A 12 year-old girl in Minnesota is suing her school with the awesome might and bravado of the ACLU behind her. So what’s the hubbub? She says that school administrators forced her to turn over the password to her Facebook account and subsequently went through her profile with a fine-toothed comb.
The administrators requested her personal information after she had gotten in trouble for some posts she made on the social networking site.In one such post, she wrote that she hated one of the school’s adult hall monitors, and in another, a mother complained to the school that the girl was talking about sex on the site with her son.
The student, only identified as “R.S.” was pulled out of class and forced to turn over her account information. “R.S. was intimidated, frightened, humiliated and sobbing while she was detained in the small school room” as three school employees poured over her page. None of them seemed to care that she was upset over it. R.S. says that her First Amendment right to free speech was violated, along with her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. The school shot back, saying: “The district did not violate R.S.’s civil rights, and disputes the one-sided version of events set forth in the complaint written by the ACLU.”
Insofar as the usage of social media on school property with school property is concerned, Courthouse News noted, “In fact, R.S. had used her own computer to communicate with her classmate at home after school hours.”
None of this is terribly new, as several employers and schools have begun to demand private account information.
What do you think? Invasion of privacy or does the school have a right to do this?