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Minnesota Teen Wins Settlement After School Takes Facebook Password

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the mandatory-everything dept.

Education 367

schwit1 (797399) writes "A Minnesota school district has agreed to pay $70,000 to settle a lawsuit that claimed school officials violated a student's constitutional rights by viewing her Facebook and email accounts without permission. The lawsuit, filed in 2012 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, alleged that Riley Stratton, now 15, was given detention after posting disparaging comments about a teacher's aide on her Facebook page, even though she was at home and not using school computers. After a parent complained about the Facebook chat, the school called her in and demanded her password. With a sheriff deputy looking on, she complied, and they browsed her Facebook page in front of her, according to the report. 'It was believed the parent had given permission to look at her cellphone,' Minnewaska Superintendent Greg Schmidt said Tuesday. But Schmidt said the district did not have a signed consent from the parent. That is now a policy requirement, he said.'" Asks schwit1, "How is this not a violation of the CFAA?" It sounds like the school was violating Facebook's Terms of Service, too.

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In other news ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592495)

... apparently people are still using Facebook.

Re:In other news ... (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 7 months ago | (#46592537)

where fascism and distopian sci fi intersect is when Terms of Service become the common law enforced by the full might of the state. IN the future not only will be using Facebook but it will be mandatory to receive basic services like power, water, drivers lic, food stamps.

Re:In other news ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592675)

More and more organizations are encouraging users, supporters, volunteers, employees, etc. to have Facebook accounts. Many require Facebook accounts for use. The USA Federal Government has stated that not having a Facebook account is one way to identify a terrorist.

I guess when Internet Voting is introduced a Facebook Account will be required to vote. God help us all! But then again, maybe the SCOTUS will declare a Facebook Account a tax in order to make it mandatory. (Are you listening Justice Roberts?)

Re:In other news ... (-1, Offtopic)

Feyshtey (1523799) | about 7 months ago | (#46592953)

The USA Federal Government has stated that not having a Facebook account is one way to identify a terrorist.

Bullshit.

The Federal Governmnet actually has rules that state that IF you use Facebook you have to be very concious and careful about in what tone you post to it.

Re:In other news ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592787)

IN the future not only will be using Facebook but it will be mandatory to receive basic services like power, water, drivers lic, food stamps.

Bullshit.

Go kill yourself.

Re:In other news ... (1, Insightful)

RocketChild (1397411) | about 7 months ago | (#46592687)

Does Facebook now lock out the School District and the Principal for violating the TOS?

They WERE... (4, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 7 months ago | (#46593011)

... apparently people are still using Facebook.

Well, they were two years ago. From TFA:

Riley was 13, in sixth grade, when she posted on Facebook two years ago that she hated a school hall monitor because she was mean.

obligatory (2)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 7 months ago | (#46592499)

Re: obligatory (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592577)

zOMG! The sherif hit her with a wrench until she complied?! Why wasn't this on the summary???

Re: obligatory (2)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 7 months ago | (#46592617)

They sure as hell intimidated her for the pwd.

Re: obligatory (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592747)

It disgusts me how school officials act like they are prison wardens and the children they care for treated as though they have no rights.

Between things like private information gathering on Facebook like this, to the webcam viewing scandal a few years ago, to the teacher forcing a student to strip, there seems to be a serious problem with the attitude being brought into schools by officials.

Re: obligatory (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 7 months ago | (#46593055)

It disgusts me how school officials act like they are prison wardens and the children they care for treated as though they have no rights.

It potentially teaches one very important life lesson: those with power and authority are never to be trusted. But that requires a little thought and reflection that sadly only a few are likely to perform by this time this particular meat-grinder is through with them.

Between things like private information gathering on Facebook like this, to the webcam viewing scandal a few years ago, to the teacher forcing a student to strip, there seems to be a serious problem with the attitude being brought into schools by officials.

If you think about it, you realize that this problem is too widespread and too systematic, too uniform to be the result of a few isolated bad actors. It's intentional and it's planned. The goal is, if you teach (by repeated, reinforced example) children from a young age that they have no rights and authority is absolute, they will grow into adults who expect other authorities in government to be the same way.

Oh if you want a fascinating exercise, go look up precisely why schools use bells. It's a tactic that is called psychological warfare in any other context. At the time that it was set up, Dewey and others were quite open about its purpose. Who needs a smoky back-room conspiracy when you can have selling points?

All crap "stories" (-1, Troll)

oldhack (1037484) | about 7 months ago | (#46592507)

All buncha social bullshit click baits.

and they care why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592521)

It sounds like the school was violating Facebook's Terms of Service,

So? You think some legal document your student signed stands in the way of you doing stupid things? There is a legal term for it. FB may have grounds to sue. But why would they really care about something so minor (heh see what I did)?

Not trying to steer the car this car off the road (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 7 months ago | (#46592541)

But what were these these "disparaging" comments exactly?

Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (2)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 7 months ago | (#46592569)

Apparently she was complaining about a teacher's aid... at home, not in school. I haven't seen anything more specific.

Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46592761)

She said that a Hall Monitor was mean, according to TFA.

Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (5, Insightful)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 7 months ago | (#46592619)

But what were these these "disparaging" comments exactly?

Probably something like "These administrators are total fascists."

Look at the districts reply: We searched her cell phone without permission. We won't do that again. Now we have a standard form requiring permission that all students must sign. WTF?! The problem was not a lack of parental signature. The problem was a flagrant abuse of rights, which apparently they are happy to continue.

Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46592771)

It should be noted that the school did NOT search her cell phone because of what she said about the Hall Monitor (at least according to the school), but rather because the girl had been sexting with some other kid, whose parents complained to the school.

Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (1)

hermitdev (2792385) | about 7 months ago | (#46592797)

because the girl had been sexting with some other kid, whose parents complained to the school.

Even if true, unless it was being done at school, why is the school involved?

Re: Not trying to steer the car this car off the r (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592899)

I'm guessing that the sheriff was involved (due to quite likely child pornography) and the school was the easiest place to find her during his ordinary working hours. It's also quite possible that the other parent reported it to the school rather than to the police, but that's irrelevant - either way the police would have probably come to the school to find her.

Re: Not trying to steer the car this car off the r (4, Insightful)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 7 months ago | (#46593101)

In which case he should have a warrent right?

Phone contents (1)

phorm (591458) | about 7 months ago | (#46592873)

Hmmm. If anything, that sound like a good reason for school officials *NOT* to be taking or viewing the students phone contents.

Re:Phone contents (1)

operagost (62405) | about 7 months ago | (#46592923)

Yes. They could be instantly arrested for viewing child porn.

Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#46592929)

Three reasons I'm guessing:

One: people who make rules like these are fond of the idea that they are infallible. Admitting a policy was wrong would force them to admit they CAN be wrong, at which point they assume the students will riot and burn schools to the ground.

Two: the people who made the policies aren't going to be changed, the groupthink that led them to that point hasn't changed, they still believe in the value of the policy and think that everyone else is just ignorant and misguided as to why the policy is so necessary.

Three: Probably some idiotic notion about limiting liability. "If we admit it was wrong, someone ELSE MIGHT SUE US!" No one applies this logic to actually changing the policy or is willing to admit it's the policy that caused the lawsuit of course. It seems to be a weird quirk of groupthink that it's good to be shitty people in a half-assed attempt to limit liability.

Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 7 months ago | (#46593093)

Two: the people who made the policies aren't going to be changed, the groupthink that led them to that point hasn't changed, they still believe in the value of the policy and think that everyone else is just ignorant and misguided as to why the policy is so necessary.

You remember how we've heard for years and years that our schools need more money? Well, they got it and they continue to get it. Do you know where that money went? Not to hire teachers and buy textbooks and computers ... no. For the most part, it went to hire more administrative staff.

Much of schooling is a jobs project as illustrated by Jon Taylor Gatto. You now have lots of administrators who feel a need to justify the existence of their jobs. So, of course idiotic policies (especially "zero tolerance") will be deemed necessary. Like most problems society has, It was a predictable outcome.

Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#46593137)

Citation needed on that. And with legislators addicted to zero tolerance and get tough on shirts untucked, I'm willing to bet that most of the money came with strings on it that set the problem up. "Here's ten thousand dollars... no you cannot fix the roof with it, you need a metal detector!"

Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46593069)

...if the school I attended tried to pull something like this, the kids I grew up with would burn that fucker to the ground.

Kids need strength. They're being oppressed on a daily basis, in multiple ways.

They need to learn to question authority.

Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592637)

But what were these these "disparaging" comments exactly?

"You look like someone that would read Slashdot."

The deputy sheriff should be in prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592591)

They should have known better - time for hard time for that stupid retard.

Re:The deputy sheriff should be in prison (2)

causality (777677) | about 7 months ago | (#46593105)

They should have known better - time for hard time for that stupid retard.

Sadly there is no precedent in America of holding cops accountable.

If he shot and killed an unarmed man, he *might* receive two weeks of paid vacation. Err, I mean administrative leave.

Without her permission? (0, Flamebait)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 7 months ago | (#46592593)

The summary said she gave them her password. That sounds like permission.

The bigger problem here though is that the student actually thought that what she posted on facebook was somehow actually private. Once you release something on the internet you no longer have control of it - particularly when you give that something to a for-profit company. If she wanted it to be private she should not have posted it online, anywhere.

Re:Without her permission? (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 7 months ago | (#46592633)

However WITHOUT parental permission, that's the important part.

Re:Without her permission? (5, Interesting)

Thornburg (264444) | about 7 months ago | (#46592665)

The summary said she gave them her password. That sounds like permission.

A 13 year old can't give permission.

Just like she can't give permission for the school to take her on a field trip or to go off campus for lunch, she can't give the school permission to invade her privacy. Only her parents can.

In some ways, this is really stupid. In other ways, it makes lots of sense. We shouldn't really trust most 13-15 year olds to make intelligent, informed decisions most of the time.

Re:Without her permission? (5, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | about 7 months ago | (#46592895)

she can't give the school permission to invade her privacy

Especially when there are school officials and a cop hanging over her shoulder and threatening her. Not only was it not approved by parents, but it was coerced under threat.

Re:Without her permission? (5, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 7 months ago | (#46592957)

In some states, a 13 year old can give permission for themselves to have an abortion, without parental consent of any kind.

Coincidentally, Minnesota is one of them. However, the parents do have to be notified.

Re:Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592983)

I wouldn't trust 28/38/48/etc year olds to make intelligent, informed decisions most of the time.

Re:Without her permission? (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 7 months ago | (#46593057)

haha, true, but you have to start somewhere right? And in the united states, most of that is 18. With, of course, a bunch of exceptions.

Re:Without her permission? (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 7 months ago | (#46593013)

We shouldn't really trust most 13-15 year olds to make intelligent, informed decisions most of the time.

And by having an expectation of privacy and/or ownership of what she wrote online, she made a very unintelligent and uninformed decision. What you post to facebook is not yours, it is the property of facebook. Not that it really matters one way or the other who owns it, as the important bit here is that once you release information online it is no longer your information, it is available for whoever has access to where you release it.

In reality even email is not private. Once you release something that way you have no control over where it goes after that.

Re:Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46593027)

While a kid that age can't give consent, I feel on a phone or computer they earned, they should be able to give dissent. I was called down to the vice principal's office a few times, them hoping I'd rat out people on minor things, trying to crack me with threats, and I basically told them to bite me in nicer words.... so I can imagine I'd have the same response if I had a phone or something back then and they wanted the password.

Y'know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46593099)

...in ages past 13 year olds were having to make choices that would affect anything from their entire personal future to the future of entire nations.

Maybe if we returned that level of seriousness to 13 year olds we'd have less 18, 21, 30, 40 etc year olds who were acting so fucking immature. Maturity starts when responsibility is demanding. Treating youths as children until they're 18 or 21 or some indefinite point in the future isn't doing them any favors.

I as well as many of my former associates of Gen Y are proof enough of that!

Anon Y. Mouscoward

Re:Without her permission? (5, Insightful)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 7 months ago | (#46592667)

Actually demanding someone's password for any reason is the big picture here. It doesn't matter if she did it at home or at school.
The school should focus on what it's supposed to do, teach students. It shouldn't be policing the facebook pages of it's students.

Re:Without her permission? (5, Insightful)

Feyshtey (1523799) | about 7 months ago | (#46593067)

Actually the big picture here is why any mandatory state-run program thinks they have the right to silence dissent. The anti-constitutional means are only evidence of the Orwellian ends.

This entire scenario is no less frightening than if you were told by a sherrif that you must provide your Facebook password so that they could investigate the fact that you used the site to bitch about the DMV. Or posted that you disliked the voting record of your Congressmen. Or that you thought that the Presidential foreign policy was a joke.

Re:Without her permission? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592673)

"The summary said she gave them her password. That sounds like permission."

Authority figures pressuring a child constitutes duress, and consent given under duress isn't actually consent.

"The bigger problem here though is that the student actually thought that what she posted on facebook was somehow actually private."

No, the problems, in descending order of importance, are:

1. That this authority figure thought it was okay to do this.
2. That you don't recognize that that's the bigger problem.
And somewhere way, WAY down the list, the fact that a child did something naively.

Re:Without her permission? (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 7 months ago | (#46592691)

> The summary said she gave them her password. That sounds like permission.

With a Sheriff right there looking over her shoulder? Sounds like permission in the same way Crimea gave Russia permission.

Re:Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592703)

Legally, she cannot give it.

Re:Without her permission? (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46592705)

It's not really permission if you are intimidated into doing it.

"The bigger problem here though is that the student actually thought that what she posted on facebook was somehow actually private. "
It's only viewably by her friends. Her friends may repeat it, but it's no different then telling something to a group of friends.

" Once you release something on the internet"
overly simplistic to the point of being meaningless. It really depends on many other details. My computer is ';on the internet' does that mean it doesn't have any privacy?

"particularly when you give that something to a for-profit company."
So your medical company can broadcast you medical information all over the world?

Learn to think complex thoughts, please.

Re:Without her permission? (-1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 7 months ago | (#46592843)

The bigger problem here though is that the student actually thought that what she posted on facebook was somehow actually private.

It's only viewably by her friends. Her friends may repeat it, but it's no different then telling something to a group of friends.

Except that it isn't. Facebook privacy is violated all the time. Messages that people post there assuming to be private end up elsewhere on a very regular basis. Even more so when things move from facebook to other places they can go verbatim, with exact records of what what written. This is not the same as saying something verbally where there is always the chance of the message being garbled along the way.

Once you release something on the internet

overly simplistic to the point of being meaningless. It really depends on many other details. My computer is ';on the internet' does that mean it doesn't have any privacy?

If you post something for people to read online, you have released any reasonable expectation of it being private. Just because slashdot says that I own this comment I am posting, I understand that anyone can come along, copy it, post is elsewhere, etc. They might or might not credit it to me. Facebook is not different in any important way. Just because they claim that some messages are private does not mean they are.

particularly when you give that something to a for-profit company

So your medical company can broadcast you medical information all over the world?

They can sell it to whomever they want, just as facebook can sell your profile data to whomever they want.

Learn to think complex thoughts, please.

I'm sorry to see that you struggled so mightily to comprehend what I wrote here. I'm also sorry to see you make yourself look so silly by ending your comment with such a childish insult that does not belong with the rest of what you said - and is refuted by the text that you thought you were replying to.

It gets worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592943)

But Schmidt said the district did not have a signed consent from the parent. That is now a policy requirement, he said.

So the district wants to go from an individual lawsuit to a class action lawsuit? I refuse to sign half of the shit my district sends home, making it clear that we are under no obligations to waive liability or agree to their arbitrary demands in exchange for a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).

One of the items they wanted us to sign stated that we waive the right to sue if our child was killed during a field trip. Only three parents refused to sign, and those students stayed at school while the rest of the class went on the field trip.

Re: Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592947)

"It's only viewably by her friends."

Friends? The average kid probably has about 500 so-called "friends" on Facebook. Posting something on Facebook is hardly whispering it to your closest circle of trusted friends. It's more like walking into a high school dance and yelling it at the top of your lungs.

Plus, it's written and bears your name. If you don't know the difference between something verbal and something in writing, I really can't help you.

Re: Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46593095)

Facebook has a private message/IM feature. If I emailed something to you, do you think it's OK for a third party to coerce me to reveal my email password, because "It's on the Internet"?

Re:Without her permission? (5, Informative)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 7 months ago | (#46592713)

The summary said she gave them her password. That sounds like permission.

No, she refused. Then they called the cops. The police officer and administrator together threatened her, and eventually (in tears) she gave in. Note the age of the child.

As she was not even a teenager at the time, that looks to me like very strong compulsion from authority figures. A normal pre-teen is not going to say "you cannot do this, it violates my rights, let me talk to my parents and a lawyer." Under this kind of pressure they'll believe the officer will throw her in jail forever, and break down.

For the measly $70K, I think I might have continued fighting it through to an actual judgement. That won't even begin to cover their costs to date, nor will it cover the costs of home-schooling for six years. In addition to suing the district, I'd be suing the school administrator personally, and be suing the officer personally for criminal acts done under color of law.

Re:Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592839)

>nor will it cover the costs of home-schooling for six years

Nothing will. The cost of home-schooling for six years is never being a well-adjusted person, and believing whatever derp your parents are feeding you. Most home-schoolers are idiots who want to make their kids copes of themselves, instead of wanting their kids to be smarter and better informed than they are like good parents do. Of course there are exceptions in terrible school districts, but the better option is always to move somewhere with good public schools whenever possible.

Re:Without her permission? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 7 months ago | (#46592871)

For the measly $70K, I think I might have continued fighting it through to an actual judgement. That won't even begin to cover their costs to date, nor will it cover the costs of home-schooling for six years. In addition to suing the district, I'd be suing the school administrator personally, and be suing the officer personally for criminal acts done under color of law.

Actually $70 probably could cover the cost or just nearly so for a private school where she will get a better education than what the public schools had to offer anyway. Had she kept fighting it might not have gone her way. I would have countered probably with "I'll go away for 70K + legal fees to date" but I would have wanted to settle too; a bird in the hand is worth two in bush.

Re:Without her permission? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#46592959)

As she was not even a teenager at the time, that looks to me like very strong compulsion from authority figures. A normal pre-teen is not going to say "you cannot do this, it violates my rights, let me talk to my parents and a lawyer." Under this kind of pressure they'll believe the officer will throw her in jail forever, and break down.

Isn't that pretty well ingrained in the courts though? It seems like (IANAL) the courts have decided that anything the cops do to you to get you to do what they want is fine, so long as they're not actually beating you or cutting off body parts. "They told you you would be raped in the shower if you didn't confess? Well you should have known they were bluffing! They can't do that anymore! Confession stands."

Re:Without her permission? (1)

godless dave (844089) | about 7 months ago | (#46593037)

And why were the cops even involved? I insulted plenty of school faculty and staff when I was a kid. If I had been overheard, I would have expected detention, not the police.

Re:Without her permission? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 7 months ago | (#46592715)

The summary said she gave them her password. That sounds like permission.

Permission from a 15 year old doesn't mean much legally.

The bigger problem here though is that the student actually thought that what she posted on facebook was somehow actually private.

Getting paid $70,000 by the school to avoid a lawsuit seems to indicate that she was right.

Re:Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592753)

Ever hear of a term called "under duress"?

With a Deputy Sheriff standing there, illegally telling her she has to give up her password, without her (or her parent's) lawyer present, that's tantamount to false imprisonment, no miranda rights read, hell, even kidnapping.

Time for serious time for the school faculty and deputy involved.

Re: Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592973)

Look up the concept of "in loco parentis". While it doesn't give the school broad rights or all of the rights associated with her parents, it would DEFINITELY cover things like keeping her in detention. A school can't "kidnap" a child who's been placed in its care.

Re:Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592759)

Did you ever go to a Government school in the USA? If so, you, surely, saw students forced to do things that they didn't want to do. The student was a minor (15 years old) and minors do not have the ability to give legal assent. The student was forced/co-erced to provide her password. A cop stood by to intimidate her into incriminating herself and without access to her/her family's attorney. Additionally, the Government officials claimed to have contacted and received permission to search the student's cellphone but they cannot show proof of the contact or the parental permission. Other articles on this incident present more facts.
Don't you ever watch "Law and Order""?

Re:Without her permission? (1)

fremsley471 (792813) | about 7 months ago | (#46592795)

Is there some new [to the law] concept of private here?

When we 'put something on the Internet', why don't you have an expectation of privacy? I'm not talking about usenet/blogs, etc, but in email. That's on the internet. Of course, you say, but that's different. Can putting a comment on Facebook not be thought of as just a wider email- it's addressed to a fixed number of individuals. No-one outside of my circle can access it with my permission, just like if I sent it. If I wrote a letter to a friend saying I didn't think that person x was doing a good job and my friend took that letter and photocopied it and passed it around, I don't think I'd be liable for any slanderous proceedings (IANAL though).

Facebook posts are not the action of publishing. There is, or should be, a very cogent difference in intent.

Re:Without her permission? (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 7 months ago | (#46592805)

The summary said she gave them her password. That sounds like permission.

The summary also says that she is now 15, implying that she was younger than that when this happened. At that age she has is a minor and has no legal standing to give them permission, even if she wanted (or was coerced) to. The school district needed to get the parent's permission before taking action and they learned a valuable lesson. The court system worked correctly for once.

Re:Without her permission? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 7 months ago | (#46592977)

The summary also says that she is now 15, implying that she was younger than that when this happened. At that age she has is a minor and has no legal standing to give them permission

By creating an account on facebook did she not enter into an agreement as a minor? If she has control over the account she has the right to dictate how it is used. It is no different from the school asking to view a notebook that she carries with her to school.

The school district needed to get the parent's permission before taking action and they learned a valuable lesson.

That's debatable. I won't disagree with a notion of it being heavy handed if all she did was say something mean about a school employee, but the expectation of privacy on the internet is generally ridiculous. If you want something to be kept private you should not post it to the internet or communicate it digitally in any manner. When you release information on to the internet it is no longer yours.

Re:Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592811)

Once cannot consent, give permission, sign and draft legally binding documents, etc. while under duress. This is really basic stuff here, guy.

Re:Without her permission? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#46592841)

haha yeah right.

it was bullied out of her, for a minor the deputy makes it look like she has to give it, that it is not a choice.

70 000 is not enough really - and it should not be paid by the school, it should be paid by the fucking deputy and the fucking school admins out of their own fucking cash.

Re:Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592859)

The deputy and faculty should have to empty all of their accounts, including retirement, max out their credit cards and all of that be given to the student, then they all need to spend at least 50 years in prison and be placed on the child abuser registry.

Re:Without her permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46593043)

I'm sorry, but this is a load of malarky.

Not a very healthy mindset.

"Oh, well because of how I decided to behave, my rights are gone, I have no expectation of privacy, so I shouldn't fight for something I don't have a right to."

What a bunch of bullshit.

That poor kid. I wish I could've thrown some advice her way.

For instance "come back with a warrant" is a great thing to say to police, in situations like that.

Teaching kids to expect the revocation of their rights isn't a good idea..

I've rewritten your policy for you. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592643)

Schools agreed to pay $70,000 in damages and rewrite its policies to limit how intrusive the school can be when searching a student’s e-mails and social media accounts created off school grounds.

The school cannot in any way, shape or form perform any kind of search of any student's e-mails, social media accounts, personal electronic equipment, etc.
If any School faculty, administrative staff, board member attempts to do so, they will be shot on site.

Re:I've rewritten your policy for you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592907)

Yes/No.

I have parents who work as school administrators and I've seen all sorts of stuff happen. I will give some examples of what the school can do and what they can't do.

Example 1: You sign into Facebook on a school pc or using a wifi connection provided by school. Everything you browse and/or post while on their equipment or connection can be considered as being done on school equipment and would be subject to any policies the school, district and/or state may have in place. Even if this is done from your cell phone, just being on their WiFi means you agreed to their rules.

Example 2: You go home and start a hate group on Facebook about a teacher you and your friends all hate. As long as you keep all activities to personal devices/connections AND not while you are attending school (Very important just because it's done on your phone with your internet connection if it's done while you are at school it's a big gray zone), then the school cannot do anything about it. The teacher could possibly get the law involved in regards to slander but the school cannot discipline you because of it. But wait there's more.... most parents will be SUPER pissed when they learn their kids started a hate group about one of the teachers, that means that the school can now advise the parents (they don't even need a reason to do so) and then ask the parents would you agree if we suspend/give detention/etc the student because of the disrespect he is showing towards this teacher? The parents could and most will answer yes and you as a student are still on the hook for it all.

In regards to searching a students anything... if you load your gmail on a school pc they can check squid logs and basically see your gmail account. They legally cannot go and sign in as you again but chances are they already have everything they need...

Terms of Service (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 7 months ago | (#46592693)

It sounds like the school was violating Facebook's Terms of Service, too.

The school has no relationship with Facebook and isn't bound by any terms of service - it's the student who was coerced to violate them.

Re:Terms of Service (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 7 months ago | (#46592741)

Edit: Maybe if the school, or some of the administrators directly involved, have a Facebook account, and the ToS also forbid users asking other users for their account information...

Re:Terms of Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592955)

Terms of service don't just apply when setting up a new account, they apply when you try to access the server. You are bound by Slashdot's TOS when you visit even if you don't post. It is a stupid law, but it is there.

Key words: "After a parent complained" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592707)

Here's a lesson school districts need to take to heart: just because a parent says "do something!" doesn't mean you have to.

This is in no way over (2)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 7 months ago | (#46592711)

This girl is now going to be subjected to a lot of insidious B.S. until she leaves. Teachers will likely be very harsh for any sort of subjective grading. School staff is going to be watching her like a hawk. If she steps one toenail out of line, she's going to be in a world of hurt. If it's one thing I know, when you have no power and she really doesn't, the people who do have even a little power will make your life miserable. And this crap is going to follow her for a very long time too because it's now got a life of its own online.

Re:This is in no way over (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592769)

If she was 13 at the time, and is 15 now, she's likely already in a different school, or will be by next year when she graduates into high school.

That's not to say this might not follow her, but if it does, it won't be happening from the teachers and admins who were directly involved in the situation.

Re:This is in no way over (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592913)

As someone who actually went to school I can tell you it is ridiculously easy to make a teachers life a living hell.
The student and her parents could continue filing complaints about unfair grading every single day.
Then there is the non-obvious illegal stuff you can do like harassment, threatening, following, poisoning, stealing pets and any number of other things.
No, I think if the teachers try to escalate things they are going to be in some deep shit.
At my school several teachers were harassed to the point that they left. One was harassed by stayed, even thought they never found out who was doing it.
Teachers like to think they are in a position of power, but they are outnumbered 30 to 1 or worse.
When one teacher started fucking with us because some students were late to her class, we just decided on mass not to show up until everyone was ready.
She tried to have all of us punished, but what school administrator is going to send home all the students?
Instead they told the teacher to deal with it.

Felony Charges? (4, Interesting)

davydagger (2566757) | about 7 months ago | (#46592731)

> It sounds like the school was violating Facebook's Terms of Service, too.

Thats a felony under federal law now. Aaron Swartz was facing 15 years for something similar.

Oh, and the reason why we don't have a free democratic nation, and the reason why you don't see adults dissent, is because it is beaten out of us as children. We don't have a school system which produces free thinking citizens as adults.

We can pretend this is an isolated incident and not the trend of a large society.

This also demonstates the need to post either anonymously or pseudonymlsy. Its to prevent authority figures from fucking you

Re:Felony Charges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592799)

This also demonstates the need to post either anonymously or pseudonymlsy.

Excellent point, Davy.

Re:Felony Charges? (5, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 7 months ago | (#46592855)

Oh, and the reason why we don't have a free democratic nation, and the reason why you don't see adults dissent, is because it is beaten out of us as children. We don't have a school system which produces free thinking citizens as adults.

Every time I hear Americans talking about the "freest country in the world", I compare my school days with what I hear about school days of American children, and I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. At least in my class, "learning how to stand up against authority" was an (unofficial) subject.

Felony Charges? (1)

JRV31 (2962911) | about 7 months ago | (#46592981)

"All in all you're just another brick in the wall."

Solution : Don't have a failbook account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592733)

Failbook is for fucktards and this is a prime example why sheeple shouldn't have one yet they do to post shit someone else can use against them. Besides there are methods to post sit other than socially fucktarded media sites such as failbook. Blogs are one and having a website is another. HTML and PHP are so fucking easy to learn and if someone can't learn those then they are obviously too fucking stupid to even exist let alone use a computer.

Democratic lunatic Alan Grayson (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592745)

It really amazes me that our politics and the msm have become so skewed that mostly normal people like Palin, Cruz, Rand (not Ron) Paul, etc., get hammered for being whack jobs while borderline psychopaths like Grayson, Reid, Pelosi and the rest of the clown car that makes up the Democratic Congressional coalition are considered mainstream.

We have a Democratic member of Congress who thinks you can tip over an island by putting to many people on one side but Republicans are nuts for wanting a balanced budget.

Something has gone terribly wrong.

ACLU (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592757)

*This* type of thing illustrates well why I give money to the ACLU twice a year.

Re:ACLU (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 7 months ago | (#46592853)

so they can negotiate fat settlement checks instead of winning cases?

Re:ACLU (2)

operagost (62405) | about 7 months ago | (#46592967)

So they can make people take down monuments in remote locations that have been around for 60 years?

Re:ACLU (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 7 months ago | (#46593083)

So they can distribute "Bill of Rights" posters with the Second Amendment deleted?

Frost pi57? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592773)

is IngestiNg [goat.cx]

All people who think they are "in charge" need to (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | about 7 months ago | (#46592783)

The subject says it all. Sacks of self righteous shits!

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592815)

Why would you even bother complying?

Sure, you're likely to be substantially richer than you would be, had you not complied

but I bet it would feel pretty goddamn good, to sit there and say "oh, you'd like my password?

That's cute."

You don't HAVE to do anything you don't want to do. You don't HAVE to obey authority.

That kid should've laughed in the school's face to begin with. Ignored them completely. Tell the cops to come back with a warrant.

You DO NOT "win" a settlement. (2)

citizenr (871508) | about 7 months ago | (#46592845)

Settlement is NOT a win. It is a cop out.

Re:You DO NOT "win" a settlement. (2)

ruir (2709173) | about 7 months ago | (#46592987)

Or so you say. When faced with a lengthy trial, that can go for years, costs of lawyers, and even if you are quite sure you are capable of winning, the possibility of 2 or 3 recourses, often you will settle for an x sum of money. You will be much saner, will go on with your life, and pocket some money on top of that. I did it a few year ago, and even if it would be easy to combat the clown lies my opponent was making up, with plenty of documentation to support my case, at the end of the day, I never regretted it.

Re:You DO NOT "win" a settlement. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46593047)

She still can press criminal charges against the deputy and faculty.

Charges include

False imprisonment.
Failure to read miranda rights.
Failure to have attorney and parents present when questioning a minor.

All serious charges, all with substantial prison terms.

Go get em girl

Re:You DO NOT "win" a settlement. (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 7 months ago | (#46593123)

Suing the government is always kind of joke since the government pays for its lawyers, damages, and settlements by forcing the aggrieved party and other innocent taxpayers to pay

Confirms a couple of things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592887)

1. Good for the kid. Seriously. 70k is a nice chunk of change 2. Glad the taxpayers had to pay for the settlement to the kid. 3. Yet another person named Riley who is little self indulgent prick. Signed, Life of Riley

"After a parent complained about her Facebook chat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592893)

"the school called her in and demanded her password as a deputy sheriff looked on."

What the actual fuck?

How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592939)

...people should be held accountable for what they say and do.

.Yo0 Fail It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592945)

Smit4 only serve

I'd say "free ride to college" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46592961)

but let's be real: By the time they head to a university, that'll be a drop in the bucket. Pretty decent scholarship, though! And no ESSAYS.

School admin reach into off-campus life (5, Interesting)

swb (14022) | about 7 months ago | (#46593041)

The Minneapolis StarTribune had this article and what troubled me was this passage:

"As part of the settlement, Minnewaska school policies now address electronic devices for the first time.

The new rules say electronic records and passwords created off-campus can only be searched if thereâ(TM)s a reasonable suspicion they will uncover violations of school rules. Enhanced teacher training was also part of the settlement."

What bothers me about this is that there seems to be this idea that there are "school rules" that can conceivable cover ANY off-campus behavior, actions or activities. The idea of "reasonable suspicion" as being the grounds for searching anything seems to just make this seem all the more egregious.

As far as I'm concerned, the power of a school administrator extends to the boundaries of the school campus and only off-campus to the extent that the students are participating in some school-organized event (ie, playing school sports off-site or being on a field trip). You can't just say that because someone is a student in a school that you can create rules that extend past the schoolhouse door and empower you to utilize coercive force (police power) to enforce them.

I'm sure much of this thinking has been driven by the motivation to cut underage drinking by making it a violation of school policies and thus eliminating eligibility for sports or activities.

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