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Drone to be used at Ridgewood High School


June 22,2015
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, An item on the Ridgewood BOE’s meeting agenda for June 22, 2015 reads as follows:

“Acceptance of a gift in kind from the RHS HSA of a Go Pro [DJI] Phantom 2 Quadcopter to be used to film activities at Ridgewood High School.”

Say what?Who is going to be flying this drone and will students be present while it is in use?

This is a very big lawsuit waiting to happen.  Even experienced pilots frequently crash these devices.

Remember what happened to Enrique Igleslias!

But what happens when a UAV filming a sporting event or wedding loses control and hits bystanders? Who is at fault, legally speaking? Fast Company reached out to experts in order to find out—and the consensus is, at the very least, the pilot will have a lot of explaining to do.
Gerald C. Sterns, a California-based aviation and personal injury lawyer, says that common law offered the best precedents. “My analogy and best estimate would be a common law and a judge would find if you bang someone in the head, [such as with] a non-domesticated animal who caused damage to another,” Sterns said. “The owner claimed he wasn’t negligent, the animal got out. The judge said it didn’t matter. If you keep a wild animal you do so at your peril. A judge might view drones causing damage as no different than the non-domesticated animal causing damage.”

Negligence was also broached with Florida aviation attorney Timothy Ravich. He said the operator of a small UAV that loses control and accidentally injures an individual could be named as a defendant in a trial. Though the question of liability is up to a judge and jury, the vehicle’s loss of control could lead to charges of negligence—charges that, depending on the specifics of the situation, could also lead to the UAV’s manufacturer and event organizers being named as defendants as well. In addition, intentionally injuring bystanders with a UAV brings up separate issues of criminal law.

14 thoughts on “Drone to be used at Ridgewood High School

  1. Exactly what “activities” is the drone going to be filming?

  2. What were Board members thinking when they approved this? The attorneys are now lining up.

  3. Could be beneficial next time the turf floods the athletic fields….

  4. Plain dumb move.

  5. Really stupid and sending a very poor message to students. Is this Sheila Brogan’s idea; does she approve.

    They are noisy , dangerous, and unnecessary.

    I guess when you belong to the one percent of top wealth; you own the earth.

    That, James, is why I will vote for Clinton. Not because of her wealth or efforts to make personal wealth, but because she cares about the environment.

    A camera isn’t good enough to film activities. WHAT VULGAR PIGS. HAIL THE NEW PRESIDENT, HILLARY CLINTON, who has excellent priorities. and values. THIS makes me want to campaign for her. I will I will I will

  6. @11.52am: How do you know Hillary cares about the environment? What? She said so? What’s her legislative history when it comes to environmental issues? Hey, she’s female and is on the Blue team. I get it, but don’t give us that environmental care crap. The only issue she cares about is saying and promising whatever it takes to win.

  7. If Hillary wins, maybe Paulie boy will get a job with her and LEAVE. but…..he will have been voted out of office in Ridgewood by then anyway.

  8. So this is what my HSA monies are being used for?
    Time to stop paying.

  9. Is gift use SPECIFIED to be used ONLY for school activities?
    How is “school activity” defined?
    – does it include pre-school and post-school hour activities?
    – does it include EVERYTHING that occurs on school grounds – even if no formal activity is taking place?
    – is “security” considered a “school activity”
    – does it include off campus activities involving RHS students?
    – etc…

    And what will be done with these images?
    And who “owns” these images?

    Will this be live streamed – or filmed?
    Where does the feed go?
    – public website?
    – private (sign in) web site for parents/students/faculty of RHS?
    – police?
    – etc…

    Will it be restricted to RHS use only or will it be “loaned” to elementary schools?

    Who will be authorized to run the drone (will we have to hire a new position or pay for certification training)?

    Can the drone be “signed out/loaned” for use in other town or private activities?

    And what about the parents who DO NOT sign the approval for their child’s likeness to be published… how is that responsibility going to be honored? THIS is a HUGE lawsuit waiting to happen

    Many, many issues here… not well thought out.. potential for abuse.

  10. 2:51pm – a drone AND a $40K piano for the “Learning Commons”!!!

    I would urge the HSA to stop the insanity now.

  11. Too many lawyers on these posts, not enough Lily fans
    Flying cameras are here so have fun trying to stop them Luddites

  12. An individual has no expected right to privacy regarding anything that they expose to the public, so if the school wants to photograph the kids publicly they can as long as it doesn’t include bathroom breaks or locker room situations. Even the cops can photograph anyone they want in a public situation, so as much as people don’t like drones I think it’s some thing we are going to have to get used to.

  13. 40K piano? Is it Liberace’s gold and diamond encrusted model?

  14. The issue isn’t privacy as much as it is safety. Who is going to be flying this thing?

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