Linux Isn’t Free – Or So Says A School Teacher

December 10, 2008

by — Posted in Technology

I ran across this article by way of Slashdot.  A teacher had punished a student for handing out live linux distrubution discs, for those that aren’t familar with a liveCD, it allows you to boot your computer off of CD and test drive linux without modifying your hard drive.  You can remove the CD and reboot and be back to using windows or whatever in no time. This teacher wrote the head of this particular linux group and stated:

I am sure you strongly believe in what you are doing but I cannot either support your efforts or allow them to happen in my classroom. At this point, I am not sure what you are doing is legal. No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful. These children look up to adults for guidance and discipline. I will research this as time allows and I want to assure you, if you are doing anything illegal, I will pursue charges as the law allows.

and also:

This is a world where Windows runs on virtually every computer and putting on a carnival show for an operating system is not helping these children at all. I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older verison of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them..

Now the person at the Helios distribution had some key things in response (these are snippets):

First off, if there was even the slightest chance that I was doing something illegal, it would not have been done. To think that I would involve my kids in my “illegal” activities is an insult far beyond outrage.

linux is superior to MS windows in so many ways, they are too numerous to mention here…I am weary of enumerating them. Unlike Microsoft who meters their “improvements” and then shovels them to you every five years or so for purchase; Linux releases their improvements upon their completion. We receive the newest and the best of the system when it is tested to be usable and stable

The most disturbing part of this resides in the fact that the AISD purchases millions of dollars of Microsoft Software in a year’s time when that money could be better spent on educating our children. A dedicated School Teacher would recognize that fact and lobby for the change to Free Open Source Software and let the money formally spent on MS bindware be used on our kids.

Now I do recommend you read the original article, but I do think this shows the ignorance of the teachers in our systems. Some people try to tell me when my child arrives that home schooling is a worse option then sending the kid to public or private schools.   I know I went through similar issues like this with my teachers, sometimes it was on english, other times it was on history.   Teachers won’t admit they are wrong and will continue to spew the same crap to students year after year.  They feel they must be the ones in the right otherwise they wouldn’t be the teacher.

I’m stopping now before I bust into a complete rant – read the original article and let me know what you think.

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