Good God folks. Overreact much?
We’re talking about a teacher giving a quick’n’dirty suggestion to help a bright kid do his homework, not steal credit card numbers and set off nuclear bombs. If I had a kid in the same position, my first reaction (before thinking beyond the immediate needs of this poor education-hungry kid to his potentially wrathful parents and the needs of Microsoft to make another $35.00) would be the same.
I appeciate your efforts to instill your values in your kid, but I don’t think this is something to threaten someone’s job over. He was merely trying to come up with a solution that didn’t involve telling the kid “thats just too bad” or rewriting the whole year’s cirriculum. And frankly stayng after school to do the work on one of the lab’s many idle computers is not qualitatively all the different than doing the same thing a couple miles away at home. Teacher often stretch the limits of “fair use” (if they didn’t, they’d never be able to show the movie versions of books in class) and I can see how this solution might be the first one to come to mind.
FWIW, if your kid plans to do computer maintance, pirating is a fact of life. I don’t know a single IT professional (although I’m sure plenty are about to come out of the woodwork) that doesn’t have a binder full of Windows 2000 disks, CD burning software, unlicensed copies WinZip and the like. When some old lady’s hard drive melts down and and her Dell only came with a restore disk, you arn’t going to tell her she’s gonna have to shell out another couple hundred for a new OS. Heck, Windows recently restricted access to a very very critical update…getting it off of a file sharing service was the only way to quickly patch the security holes. Pirateing may be wrong, but unless you are working for a corporation with limitless IT funds, it’s going to come up and sometimes it is going to be the best option.