Wow.. a completely ignorant teacher. This clearly demonstrate problem faced by GNU/Linux in class room.


A teacher (from Austin, TX) came to students and confiscated the Linux Live CDs. Next, she wrote an angry email to HeliOS’s project founder, Ken Starks:

After confiscating the disks I called a confrence with the student and that is how I came to discover you and your organization. Mr. Starks, 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. Mr. Starks, I along with many others tried Linux during college and I assure you, the claims you make are grossly over-stated and hinge on falsehoods. I admire your attempts in getting computers in the hands of disadvantaged people but putting linux on these machines is holding our kids back.

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

Read on ken’s reply: Linux – Stop holding our kids back

Perhaps, some one need to educate the teacher and point out that Linux is being used by governments, private & public corporations, and millions of embedded home appliances are powered by Linux.

Update – Dec., 12 2008: This matter is now closed and the student did get back Linux CDs after the class.

Updated for accuracy!

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81 comments… add one
  • None Dec 13, 2008 @ 4:04

    I’d also like to add as a computer teacher, I think schools SHOULD use Linux, Open Office, Scribus, Gimp, and Inkscape. We’d save TONS of money!

    Instead, we use XP, Microsoft Office, no program in the world of Photoshop, and Frontpage.

    Some teachers are restricted by their school board and administration rules.
    I can’t install software or change my clock on my school desktop computer!

    So don’t say that all teachers are stupid and unaware of Open Source software.

  • DearWebby Dec 13, 2008 @ 8:50

    There seems to be lots of noise about a teacher giving dumb cows a bad name.
    It’s just empty noise, though. Why the hostility?

    Are you trying to distract from the fact, that you can’t point to a site that explains Open Source and Linux in a way, that teachers like her can understand?

    Hostile heckling and pontificating is just going to alienate you.
    What is needed is pro-active education, a helping hand, and a more diplomatic atmosphere on most of the forums.
    Have FUN!

  • Donny Dec 13, 2008 @ 19:59

    Wow, my brain hurts from reading this letter. Does she not realize she is using Linux the free operating system everyday she surfs the web?!

    This is just crazy someone should send this lady a couple of the GPL. Then she should have to make an apology to the kid, and her class. Someone should also bring charges on her for stealing the kids cd’s.

    If this isn’t a hoax, which I certainly hope it is, we have taken a few steps backwards. We need to do more to promote Linux as whole. A simple way to get the word out there would be for website owners to put a “Powered by Linux” button on their sites, I think that would go a long way! Just my humble opinion.

    Peace, love and road hockey!!

  • Socal Sam Dec 17, 2008 @ 5:26

    In a way the teacher is correct: There is no such thing as a free lunch.
    How many of you have worked to improve the Linux operating system, or are you letting IBM, Red Hat and others take over the “free” operating system? Look at how much money IBM puts into this “free” software, you can see this at the site and look for their 10X statement.
    Sure Microsoft makes money off their software, why shouldn’t they? (And yes I work for Microsoft.)
    Do you expect to work for free? Oh, wait, do you do volunteer work on the Linux kernel? When was the last time you provided your work or intellectual property to the Linux community?
    Slam Microsoft, but to make comments about hard working teachers like:
    “LOL , thats why he is teacher because he donÒ€ℒt know anything .” Shows little respect for the teaching community, these are people who work hard, care for their students and do a lot of volunteer work for their community. What about you?
    In the real world there is truely no such thing as a free lunch.

  • Dec 19, 2008 @ 18:18

    Woody Allen said it best,

    “Those that can’t do, teach. Those that can’t teach, teach gym. “

  • Mark Chance Dec 21, 2008 @ 22:09

    As a proud Austinite, I’m ashamed.

  • L MAO Dec 24, 2008 @ 22:27

    THAT IS F***ing hillarious!
    If i was that kid, i would have sued that teacher for being a brainwashed ass.

  • securehotel Jan 1, 2009 @ 1:44

    “I called a confrence with the student” == speeling erra!

  • Nick Jan 27, 2009 @ 7:31

    This is the type of thing that really holds Linux back. But that is the kind of teacher that really holds younger kids back.

  • M.S. Babaei Mar 25, 2009 @ 22:46


    Let me send her a copy of Revolution OS (2001 documentary movie).
    Hope they realize facts about Open Source and it’s Freedom and Potential.

  • LH Mar 28, 2009 @ 17:59

    Who’s holding who back? Some classes are being taught by the wrong teachers.

  • Spacenavigator Oct 15, 2009 @ 21:30

    That lady needs to be dismissed, her teaching license revoked and she needs to be barred from being within 1000 of the grounds of any educational activity, and that means all of them incl. universities and community colleges.

    I hope GNU/Linux along with the parents went to court and recovered the real and personal assets of that lady including all of her future earnings, for the arrogance in her official capacity she displayed.

  • raoul Nov 20, 2010 @ 0:59


  • Crispy Chris Mar 11, 2011 @ 7:19

    I’ve never understood it. A teacher can be a genius yet, at the same time, be a complete simpleton (as this article suggests).

  • Abdel Wahab Khan Sep 23, 2011 @ 14:36

    Crap. Bullshit by an ignorant Human.

  • Moshe Aug 6, 2012 @ 17:44

    I wonder if shes ever tried it herself, calling Microsoft and kindly asking them for 95′ cds.

  • linuxrocks Jun 30, 2013 @ 13:07

    thats why teachers have taught kids to use macs. Because they know nothing about computing. Just like most mac users. O look its so easy a dumbass monkey could use it. It must be better.

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