I Prayed have prayed

A Baltimore County, Md., fifth-grader got a visit from the police after his teacher called to report that she had seen a BB gun on the wall behind the student during a class video call.

The boy’s mother, Courtney Lancaster Sperry, a Navy veteran, is warning other parents about a lack of privacy during virtual classes after her son was targeted by a teacher who saw what she thought was a scary-looking gun hanging on the wall of the boy’s bedroom.


“While my son was on a Zoom call, a ‘concerned parent’ and subsequently two teachers saw his properly stowed and mounted Red Ryder BB gun and one other BB gun in the background,” Sperry wrote on Facebook. “He was not holding them and never intentionally showed them on video. In fact, he was oblivious that they could even be seen in the background.”

After the teacher reported the gun, the principal, Jason Feiler, decided to call the police to report the guns and ask that the home be searched. . . .

Sperry told PJ Media that the school’s vice-principal called her ex-husband, claiming to be checking on network connectivity. She believes the real reason for the call was to find out whose home her son was at. The vice-principal “ended the call without leveraging the opportunity to discuss the matter and rather was fishing for information to find out where to dispatch police,” she said. 

The 11-year-old in question is a Boy Scout, pursuing the rank of Eagle Scout, and is an “outdoors / all-boy kind of kid,” his mom said. “And as his parents and by way of legal rights, he is allowed to own said guns.” In addition to the BB gun, she said her son is training in archery and enjoys shooting his Airsoft gun. . . .

Editor’s Note: Of course, Sperry was shocked when the police showed up at her door.

“I had no idea what to think. I’ve never been in any legal trouble whatsoever. I’ve never had any negative encounter with law enforcement,” said Sperry. “I had no idea. I really didn’t know what to think.”

“So, I answered the door. The police officer was… very nice. He explained to me that he was coming to address an issue with my son’s school,” the mother told Fox Baltimore. “And then explained to me that he was here to search for weapons, in my home. And I consented to let him in. And then I, unfortunately, stood there and watched police officers enter my 11-year-old son’s bedroom.”

“The officers that responded were appalled at the call and even commended the set-up that my son has for his toys and commended him also on his respect and understanding of the BB guns,” Sperry wrote on Facebook.

Sperry asked the principal why the issue couldn’t have been handled privately by phone rather than sending the police. “He said that was not their policy,” she said. . . .

“I felt violated as a parent, for my child, who’s standing there with police officers in his room, just to see the fear on his face,” she added.

What she should have done is refused to let the police in her home without a search warrant. Neither she nor her son had done anything wrong, but the police invaded and searched the family’s home anyway, albeit politely, poking around for a full 20 minutes, despite the fact that no wrongdoing had been alleged and they had no probable cause to search the home. This was nothing more than an overreaction by a nosy teacher who was spying on her student’s bedroom when she was supposed to be teaching.

According to Sperry, the spy teacher took a screenshot of the boy’s bedroom, which is incredibly creepy and a violation of the family’s privacy. When the mother demanded to see the screenshot taken by the creeper-teacher, she was told she would not be allowed to view it because it wasn’t part of his official school record.

“It’s absolutely scary to think about,” Sperry said. “Who are on these calls? Who do we have viewing [our] children and subsequently taking these screenshots that can be sent anywhere or used for any purpose?”

She told PJ Media that she decided to go public in order “to push for policy change and make parents aware” of possible violations of privacy during online classes.

This incident raises some serious questions about privacy related to virtual learning. Teachers (and perhaps others who might be watching) are granted access to children’s homes and even their bedrooms. It appears from this incident that there were no rules in place preventing the teacher from taking pictures of his bedroom. How many students has this teacher spied on? How many screenshots has she taken of them during virtual classes? Has she amassed a database of her students’ home situations?

“I have explained to my son that he did nothing wrong,” Sperry said. “He said, ‘I’m just sad because I thought the teachers were my friends.’”

The school refused to comment on the specific case but told Fox Baltimore, “There are multiple ways for families to share concerns with us. In general terms, the safety of students and staff is our chief concern, whether we are meeting in classrooms or via continuity of learning.”

“So, what are the parameters? Where are the lines drawn?” Sperry wants to know. “If my son is sitting at the kitchen island next to a butcher block, does that constitute a weapon? It’s not allowed at school, right? So, would my home then be searched because he’s sitting next to a butcher block? I feel like parents need to be made aware of what the implications are, what the expectations are.”

“Virtual learning may work well for you,” she said, “but make sure nothing in your home offends anyone [or] you may spend the next couple of weeks circumventing the invasion and violation that I did today.”

“My child and my home will no longer be subjected to video to allow room for any other violation of my rights and how I legally manage my home,” she declared.

(Excerpt from PJ Media. Article by Paula Bolyard. Photo Credit: Getty Images.)

Share your comments on this violation of privacy and what other issues you think virtual learning will create. . .

Comments (20) Print


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

August 25, 2020

My home is my castle. It’s my castle. And what is in my castle is my business. It is a very sacred place to me. We are allowing teachers in to our castles via zoom and other pathways to teach our children. This situation is a clear argument for a voucher system and further allowing parents to choose where and how there children attend school and use there tax dollars. With that option their for parents, public school administration will rethink some of there policies and perhaps talk with families first before turning issues over to authorities if something like this was an option for people in there school districts. In addition, the likelihood families would be consulted at school board meetings and with polling forms before decisions are made and policies put in to place would be much higher. Unlike they are done now, quietly without parents awareness. In short, public schools need to compete for your tax dollars in an open market system to improve the quality and safety of a good education.

August 23, 2020

Zoom is a media that allows the Communist Chinese party to maintain facial recognition, and of course, all the other things they can see through the media lens. There are teachers in some schools in Utah who are paid by he Communist Chinese to teach the children how “wonderful” the Communists are. We Americans are way too gullible and think everyone is our friend and teach the lies to our children. Home school your children, or set up ‘pod’ areas of instruction with other Christians. Yes, Jesus says ‘love your neighbor’. But when we have Communists spying on us and our children, day and night through social media, it is is up to us to have wisdom and not put our homes in danger. “My people perish for lack of knowledge”,

August 23, 2020

Another leftist teacher gone wild under the “professional disguise of concern” for the welfare of a student. Baloney!! The teacher is supposed to be educating students – not spying on their surroundings.
Liberal Baltimore state and local education department”should be” investigating the teacher for privacy violation!!
If the parent involved is willing, I would follow up with a lawsuit against the teacher, school district and state for violation of privacy”. Might as well add on “emotional duress” because no doubt it is applicable to this situation.

Linda E Jenkins
August 23, 2020

I feel like we are ruining our children. While some areas have to do online learning it seems to have its pros and cons. Mostly cons, in my opinion. If a child feels like he/she can’t trust the teachers how is that affecting their learning? Children need to be in class, a normal situation class, not masked, 6′ apart. Kids are not the problem with the virus any way. God help us and our innocent children.

Vina M Elias
August 22, 2020

We are fast becoming a police state if we don’t wake up, our rights are being violates more and more each day ,we need pray and seek God for wisdom.

Donna Liput
August 22, 2020

They want to infiltrate every area of our lives. But the very government that so desperate to “ save” our children from wicked evil parents are creating a culture of violence, using our children. Father, satan is the author of confusion. Please help us see through the deceptions thrown at us . The enemy wants to take over our children’s minds. Help us take back what the enemy has taken from us. In Jesus name I pray Amen

Viera M Anabalon
August 22, 2020

Communism in process,(just like the Bolsheviks did to our predecessors in Russia) they (the communists) always look for an innocent aspect of our life (schooling, who will be against school?) to enter in and ruin your life, invade the most sacred of spaces of our lives and then we’re in their grip. Fortunately, because we are believers in God and his power, we need to wake up and get ahead of these Godless people that have access to our children, and WE, moms, dads, grandparents, need to influence our little ones with God’s word primarily, (as it was done originally) and other subjects and skills our children will need so that they cannot be swayed by the evil influence that is so pervasive in the school system. Who needs the input of the evil ones, if we do this, our children will experience God’s power and protection in their lives. Isaiah 54:13 “great is be the peace of my children for they are taught of the Lord.

August 22, 2020

Thank you to IFA and this mother for sharing an important account of what took place.
Father God,
I ask You to make all parents and grandparents who are allowing their children/grandchildren to participate in online learning be aware and think carefully about the potential problems.
Please give each family wisdom how to protect themselves, and give Your solutions for individual education situations.
In the name of Jesus I ask You help people listen carefully and hear You clearly.

August 22, 2020

Could I suggest, the 3 section “science project boards” be placed behind your child, to protect THEIR privacy. Maybe our flag attached to it, or have them decorate it with their own ideas? This maybe will give our children peace and no worries of “screen shots” of their own bedrooms.

    Moe Berlinger
    August 22, 2020

    Praise God for this God given idea. That is one great way to teach our children problem solving. Thank you Father God for this inspiration.

Julie Young
August 22, 2020

Lord, protect our children and families from ungodly and intrusive government control!

Rebecca Lawrence
August 22, 2020

I am a grandparent and conservative. When my children were in school I was realizing what was being taught or rather NOT taught was a concern. There are too many teachers teaching their values and opinions and they may or may not line up with mine. I realize all parents cannot home school but they can teach their children core issues, core values that place worth and value on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Parents can teach their children about the correct history of our country, the flag, respect and honoring leaders from all ethnic backgrounds who have contributed and impacted this nation to go forward. Maybe we all need to turn our TVs and phones off and continue the class room at the dinner table on the subjects not considered worthy to be taught in our public schools.

    August 23, 2020

    Hillsdale College offers video courses at no charge on a range of topics regarding American history, our constitution and values to help educate everyone. Very worthwhile and essential to fill in the gaps left by public schools. They take no funding from the government, so their program is free of government input or restriction. Pass it along!

August 22, 2020

I would set up an American flag and cross as a back drop for all future video classes. I hope this mother will do this.

August 22, 2020

A better way of virtual teaching can be offered like pre-recorded sessions (not live) with questions posted concerning the lesson outside of the video with an area for children to post their own questions to the teacher. The lessons do not have to be live feed.

Cynthia Todd
August 22, 2020

Invasion purposeful and motives-wrong. Evil looks for evil. They are left to their own demise which will turn back on their heads unless repentance comes soon. We need a returning to God’s WORD and teachings,even basic elementary level, on Prayer. Generic prayer is not refused but it’s time we grew our adults up. Meat is needed for this reality. Bowls won’t tip in heaven if little is going up.

August 22, 2020

Tennessee schools seem to be trying to force parents to sign a form that they will not view, be in attendance, during their child’s online sessions with the classroom. They’ve covered that demand with a veneer it is for the classmates’ safety. Maryland schools seem to be using that same online learning to invade the students’ homes. No doubt a personal ‘Get acquainted with your teachers’ meeting would be strictly denied. So, how about meeting them at the grocers, or at their favorite hang-out. It may very well be that your particular teacher is one of the many that want only for the daily instruction to be understood, that are not tied Lock Stock n Barrel to the Democrat policies, that don’t agree with the rewriting/rewording of the Pledge of Allegiance as was recited at the DNC convention As the mother of 3 very dedicated to their students & to Biblical Principles teachers, I would pray we don’t paintbrush all teachers, nor even all postal employees as evil intenders as as happened with our police officers.

    August 22, 2020

    Tennessee has a Republican governor and a predominantly Republican state legislature. The corruption is on both sides.

August 22, 2020

Crazy. Scary. Privacy is in jeopardy on all fronts with on line learning/business. Sounds like a dedicated room is necessary for Zooming for school and work in order not to offend anyone.
God, please help us.


Partner with Us

Intercessors for America is the trusted resource for millions of people across the United States committed to praying for our nation. If you have benefited from IFA's resources and community, please consider joining us as a monthly support partner. As a 501(c)3 organization, it's through your support that all this possible.

Dave Kubal
IFA President
Become a Monthly Partner


Click below to share this with others

Login to Join the Conversation

Create an IFA account or login to comment, pray and interact with our community.