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ACLU Sues School for Accessing Student's Facebook: Whose Side Are You On?

News 2012/03/28 23:38:10
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The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Minnewaska Area School District in Minnesota for allegedly forcing a 12-year-old student to give them her Facebook login information after the student was accused of engaging in a sexual conversation with another young student over Facebook. According to Mashable, a school administrator and a local police deputy searched the girl's online chat record before notifying her parents. They didn't find anything.

The issue is complicated by the fact that the girl is not technically old enough to have a Facebook account, but the ACLU is accusing the administrator and the deputy of violating the girl's First and Fourth Amendment rights (freedom of speech and freedom from unreasonable search). An ACLU director issued a statment saying, "Students do not shed their First Amendment rights at the school house gate." Who do you think is in the right: the school or ACLU?


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Top Opinion

  • jgh57 2012/03/29 00:14:42
    ACLU
    jgh57
    +14
    I'm so glad my kids are out of school now. I would have instructed my kids to cal me anytime they were in trouble in the office. Schools have gone crazy and try to monitor and interfere in things that are none of their business. The kids need to have an adult there who is representing them, especially if the police are involved.

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  • HAlex1972 2012/04/28 22:16:46
    ACLU
    HAlex1972
    Students have the right to privacy too, and the school personnel needs to keep their snooping noses out of this student's business.
  • John Nivella 2012/04/09 16:46:24
    ACLU
    John Nivella
    OH the horror, young students talking about sex between each other at school? Like we never did that when we were young... It is much worse when adults try to insert themselves into the sexual identity of these kids, and all of this smells like a covert act of voyeurism. They didn’t find anything? What were they going to do, expel her, put her in jail? What a moronic society we have become... I hope she wins.
  • Giantfighter 2012/04/03 06:36:33
    ACLU
    Giantfighter
    That's an unsubstantiated invasion of privacy, unless the parent gave authorization
  • El Prez 2012/04/03 00:18:19
    ACLU
    El Prez
    The school has no right to the private account of a student any more than they do to a private phone etc.
  • RocPaperScizors 2012/04/02 17:26:00
    ACLU
    RocPaperScizors
    Before Facebook there was still sexual conversations going on between kids. Now that Facebook is here, kids will 'get caught.' I'm not condoning the behaviour, I'm condoning getting mad when organizations, companies or even institutions breach private spaces without a serious purpose. Com'on, it wasn't a life or death situation. It's the beginning of an Orwellian world.
  • P. Sturm 2012/04/02 05:47:31
    ACLU
    P. Sturm
    If my great grand daughters and great grandsons are screwing their friends like rabbits, it's the family's business, not the bloody school's. How about they stop worrying about how they socialize, dress, do their hair, etc. and concentrate on other issues like, can they read, add, or spell their bleeding names at the end of the school year!!!
  • Died 2012/04/01 13:19:38
  • Eccles 2012/04/01 13:03:26
    ACLU
    Eccles
    +1
    Ridiculous.
    bucket
  • sandra Eccles 2012/04/01 14:03:13
    sandra
    +1
    What a cute picture ! xxoo
  • sandra 2012/04/01 08:22:03 (edited)
  • bob 2012/04/01 06:54:43 (edited)
    The school
    bob
    I fear I hit the wrong button. My vote in this case is for the ACLU. Key pieces of information missing from the Question and its discussion are, did the alleged conversation happen on school time, school property or school equipment. Information in other posts on this thread say it happened apart from the school. If true, then the school had no standing to even question the student, much less investigate her FB Acct.



    However... If the alleged activity happened on school property or during a school function then the principle of "in loco parentis" is in effect and, I think, the school is justified.



    Third option: the aggrieved parent filed a legal complaint with the police. An officer, accompanied by the parent, goes to the school because he knows the child will be there. The officer interrogates the child at the school because it's expedient and convenient. This scenario might excuse the school. With the caveat that "in loco parentis" might require that the school 1.advocate for the accused student and/or 2.notify the student's parent(s)

    (PS, can anyone tell me if there's any way to change my vote?)
  • Jay Calderone 2012/03/31 22:08:39
  • Giantfan 2012/03/30 20:28:14
    ACLU
    Giantfan
    +2
    The school should have gotten ahold of the parents and asked them to get the girls log in information and if they refused it's a family matter not a school matter.
  • ZB 2012/03/30 19:30:14
    ACLU
    ZB
    +3
    As much as I dislike the ACLU, I can see their point this time. Facebook accounts should not be viewed by the schools looking for infractions. That's the parents job. The schools need to focus on educating the children, not policing their private lives.
  • Joyfullymeallen 2012/03/30 18:59:35
    ACLU
    Joyfullymeallen
    +1
    It seems that more and more the government and schools and society are trying to push Parents out of authority in there kids lives and trying to take away the rights of kids and parents. Its a shame really. It is one reason i want to home school my children. Cause at least they wont have to worry about someone making accusations against them and not having an adult there to support them.
  • sandra Joyfull... 2012/04/01 08:25:23
    sandra
    You are so right on .
  • Stan Kapusta 2012/03/30 18:17:19
    ACLU
    Stan Kapusta
    The longer Obama is in office the more I'm starting to see a use for the ACLU. This is one of them. This year I might ask someone[not me] to forget sending them a Christmas card. It's a good thing they are doing.
  • Giantfan Stan Ka... 2012/03/30 20:31:21
    Giantfan
    And you had to bring Obama into something that he had nothing to do with. Try staying on subject and keep your hate for other political issues.
  • Stan Ka... Giantfan 2012/03/30 22:50:54
    Stan Kapusta
    like i'm really going to listen to you.
  • Giantfan Stan Ka... 2012/03/31 02:59:12
    Giantfan
    That's your problem in a nutschell.
  • Stan Ka... Giantfan 2012/03/31 13:11:44
    Stan Kapusta
    +1
    No problem. Really, Have a good one.
  • Giantfan Stan Ka... 2012/03/31 18:26:28
    Giantfan
    Thanks, you too. I just meant no one will listen to other's ideas. Everyone is too stubborn to listen to anyone else's way of thinking dismissing it as being foolish or wrong. Most good ideas come from a combination of different views combined into one good one.
  • Stan Ka... Giantfan 2012/04/01 03:19:43
    Stan Kapusta
    +1
    You are 100% right. If nobody told me I was doing wrong, I guess it would be ok to walk off a bridge. Nobody said stop. Anyway Have a good one.
  • weenyboy 2012/03/30 18:00:05
    ACLU
    weenyboy
    +2
    As a retired High School Teacher/Administrator, I never ONCE delved into the personal lives of any of my students! Why? Because it was none of my business and my responsibility was the EDUCATION of these students..... not getting some perverse pleasure out of looking into their personal lives. I taught Gay kids as well as Straight and treated them equally. Perhaps that is why many felt that they could ask for advice which I always began with ".... in mY OPINION..." Preaching was not ever acceptable nor was sharing ANY personal information that they wished to share. This was MY code of ethics!
  • Anonymous Coward218 2012/03/30 17:56:54
    ACLU
    Anonymous Coward218
    +1
    What a student does on their own free time is the responsibility of that student and/or the parents...NOT the school. I ave seen on the news that some employers are also now asking for Facebook passwords from applicants! Where do we draw the line on these invasions of privacy and liberty?
  • davyd god loving patriot 2012/03/30 17:53:40
    The school
    davyd god loving patriot
    seems to me school is not for facebook or sexual messages between students, why do we defend someone's rights no matter how wrong the person is, look at who we have in the WH
  • ZB davyd g... 2012/03/30 19:33:01
    ZB
    +2
    Who said the entries were done during school time on school equipment. If the school doesnt want the students accessing these website, block them. It's that simple. Also, the students login information is none of their damn business. If they thought there was a problem they should have called the parents and let THEM look into it. It wasn't and isn't their job to do things like that. I would do the same thing that the ACLU is doing if that happened to one of my kids.
  • Disside... davyd g... 2012/05/21 21:05:07
    DissidentRage
    Because it sets a dangerous precedent. If you don't stop the government there, where will you stop them? If you decry a person's speech as offensive and get it successfully censored, what else can you deem as worthy of censorship? Eventually you'll have state-run media that doesn't report on the dastardly deeds the government is always cooking up.
  • Steamtrain 2012/03/30 17:41:10
    The school
    Steamtrain
    +3
    Unreasonable search and siezure. Damn right, I'm on the ACLU side!
  • God bless American freedom 2012/03/30 17:26:03 (edited)
    The school
    God bless American freedom
    +1
    A. I am NEVER on ACLUs side since they support groups such as N.A.M.B.L.A. et al .... what a disgusting group .... Why isn't ACLU fighting against our government to prevent warrantless search and seizure of safety deposit boxes and the governments self grown permission to itself to seize gold etc found in these warrantless searches etc etc etc ?

    B. Schools have zero control over what people outside of school grounds nor should schools have any such control..... except over contractural control with teachers , tenured or not .... Then schools ( private and public ) have the right to contract certain controls over teachers on how the teachers actions online ( not POLITICAL OR RELIGIOUS CONTROL unless those are threatening to students or parents rights ) outside of school hours affect children, parents and the schools reputations.

    If teachers refuse such contracts then they can always search for work elsewhere.

    The parents can use attorneys not involved with ACLU and should hopefully in future better monitor their own childs online activities themselves... as GOOD parents do.
  • Steamtrain God ble... 2012/03/30 17:59:17
    Steamtrain
    So, you do not support the Constitution of the United States? You should learn what the ACLU is all about. The ACLU is dedicated to protecting the individual and/or groups against tyrannical government (Federal, state and local) violations of the Constitution, whether you or I disagrree with their position. As I am a member of the ACLU, I thought you should be made aware of what you obviously don't know.
  • God ble... Steamtrain 2012/03/31 14:36:48
    God bless American freedom
    ACLU is all about protecting groups such as N.A.M.B.L.A.
  • NoName God ble... 2012/04/01 22:32:57
    NoName
    *facepalm*

    Yeah, you believe that if you want.
  • God ble... NoName 2012/04/02 00:37:22 (edited)
    God bless American freedom
    Um.. I believe it because it IS what ACLU does .. you know.. proof .. historically documented proof? As in ,, courts of this nation.

    Perhaps if you actually looked it up for yourself you would cease with the pretense you did... " member of the ACLU" . Why should anyone lie about court documented evidence eh?
  • Steamtrain God ble... 2012/04/05 22:55:59
    Steamtrain
    Cite the case for me or shut up.
  • God ble... Steamtrain 2012/04/10 22:27:16
    God bless American freedom
    I have done so in several other answers . Why not save yourself alot of time and look it up yourself? Just as I did and others do?

    Complacency and laziness are synonymous with the death knell of freedom.
  • Steamtrain God ble... 2012/04/12 19:27:59
    Steamtrain
    You made the statements, now, prove them, if (which I doubt) you have them.
  • Disside... God ble... 2012/05/21 21:06:27 (edited)
    DissidentRage
    So is allowing government to abridge your rights because you find something offensive.

    Also, when you make a claim, the burden of proof lies with you.
  • Headhunter 13 2012/03/30 16:46:37
    ACLU
    Headhunter 13
    +1
    In this case. But realize if you got rid of this stupid social media and made kids interact and learn socialization this would not be an issue
  • MissNovemberTuesday 2012/03/30 16:32:43
    ACLU
    MissNovemberTuesday
    +1
    Nobody should EVER be able to see anything you don't make public on your socail sites. If it was not meant to be seen, then it should not be. I can understand if someone sends something threatening, to another student, then the student who received it, can choose to show the school, and they are within their rights to do so. People need to keep in mind that what they send to others could be shared by them. I have been hearing of jobs that want to force employees to turn over their passwords and such. I am sorry, but all of this is a breech of privacy and security.
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