LA school security gets an ‘F’ as teens quickly bypass iPad restrictions

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.