* See previous article on teaching intern's arrest.
NORTH FORSYTH — The case of a teaching intern who stole an iPad from a 6-year-old student at Chestatee Elementary and resold it online to make some Christmas cash has generated quite a buzz across Forsyth County and north Georgia this week.
But among the many comments from residents, one question stood out — why would a young child bring such an expensive device to school?
Well, as it turns out, he’s not the only one doing so. In fact, the practice is encouraged in the Forsyth County school system.
Students bringing along iPads and other electronic devices is “as common as today’s adults bringing pencils to school when they were a child,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the district.
The school system has a BYOT, or “bring your own technology,” initiative that teaches students of all ages how to use their devices for educational purposes. Laptops and tablets are even provided to at-need students.
According to Caracciolo, teachers and administrators feel the program enhances the learning process.
Caracciolo went on to note that the Dec. 4 arrest of 21-year-old Kelsey Rose Salie of Flowery Branch for taking the iPad from the student’s backpack while he was in another classroom was the first known theft of a student’s electronic device by an adult.
Although Salie was already inside a Chestatee classroom, safety measures are taken to prevent thefts or break-ins.
“Every teacher has different classroom practices for students storing their devices when not in use,” Caracciolo said.
Salie was linked to the Nov. 19 theft after the student identified her through photos on her boyfriend’s Facebook page.
She apparently had sold the iPad for $200 through his account to a Hall County woman.
The buyer alerted the student’s parents after their contact information appeared when she activated the device, according to a report from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Kate Maine, director of university relations at the University of North Georgia, where Salie is enrolled and through which she had the internship, said the junior faces a range of sanctions — from an oral reprimand to expulsion — if a committee finds her guilty of school violations.
She finished the internship Nov. 21.
As for criminal charges, she faces one count of misdemeanor theft. She was released from the Forsyth County Detention Center later on Dec. 4 after posting a $1,150 bond.
The money has since been returned to the buyer.