ipad classroom

You just had to see this coming. Los Angeles is temporarily pulling the plug on plans to let students take home iPads issued by the school district. In a surprise move, tech-savvy teens cut through district security like a hot knife through butter, allowing them to check out websites, chat on Twitter or stream music, rather than stick to just school work.

In a memo to L.A. Unified School District officials, the police chief suggests delaying further home distribution of the Apple tablets. Earlier this year, the school district inked a $1 billion deal with Apple, providing as much as 31,000 iPads for all students…

“It took exactly one week for nearly 300 students of Theodore Roosevelt High School to hack through security so they could surf the Web on their new school-issued iPads, raising new concerns about a plan to distribute the devices to all students in the district,” the LA Times reports.

The high school students simply deleted their iPad’s personal profiles, removing any security put in place. Asked why they broke through district limits, one Roosevelt student explained:

They took them home and they can’t do anything with them.

The school is citing safety for why they are suspending plans to let students take the iPads home. “As student safety is of paramount concern, breach of the system must not occur,” according to a memo from senior district officials to the Board of Education and L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy.

iPad in Education (web screenshot 001)

School district Police Chief Steven Zipperman, writing in a confidential memo:

This is just a sample of what will likely occur on other campuses once this hits Twitter, YouTube or other social media sites explaining to our students how to breach or compromise the security of these devices.

He said putting a hold on the iPad distribution will “prevent a ‘runaway train’ scenario.”

Before any more school-issued iPads head home, the district may want to hire the high school kids to develop a more flexible policy. In an environment where kids breath high tech, having last-century security is sure to get an F.

  • Sean Clark

    This became a runaway train scenario the moment they spent a billion dollars on iPads.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Of course it was going to happen. As a child I can remember bypassing website filters designed to block or filter out some websites. It really comes down to human nature if we can’t do something then we’ll try to find a way to do it…

    • F M

      That was my thought. A billion dollars? Even for a big city like LA, it boggles the mind. To top it off, Apple is raking in that billion $$$ for devices manufactured in China. And they don’t even work.

      Runaway train, indeed. Something is very wrong in this country.

      • Johnny Longpig

        So.. LA spent too much, Apple is deplorably outsourcing work to China (most tech companies do too btw, something something glass houses), their devices are useless AND the United States is in shambles. Great comment, A+ for staying on topic.

  • Jonathan

    What’d they do, DFU and restore?

    • ConduciveMammal

      It seems like all they had to do was delete the profile that had been installed. Hardly top class security

      • Jonathan

        wow. that’s like nothing. I might have instead did a custom restore by editing a plist to hide the settings app or something..?

      • ConduciveMammal

        Yeah, that would be the best option. But I don’t know if Apple allow access to the plists do they?

      • Jonathan

        I’m not sure. Perhaps connect to a proxy to perform the restore instead of Apple’s servers? I’m totally guessing here though.

      • XboxPS

        Maybe the school will jailbreak them?

    • My Wasted Fantasy

      thats what i did.. i got my ipad taken away from me :/
      & another student (my friend) he tried to jailbrake it & he got caught & suspended..

      • Jonathan

        Ouch. 🙁 so what do you use now for school?

      • My Wasted Fantasy

        I just carry around my textbooks in my backpack. Lol that’s all the ipads were for, just for you to put your textbooks in them. Instead of carrying around the actual book. 😛

      • Jonathan

        aw bummer. 🙁 I’m really hoping in purchasing the iPad Mini 2 when it comes out. But to convince my parents..? UGHH..

  • Giovanni Paredes

    Duuuh! We are young. We are supposed to hack everything!

    • Jonathan

      I hacked my school laptop that was locked down. 🙂 Put Windows 8.1, 8, and Ubuntu on it.
      Oh yeah.

      • omrishtam

        dayum i like you

      • Jonathan

        huh?

      • ConduciveMammal

        If that were my laptop, I don’t know what would annoy me more: the fact you hacked my laptop or the fact you put Windows 8 on it haha

      • jocastro

        windows 8 is a joke

      • Jonathan

        I could switch to Mac anytime, and if I could, I would have never touched a Windows. But right now, that’s all I have. I gotta admit, WIndows 8 looks nice, but it’s not what I would to call my primary OS.

      • David G Elmore

        All these script kiddies and their hacker jargon, I lol to you

  • Jose Rivera

    See, everyone has tutorials on YouTube on how to restore an iPad, or remove a profile… It’s real simple stuff to do. It isn’t that hard to become good with computers… Google, and YouTube are the best for finding DIY tutorials… I would have done the same thing if they gave me an iPad… Except I’d restore from MY iCloud backup…

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Can’t provisional profiles be password protected though? I always thought they could be but maybe I’m wrong…

      • Password and profiles that can’t be deleted by the user is possible. No one is hacking.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Fair enough. I always though Apple had a feature that enabled an Administrator to protect a provisional profile by a password only known by them but I guess I’m wrong…

  • Richard Thompson

    I don’t think this counts as “hacking” the file these students deleted can be added or deleted anytime by anyone by going to settings and deleting the profile. There’s no password protection on that function. So how is it hacking?

    • Der Faust

      that’s the first thing i thought….lol

  • chumawumba

    Pretty much what all the kids felt

    • XboxPS

      YESH!

  • marcus1324

    At my old school we had iPad’s and the way it worked for restrictions was just a profile that was installed. All you had to do was go into General and Profiles and delete the master profile and then you had an unrestricted iPad… Apple is so dumb they need to fix this, there is no point if you can do this.

  • Svnelvn

    1 billion deal? 31,000 iPads? 32,000 dollars per iPad? What is the article saying, or have schools found a way to take money from parents again?

    • Qasim Bashir

      idownloadblog(DOT)com/2013/07/26/la-schools-ipad-giveaway/

      actually thats $30 million worth of iPads

  • Jo

    Why give an iPad to kids and make sure they’re not allowed to do anything? Give them freedom!

  • Jo

    Anything can be hacked! The young people will always hack! Unfortunately

  • blastingbigairs

    I just hate to think what those beautiful iPads look like now with all the gang graffiti scratched in to the back panels. What a shame.

  • Jazz Caro

    if the ipads weren’t restricted
    the student’s wouldn’t think about doing these things
    what you do is
    you give them an unrestricted ipad
    and restrict the internet
    use a proxy in the network to block out websites, incoming and outgoing data from some servers like games and social media

    this is what my school does
    we can do whatever we want at home
    but we are restricted to schoolwork at school