activated the monitoring system on the computer issued to Blake Robbins. Steinbach will run his own program to look for all images on the computer. The reason is that if a photo from the LANrev system was saved using another software program such as Photoshop, it will no longer have a LANrev digital signature. If the district's forensics team, L-3, was only looking for images created by the LANrev system, it might not have been able to recover photos copied and saved from LANrev to other software programs, Haltzman said.
Law Suit: Legal fees cost approx. 1% of the district's $200,000 million budget for the 2010-11 school year.School District Spokes Person Doug Young said the district's insurance policies will cover a “significant portion of the bills.” Ballard Spahr was hired by the district in February. Ballard Spahr has billed the district about $953,000 in legal fees since it began representing until May 2010. Ballard Spahr agreed to limit its attorneys' fees to $250 per hour. Another $270,000 has been paid to two consultants in the webcam case. Level-3 Communications billed the district $240,121 for forensically analyzing the district's computers. SunGard billed the district $31,971. to help it revise its policies on the school-issued laptops. In April an attorney for one of the district's insurance companies, Graphic Arts Mutual Insurance Company, sued the district so that it would not have to continue paying the district's legal bills in the webcam case. That case is also being defended for the district by attorneys from Ballard Spahr. July 2010 Mark Haltzman, the attorney representing the two students in the webcam cases, filed court documents asking that his legal and consultant fees of nearly $420,000 be paid for by LMSD.
Aug. 30th Lower Merion School District was ordered by Senior U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois to pay attorney Mark Haltzman $260,000 fees and costs. Haltzman is seeking over $420,000.
Dick and Jane Primer for School Administrator Dummies
and the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow Nightmare
Teaching Moment -- Hey Principal / Teacher Leave them Kids Alone!!
IANAL. (I am not a lawyer.) TINLA. (This is not legal advice.) ~ ECP
There was NEVER a reason the TheftTrack technology should have been used on students.
Information-systems director, George Frazier, [the good guy] was the only one who asked the principals at Lower Merion and Harriton high schools to stop remotely turning on the webcams on the computers the schools issued to each pupil to take home, and they all refused. Frazier suggested that the district stop using the TheftTrack system “because of a lack of policies and procedures.” ~ Cafiero [administrator on leave]
Court documents go on to say Lower Merion's and Harriton's head principals, Sean Hughes and Steven Kline, and Lower Merion assistant principal Wagner Marseille said no. Cafiero also cites the Ballard Spahr investigative report that suggests someone deleted computer files from the district's LANrev system between Feb. 18 and Feb. 19, shortly after the Robbinses filed suit. In her deposition, Cafiero said she wanted it on the record that she did not delete the files.
8/17/2010 Feds say school that "accidentally" took 56,000 remote photos of students committed no crime.
Someone should have gone to jail. Fifty-six thousand images. How is that an accident? The "we didn't mean to" argument shouldn't have protected them. The student and his parents filed a civil suit against the district, its board of directors and the Superintendent. It alleges violations of the electronic Communications Privacy Act, The Computer Fraud Abuse Act and the Stored Communications Act, among others.
In the Beginning
2/16/10 The School district snapped secret webcam pictures of a high school student when he was partially undressed or sleeping in his bed, and captured instant messages he exchanged with friends, the student charged in court papers. The LANrev software program took screen shots and webcam photos every 15 seconds when activated. The district thereby captured over 400 screen shots and webcam images of Harriton High School sophomore Blake Robbins, according to court filings this week in his lawsuit. Federal court judge is ordering the Lower Merion School District and the Robbins family to try to settle non-monetary issues. Haltzman is also trying to recover more than $400,000 in legal fees from the Lower Merion School District that he billed to the Robbins family. According to the most recent estimates, the webcam controversy has resulted in $1.2 million in legal bills and related costs. Henry E. Hockeimer Jr., represents Lower Merion School District. May 2010 , a Second Student Files Suit against Lower Merion School District.
Were they the spys at Harriton High or used as shields?
LEARN HOW THE MIKE TURNED ON THE WEBCAM
ADMINISTRATORS MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE
THEY SET POLICY
THEY INSTRUCT THEIR EMPLOYEES
THEY ARE EXAMPLES TO THE COMMUNITY
CAROL CAFIERO the Information Systems Coordinator AND MIKE PERBIX Network Technician PUT ON LEAVE
Ethics: Individual Privacy is a Basic Human Right. Officials can activate webcams remotely without students' knowledge.
This is about the intersection of Legal, Social and Ethical Issues that are at the heart of Information Technology.
What Happened Here?
4/29/10 Technology Coordinator Carol Cafiero Takes The Fifth and refused to answer questions at a deposition, citing her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Cafiero and technician Michael Perbix were the only employees authorized to activate the webcams. Perbix did not fight the deposition. AP
Mongomery County PA District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman decided to see if a criminal investigation is warranted. U.S. Attorney Michael Levy, who previously headed the office's computer crimes unit is looking to find out if any wiretap or computer intrusion laws were broken. The wiretap law applies to audio, not video or still images. The intrusion law bars unauthorized access to a computer with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or invade privacy.
- FAIL!!! - THE FEDS EXCUSE CHEATERS! -
WORST OF THE WORST - THE VERY PEOPLE WHO STAND AT THE CENTER OF ETHICAL BEHAVIOR GET OFF WHICH SHOWS THEIR ARE NO RULES FOR THE RICH, POWERFUL AND CONNECTED.
McGinley said the parents and students were not explicitly told about this built-in security feature.
Doug Young, spokesman for the Lower Merion School District, said IF the laptop was stolen the district would first have to request access from its technology and security department and receive authorization, he said.
FEDS DIDN'T FIND THIS PROBLEMATIC:
The Robbins family has stated the laptop "was neither reported lost or stolen" suggesting the school was monitoring.
Only 2 employees in the technology department were authorized to activate the cameras — and only to locate missing laptops.
"With great power comes great responsibility"
Mike and Ike Candy:
Harriton High School spied on the Robbins's son Blake and remotely took a picture of him eating "Mike and Ike" candy. They spied and caught him thnking these "pills" were drugs. They thought they would notify the parents that their child was doing drugs!!!
The suit accuses the school of turning on Blake's webcam while the computer was inside his Penn Valley home, allegedly violating wiretap laws and his right to privacy. Blake Robbins told KYW-TV on Friday that a school official described him in his room and mistook a piece of candy for a pill. "She described what I was doing," he said. "She said she thought I had pills and said she thought that I was selling drugs."Robbins said he was holding a Mike and Ike candy, not pills. Holly Robbins said a school official told her that she had a picture of Blake holding up what she thought were pills. "It was an invasion of privacy; it was like we had a Peeping Tom in our house," Holly Robbins told WPVI-TV.
"I send my son to school to learn, not to be spied on. "Irrespective of whether the machine was allegedly reported "missing" or not, it appears clear that the technology was used for a purpose beyond the recovery of said machine. That's a problem even if there was prior disclosure, and it appears that the school is admitting that there was not. Families were not informed of the possibility the webcams might be activated in their homes without their permission in the paperwork students sign when they get the computers, district spokesman Doug Young said.
Attorney Mark S. Haltzman with Lamm Rubenstone of Trevose, Pa., filed the suit alleging claims under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Stored Communications Act, as well as violations of the Fourth Amendment, federal civil rights laws and Pennsylvania's wiretap statute. The case has been assigned to Senior U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois. This is a Federal class action lawsuit, asking for monetary damages of $100/day for every day the student's privacy was violated.
The lawsuit alleges the cameras captured images of Harriton High School students and their families as they undressed and in other compromising situations. Families learned of the alleged webcam images when an assistant principal spoke to a student about inappropriate behavior at home.
Neither the school nor the district had told parents about this capability. As a result, the Robbins have filed a class-action lawsuit against the district, charging it with interception of electronic communications under the ECPA, theft of intellectual property under the CFAA, violations of the Stored Communications Act, violations of the Civil Rights Act, invasions of privacy, and violations of the Pennsylvania wiretapping and electronic surveillance act.
The suit claims a violation of the privacy and civil rights of the students and their families and accuses officials of violating electronic communications laws by spying on them through "indiscriminate use of an ability to remotely activate the webcams incorporated into each laptop".
It claims that since the laptops were used by the students, friends and family members at home, the captured webcam images consist of the teens and their parents in "compromising or embarrassing positions, including ... in various states of undress".
School district spokesman Douglas Young said "We're taking it very seriously". Yes, serious privacy violations are at hand. The district's actions could amount to illegal wiretapping. The school may have the right to retain admin control over its own laptops, but spying on kids at home without their knowledge is likely not one of them.
Witold J Walczak, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, told the Associated Press that like police, state school officials are barred from entering the home electronically or physically without a warrant.
- FAIL!!! - THE FEDS EXCUSE CHEATERS! -
WORST OF THE WORST - THE VERY PEOPLE WHO STAND AT THE CENTER OF ETHICAL BEHAVIOR GET OFF WHICH SHOWS THEIR ARE NO RULES FOR THE RICH, POWERFUL AND CONNECTED.
Don't you think the "improper behavior" that [we the citizens] need to investigate is how the school district IT department can break the law, and allow administrators to break the law? Afterall, ignorance doesn't let administrators off the hook. Teachers have to follow rules, and students have to follow the rules. Administrators need to know and respect the laws governing technology use in a public school!!
The Superintendent should be fired.
The principal should be fired.
The vice-principal should be fired.
The school's IT staff should be fired.
The school board should be fired.
The Administrators claim that their intent excuses their behavior. But if the Assistant Principal DID in fact confront Blake Robbins with "evidence" gleaned from the webcam, then they can no longer argue, what their intent was; the FACT will be that they used an image surreptitiously obtained of a student in his private home for a purpose other than locating the computer.
WE NOW KNOW
How many thefts there have been.
How many times the system was used.
Number of computers needed to be recovered.
* During the 2009-10 school year, 42 laptops were reported lost, stolen or missing and the tracking software was activated by the technology department in each instance. A total of 18 laptops were found or recovered. This number (18) is an updated number given the information we have compiled today.
2/25/10 Judge DuBois tells the school to stop spying:
He ordered that if the school district wishes to provide an update on the pending action, a copy of any statement it issues must be provided with six hours advance notice to plaintiff's counsel, and shall be disseminated only with consent.
The school district is free to provide "new software, software updates, or other such releases for the students' laptops ... but only after receiving written consent ... from plaintiffs' counsel, to ensure that such new software, software updates or releases will not alter or destroy evidence that may be needed as part of the litigation."
Both parties must assess whether any software updates have that capability; if it is established that no harm can be done, then prior consent will not be needed. Most of the courtroom wrangling on Monday was to address that issue.
The school district wanted to retain the ability to update district software and computers without restraint, citing concerns about viruses and other dangers. The class counsel was concerned that updates or other measures could result in spoliation of evidence.
What a nightmare!
Apple's educational division, SchoolVision Inc., has joined in partnerships to create affordable ways for schools to procure technology since at least 1997.
Of Course Apple Shipped these computers with the software but why did the Technology staff enable it?
Can Apple prove they informed the School District that the webcams should not be used to spy on children? Apple should be held accountable for telling the School District what to include in the AUP. Apple needs to be investigated and possibly prosecuted for negligence if they did not take responsibility for giving the school district an AUP for the parents.
This school document identifies the hardware and software in use as Macbook laptops running OSX. Apple Remote Desktop 3: Administrators have access to the laptop of every kid in the school through this program, and can switch from one to another and watch what the kids are doing on their computers in real time. Remote observation and control of target computers is plainly listed in the Apple Remote Desktop 3 Feature List.
Webcameras are enabled by the IT department to allow Administrators to see their screens, and faces and communicate with th student and take a picture of them (admins can control their laptops remotely) in Photo Booth, or interrupt their IM conversation with their own message. No one informed the kids that they were being monitored. Even if the laptops don't belong to the student, so should have be able to expect privacy. The potential for abuse is nearly limitless, especially since many teens keep their computers in their bedrooms.
Even when a non-IT employee clearly is to blame for a security breach, IT is still responsible.
Dan Morill ~ "We need to remind ourselves again and again that information security is not a technology issue – it's a people issue. We are reliant on people, their awareness, ethics and behaviour, and we must understand what they want to achieve if we are to accomplish the goals of business. This includes the employees that deliver our services and the customers that take advantage of them, as well as the senior executives and board room directors that grant us our budgets."
BEFORE IT'S Too Late
All 2,300 students at the district's two high schools have been given notebooks.
PARENTS SHOULD KNOW COST OF FREE COMPUTERS, LEGISLATORS SAY: "If parents do not want their children to be objects of market research firms while in school, they should have the right to say 'no,'" said Rep. George Miller (D-CA). He, along with Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), want to see some regulation concerning schools accepting free computer equipment and Internet services from companies. The problem, they say, is that in exchange the schools allow the companies to gather valuable marketing data from students. The legislators want to give parents a role in determining whether schools can let Internet firms gather information from their children for commercial benefit. The legislation would require schools to get parental permission before a company can collect personal information from students and use it for commercial purposes. Schools that do not comply could lose their eligibility for federal funding. "It will basically inhibit the innovative ways schools have reached out to businesses," said Daniel Fuller, federal programs director for the National School Boards Association. "We're looking at significant costs at the local level," he added, saying the loss of business support and the cost of denying Internet access to students would be impossible to quantify. [SOURCE: CyberTimes, AUTHOR: Rebecca Weiner (firstname.lastname@example.org)]
Questions & Answers Updated February 19, 2010
Dr. McGinley regarding high school student laptop security - 2/19/10 he has hired Henry E. Hockeimer, Jr., Esq email@example.com 215.864.8204 a white collar crime attorney and former federal prosecutor, to assist in our comprehensive review of relevant policies and past practices, as well as assist us in implementing appropriate improvements.
" 02/20/2010 3 NOTICE of Appearance by ARTHUR MAKADON on behalf of LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT, CHRISTOPHER W. MCGINLEY, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT with Certificate of Service (MAKADON, ARTHUR) (Entered: 02/20/2010)02/20/2010 4 NOTICE of Appearance by HENRY E. HOCKEIMER, JR on behalf of LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT, CHRISTOPHER W. MCGINLEY, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT with Certificate of Service (HOCKEIMER, HENRY) (Entered: 02/20/2010)02/20/2010 5 NOTICE of Appearance by PAUL LANTIERI, III on behalf of LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT, CHRISTOPHER W. MCGINLEY, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT with Certificate of Service(LANTIERI, PAUL) (Entered: 02/20/2010)02/20/2010 6 NOTICE of Appearance by WILLIAM B. IGOE on behalf of LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT, CHRISTOPHER W. MCGINLEY, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT with Certificate of Servicece (IGOE, WILLIAM) (Entered: 02/20/2010) "
STEAL THIS LAPTOP
And oh yeah, what about the security now, since Dr. McGinley announced that it's turned off - really he turned it off, and he won't turn it back on until they actually send notification out to tell the parents. Now you can trust him right? So . . .I guess it's a good time to steal the laptop. What will they do about security now???
Is Lindy Matsko the whistle blower who needs protection?
"At no time did any high school administrator have the ability or actually access the security- tracking software. We believe that the administrator at Harriton has been unfairly portrayed and unjustly attacked in connection with her attempts to be supportive of a student and his family. The district never did and never would use such tactics as a basis for disciplinary action.
LMSD initial response to invasion of privacy allegation 2/18/10 5:26 PM
Dear LMSD Community,
Last year, our district became one of the first school systems in the United States to provide laptop computers to all high school students. This initiative has been well received and has provided educational benefits to our students.
The District is dedicated to protecting and promoting student privacy. The laptops do contain a security feature intended to track lost, stolen and missing laptops. This feature has been deactivated effective today.
The following questions and answers help explain the background behind the initial decision to install the tracking-security feature, its limited use, and next steps.
• Why are webcams installed on student laptops?
The Apple computers that the District provides to students come equipped with webcams and students are free to utilize this feature for educational purposes.
• Why was the remote tracking-security feature installed?
Laptops are a frequent target for theft in schools and off school property. The security feature was installed to help locate a laptop in the event it was reported lost, missing or stolen so that the laptop could be returned to the student.
• How did the security feature work?
Upon a report of a suspected lost, stolen or missing laptop, the feature was activated by the District's security and technology departments. The tracking-security feature was limited to taking a still image of the operator and the operator's screen. This feature has only been used for the limited purpose of locating a lost, stolen or missing laptop. The District has not used the tracking feature or web cam for any other purpose or in any other manner whatsoever.
• Do you anticipate reactivating the tracking-security feature?
Not without express written notification to all students and families.
We regret if this situation has caused any concern or inconvenience among our students and families. We are reviewing the matter and will provide an additional update as soon as information becomes available.
Dr. Christopher McGinley
The school covertly photographed students at home using spyware they installed on all students' mandatory laptops. The ACLU has filed an amicus brief in support of the boy's family, and EFF attorney Kevin Bankston explains the law as it pertains to video wiretapping:
"There is no federal statute that criminalizes or creates civil liability for such secret videotaping unless it involves sound, because then it is an intercept of a verbal communication. So no one can plant a bug in your house without violating wiretapping law, but they can still plant a camera without violating federal wiretapping laws," he said. "That's something that congress should address particularly now that everyone potentially has a surreptitious video device staring them in the face when they're at their laptop."
Students' Fourth Amendment rights against schools Supreme Court case an intrusive search without the threat of a clear danger to other students violated the Constitution's protections against unreasonable search or seizure. Justice David H. Souter, writing perhaps his final opinion for the court.
K12 School Rights vs. Students Online privacy rights.
It is a felony of the third degree to intentionally intercept, endeavor to intercept, or get any other person to intercept any wire, electronic, or oral communication without the consent of all the parties. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5703(1).
K-12 COPYRIGHT LAW PRIMER for ADMINS IMPORTANT DO'S AND DON'TS - Where are the ethics? 12 Ethical Commandments for Educational Leaders. Violation of school rules, or behavior that causes school strife, can result in all parents called, and some kids suspended and administrators fired!!
IT - SECURITY Everyone wants 3 things
Security experts will tell you that you can only get two of these. You get to pick which two you want.
- Strong security. Everyone wants the highest level of security
- Low cost. It can't cost a lot to build or maintain
- Ease of use. It can't be complicated or people won't use it
LEGAL Be Ready, You Need to Know . . . Does you District Internet Use Policy have provisions addressing disclosure of student personal information on sites? It should.
Web Privacy Online and what they know about you. Learn how to protect your privacy when you are online. Define Cultural Literacy and Technological Literacy. The Problems with Web 2.0 and Social NetworksParents: Teach Your Children Well! Bristol Palin, Levi Johnson, Govenor Sarah Palin
Approved Information Technology certification programs in Pennsylvania colleges and universities. What are they teaching?
How About a Real Video Production Curriculum for Administrators.
What are the 5 required elements of a technology plan?
Although Certified Tech Plan Approvers may establish additional criteria, the FCC has stipulated the following five elements must be contained in an entity's technology plan:
- Clear goals and a realistic strategy for using telecommunications and information technology to improve education or library services;
- Professional development strategy to ensure that staff know how to use these new technologies to improve education or library services;
- Assessment of the telecommunication services, hardware, software, and other services that will be needed to improve education or library services;
- Sufficient budget to acquire and support the non-discounted elements of the plan: the hardware, software, professional development and other services that will be needed to implement the strategy; and
- Evaluation process that enables the school or library to monitor progress toward the specified goals and make mid-course corrections in response to new developments and opportunities and they arise.
New Element Discovered
A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. This new element has been tentatively named "Administratium." Administratium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 111 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.
These 312 particles are held together by a force called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.
Since Administratium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Administratium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. Administratium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Administratium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization causes some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.
This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Administratium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass." You will know it when you see it. Source
FYI: Harriton is a public school whose students rank among the highest-scoring students on the SATs in Pennsylvania. This is the sister school of Lower Merion High, which used to educate Kobe Bryant. Harriton High School is in Rosemont, the town that purportedly served as the inspiration for Pine Valley, Pa., in "All My Children."
Education anyone? What is going on here? Something in the Water?
FYI Only a few miles away another local private school named Episcopal Academy actually educated and graduated the torture memo author John Yoo.