Price of L. Merion bungling

Harriton High student Blake Robbins with his family in February. Under the settlement, $175,000 will be put in trust for him.

The big financial winner in the Lower Merion School District webcam controversy is the lawyer who gets to walk away with $425,000 for suing the school district for spying on students secretly.

Taxpayers can take heart, at least, that the amount of the settlement announced Monday was a good bit less than billed by the attorney for two students. Mark S. Haltzman, attorney for Harriton High School junior Blake Robbins and another student, said he was owed a half million.

Robbins’ will share $175,000 of the total $610,000 agreed to be paid out to end the saga, with another $10,000 going to Lower Merion High School graduate Jalil Hasan – also a Candid Camera litigant.

The best news is that the whole legal drama has been brought to a close, and that school officials have clamped down on the boneheaded practice of usign webcams on students’ laptops to track the computers. Kudos to the federal judges who pressed the district and the students’ attorney to reach a settlement, rather than battle this one out through the courts.

In one of the most elite school districts in the state, you’d think folks would have been smart enough to avoid getting in this costly mess in the first place.