Student Files Lawsuit After Teacher Demands Facebook Password, Logs Into Account & Distributes Private Messages

from the wow dept

Remember the story recently about how Bozeman, Montana was asking all applicants for city jobs to hand over their social networking passwords so city officials could log into their accounts? After some widespread complaints, the city smartly backed down, but apparently they're not the only ones demanding passwords. CitMediaLaw points us to a lawsuit filed in Mississippi, concerning a high school student who turned over her Facebook password at the demand of a teacher at the school. The teacher proceeded to log into her account, read her private messages and then send them around to others at the school, causing a lot of problems for the girl.

Apparently, the teacher had originally demanded usernames and passwords to Facebook from a bunch of students to see if they were doing anything illegal (drugs, drinking, etc.), which is already pretty questionable from a privacy standpoint (and violates Facebooks' terms of service). But to then use the contents of private communication to publicly humiliate the girl and punish her for her private messages seems to go way beyond what is both right and legal. Other students at the school had quickly deleted their Facebook profiles when the teacher demanded their passwords, but this girl chose not to, but certainly never expected what followed. It's amazing that any teacher would think that they have a right to demand access to private social networking accounts and then to make use of the content of private messages in that manner.


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  1.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    giving away her rights?

    Since she's a minor this likely doesn't apply, but if you give someone your password, aren't you pretty much liable for whatever they do with your access?

    If this was an adult who gave up their password, I don't know that the teacher did anything illegal, serious bad form yes, but not illegal.

    Fortunately since she's a minor, the girl can't be held to that standard, yes?

     

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  2.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:51am

    Shame on you, Mike!

    Don't you know that teachers are secular saints who work twenty-four hours a day for no pay?!

     

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  3.  
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    yozoo, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:52am

    I dont get it?

    Why would any highschool kid give thier facebook password to a teacher?

     

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  4.  
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    Shawn (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:08am

    Not that it changes the fundamental wrongness of the whole deal but the 'teacher' was the cheerleading coach and the whole thing reads of cheerleader drama. No offense to anyone involved with cheering but the stereotype of the ditsy cheerleader does have a reason :)

     

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  5.  
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    mobiGeek (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:12am

    Re: giving away her rights?

    She was told, by someone in a position of authority over her, to give over something to which they had no right. That is abuse of authority. I would SERIOUSLY fear for the safety of any child under someone who abuses such power.

    I'd bet the teacher would not have this same view. They'd downplay the issue as "just an internet thingy".

     

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  6.  
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    Diaggen, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:13am

    Article lacks specifics as to school policy but....

    It would not surprise me if this was one of those 'zero tolerance', 'you shall do as I say or else' type requests. It is a sad state of affairs when so many citizens are being conditioned to immediately comply with any request from an 'authority figure'.

    There used to be a time when you could trust the courts and law to protect you or at least back you up after the fact in these types of situations. Unfortunately, over the past 10-15 years the combination of law changes and court decisions have unfortunately neutered our protections.

    Maybe in this case the courts will side with the student in what seems to be a rather blatant violation and the school will learn.

     

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  7.  
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    mobiGeek (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    Re: I dont get it?

    1. Because you are 14 and told to respect and obey your elders/teachers/parents/pastors

    2. Because this person decides who is on/off/leads the cheerleading squad.

     

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  8.  
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    mobiGeek (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Re: Article lacks specifics as to school policy but....

    There used to be a time when you could trust the courts and law to protect you or at least back you up after the fact in these types of situations.

    I'm sorry, care to back up that statement? You might feel that was once the case, but there are many stories of past abuses of power that simply have faded from memory or simply didn't have an opportunity to get out.

    There was no "good old days". Look at the stories surfacing today of abuse that took place 30, 40, 50+ years ago. These are the stories that are interesting enough (and provable/believable enough) to get press coverage. There are many, many stories that simply go untold.

    At least today, with 24 hour news coverage and platforms allowing anyone to get their stories out there, we hear about the current problems.

    The "good old days" are back when problems were quashed by authorities or when victims couldn't get their stories out.

     

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  9.  
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    Ryan, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: I dont get it?

    1. So if he told her to bend over and take it, she should've done it out of respect? This goes far, far beyond respect

    2. Yes, this worked great, didn't it? The potential for abuse is enormous, and turning it over is no guarantee that you will even get brownie points

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    Yes...let's blame the victim for the crime.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Ready? OK!
    You have to give your password!
    You really have no choice!
    We want to see your private stuff!
    And speak out with your voice!

    We have to have your password!
    Give it up you stupid clod!
    And if you do not give it!
    We'll kick you off the squad!
    YAY! WOO!

     

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  12.  
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    John Jacob Jingle..., Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:29am

    She hacked into Facebook! She violated their ToS and now is guilty of criminal computer hacking!

    Oh wait... that was overturned... nevermind!

    There is no reason - EVER - for a school official to have ANY passwords for ANY child's personal websites, social sites, etc.

    That opens the doors to WAY to much abuse.


    After all...

    THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

     

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  13.  
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    Rob R. (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:29am

    Re:

    Damn, forgot to sign in to claim copyright on my new cheer.

     

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  14.  
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    Robb Topolski (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:30am

    Not Weighing In

    A Google search tells me that "Tommie" is not a new teacher. I don't want to make guesses either way, but I read this as a one-sided story so far.

     

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  15.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:38am

    Re: Not Weighing In

    As in the teacher has not had a chance to say why it was ok to abuse their position?

     

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  16.  
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    Ryan, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    So...if I give you my passwords, should I be completely dumbfounded and absolved of all blame when you misuse them? I blame the teacher, but it was still a dumb move of the girl.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:40am

    Re: Not Weighing In

    Well, to be honest, the only defense that would remotely pass is if they could prove this girl is outright lying.

    Otherwise, there really is no way to justify disseminating someone's private conversations without their permission, unless the content was criminal in nature.

     

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  18.  
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    spdr (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    Man, sure the girl may have being dumb/or plain silly, however maybe there is an intimidation factor going on that we dont know about. "if you dont give me the password, i will fail you. do you want to go to college? i promise i just want to check that everything is ok" we dont know the whole story however that was me i would not give my passwordz away cus ceiling catz toldz me.

     

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  19.  
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    Mechwarrior, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Not Weighing In

    Its not abuse if those in positions of authority do it. Didnt we learn that from the US Government? Its pretty much precedent now.

     

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  20.  
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    Rah, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:47am

    This most certainly does smack of cheerleader infighting, as I've seen first hand (my niece is on her school squad). The utter crap that goes on - between students AND the purported adults/parents involved - is some of the most inane bitchery I've ever witnessed.

    They take everything so seriously, in some ways importantly so - it is certainly more of a sport these days, not just pompom waving, some of the injuries incurred are on par with any other sport. They train almost daily (and weekends), travel to competitions, fundraise, they *work* at this sport. They also learn to honor the commitment they make or they're gone.

    But the extraneous bitchery that seems to ride shotgun...wow. I can see how a controlling coach would have no problem ordering those students to hand over their passwords 'or else', and I can see the students believing they had to 'or else'.

    Now I'd like to see this supposed teacher's behavior slapped down in court and its banning written into school policies 'or else'.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    If you spread your passwords out to complete strangers on the internet and something happened, then I would blame you.

    If you give your password to your best friends and something happened, I would blame them.

    The only thing bad I could say about this girl is that she was naive with her trust. That's about it.

     

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  22.  
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    Shawn (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Not Weighing In

    Just out of curiosity what exactly would qualify as 'content that is criminal in nature' ?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    bassackward

    Thats what happens when you live in a "dry" county.

    I worked in Pearl, MS for a year and this is the kind of town where the locals know everyone and everyone's business.

     

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  24.  
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    Pete, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    Two years ago?

    The story reads as genuine as Styrofoam. It took two years for her parents to file suit? Where were they when the incident happened? Are the parents banking on a the promise of a big payday from a civil litigator?

    On the other hand, why didn't she delete her account? Or why did she give her the correct password?

    Geez, what's up with the youth of today. We were much more clever and deceitful before all this technology.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: I dont get it?

    > Because this person decides who is on/off/leads the cheerleading squad.

    I thought it's all about the boob size?

     

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  26.  
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    Michael, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:09am

    cha-ching

    Now you sue the crap out of the school board, and this is all over the news! YAY!

     

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  27.  
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    Kennith Perry, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Unbelivable!

    Who does this teacher think she is? When I was in school, we didn't have the internet (yes, I'm old) but if we did and this happened to me, I would have been suspended from school for what I would have told the teacher what she could do with herself. This is an invasion of privacy and the teacher should not only be sued but fired.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    All of this is irrelevant. What this teacher did is a violation of the fourth amendment of the constitution. By demanding the password, which was done on campus under the authority as coach for the school, this teacher at that moment placed themself in the role of law enforcement and conducted an illegal search and seizure of private property. Not only is this a civil matter, but also a criminal matter by stripping the privacy right of a citizen

     

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  29.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re: Two years ago?

    "The story reads as genuine as Styrofoam. It took two years for her parents to file suit? Where were they when the incident happened?"

    Excellent point! I'm sure the parents were informed about the incident when it happened. After all, a Teacher would have informed the parents, and the child in their care, that they were passing her private info around.

    I mean, it's not like we've ever heard of a Teacher engaging in nefarious activities.

     

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  30.  
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    lonewriter (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Re: Shame on you, Mike!

    so that gives them the right to invade a students privacy, don't think so.

     

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  31.  
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    MBraedley (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Re: giving away her rights?

    "If this was an adult who gave up their password, I don't know that the teacher did anything criminal, serious bad form yes, but not criminal." Fixed that for you. The girl still can sue based on a number of torts (libel/slander) or even breach of contract (a stretch, I know, but a case could be made).

     

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  32.  
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    lonewriter (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    she was ordered by a teacher, that was wrong. The teacher should be fired.

     

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  33.  
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    lonewriter (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Re:

    i like that.

     

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  34.  
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    Robb Topolski (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Not Weighing In

    > As in the teacher has not had a chance to say why
    > it was ok to abuse their position?

    A loaded question, but, yes.

    Look, this is a school that still practices corporal punishment (spanking)*. If due process for high-school students in Pearl, Mississippi, is merely summary judgment by a school staff member before getting hit by that staff member, then can't we imagine that it's okay that a 14-year-old girl's notes aren't really private? How many of you had to read aloud the private note you were caught passing in class?

    To be a cheerleader, you have to cooperate with the sponsor**. Now, based on the reading and my vivid imagination, I think that Ms. Jackson (a freshman) was in some kind of online backstabbing campaign against the Cheer Captain (probably a senior). To put an end to it, coach Tommie Hill said she was going to ask everyone for their passwords. She found messages in Jackson's inbox that did indeed show that the squad thought Ms. Cheer Captain was a beee-otch and perhaps that the teacher was no better. Teacher made an example out of Ms. Jackson in much the same way that most very fervent Football schools deal with this -- quite directly.

    Now, I MADE ALL OF THE ABOVE UP. But these are the facts ... She's 14. She has few to no rights. Especially in places like Pearl, Texas where Football is king and the coaches are Gods.

    Robb

    *http://www.pearl.k12.ms.us/schools/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=%2BzVTWWLX9xc%3D&tabid =547&mid=1201 (page 24)

    **page 31

     

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  35.  
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    Robb Topolski (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re:

    No, that was me who was not signed in. :)

     

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  36.  
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    SuperSparky, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:39am

    This is why so-called "Tenure" should never exist for anyone in any position. Fear of losing your job always brings out the best in people. Knowing you're locked in encourages this sort of behavior coupled with arrogance.

    Lesson #1, never let anyone that works for the government be in a union.

    Lesson #2, take responsibility for your child's education and always be suspicious of who is teaching them, if it isn't you.

    Lesson #3, teach your child what their rights are, and what respect really is. It is not blind obedience. When punishment lies outside of what is allowed for school, let your child know you support them if their disobedience is justified. Let them also know how "in trouble" they'd also be betraying that trust.

     

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  37.  
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    jilocasin, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Perhaps it took that long to find a lawyer?

    It's hard to assign reasons from the linked story, but;

    Why two years:
    Perhaps it took two years to find an lawyer willing to take up the case?

    Perhaps they didn't know until recently that they _could_ sue?

    Perhaps they thought it was behind them and it was recently brought up as a reason why she's being denied/punished for something?

    Why she didn't delete her account like the other girls did:
    Perhaps she didn't have as fancy a cell phone, one that didn't allow her to log on to the internet and delete her account.

    We may never know. It still reeks of 'abuse of power', 'poor judgment', and petty vindictiveness. On the part of the teacher that is.

     

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  38.  
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    Lawrence, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:47am

    This is privacy rape

    This is a 14 year old girl, TOLD by an authority figure who does have power over her to give up personal information -- Threat is implied. She had no "consent" in this, morally and probably not legally. And what kind of sick adult would repost to the rest of the schoolchildren her private messages?? To what end??

     

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  39.  
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    jilocasin, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Perhaps it took that long to find a lawyer?

    It's hard to assign reasons from the linked story, but;

    Why two years:
    Perhaps it took two years to find an lawyer willing to take up the case?

    Perhaps they didn't know until recently that they _could_ sue?

    Perhaps they thought it was behind them and it was recently brought up as a reason why she's being denied/punished for something?

    Why she didn't delete her account like the other girls did:
    Perhaps she didn't have as fancy a cell phone, one that didn't allow her to log on to the internet and delete her account.

    We may never know. It still reeks of 'abuse of power', 'poor judgment', and petty vindictiveness. On the part of the teacher that is.

     

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  40.  
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    Robb Topolski (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:50am

    Re: Unbelivable!

    > This is an invasion of privacy and the
    > teacher should not only be sued but fired.

    Maybe. I think it depends on the situation. These are 14-year-old kids we're talking about, not adults. And while I hate her tactics, I'm not sure that they are so damning as to make her lose a successful teaching career.

    I grew up in Cowboy, Arizona (population 12,000 -- now a suburban megopolis of about a quarter million). But even then, you had no privacy. The lockers were regularly searched. Bathroom stalls had no doors. Students had zero privacy.

    Life is different in a small town. Life is different for young students. A small community does give its teachers a LOT of latitude, including the right to be the moral police off-campus.

    I want to hear both sides before coming down on one side or the other.

     

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  41.  
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    Robb Topolski (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Not Weighing In

    Damn, the URL didn't work. Let's try http://tinyurl.com/ls8lym

     

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  42.  
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    AC, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    Give me your Tech Dirt user name and password; because I am your superior!

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: I dont get it?

    see now my parents taught me to think for myself and not just blindly obey someone or take anything they say at face value. So if I was forced to hand over a password to anyone at 14 I would have told them to screw off and/or pretended I didn't have a facebook account. Failing that, I'd tell them a false password then call my parents who would raise a big stink before the teacher even has a chance to try logging in.

     

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    pjhenry1216 (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Unbelivable!

    Your private facebook profile is not school property. Your locker is school property. There is a world of difference between the two. Students have zero privacy *in* school. For all intents and purposes, Facebook is off school property and is considered the student's private life outside of school. The school's reach only goes so far.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    people need to start teaching their kids to lie. if they are being forced to give up a password, tell a fake password, and then get mommy and daddy to raise a fuss.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Shame on you, Mike!

    he obviously said that with his tongue firmly shoved in his cheek

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:15am

    Re: giving away her rights?

    As with sexual harassment, the position of authority puts the teacher in the position that their demand is tantamount to extortion and the student didn't freely give up the password because there was undo influence.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    Yes, this girl wasn't acting like a responsible, intelligent and savvy adult, and thus should be punished and humiliated.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Asking for her private password to that account, is no different to asking for her private details for any bank account, or credit card or ATM card she may have.

    Just because she's underage doesn't mean any of that is okay and that she must comply. Anybody who implies otherwise (that she has LITTLE RIGHTS because she is FOURTEEN YEARS OLD) should consider that. So, the teacher might want to know if she's been buying drugs, so he takes her card and ATM number and removes all the money or prints the bank log and sends it to everyone.

    It's true that being underage doesn't give you the same legal rights as an adult. But only her legal guardians (parents), not teachers, have any say whether an underage kid has rights or not and can make decisions on her behalf and "violate" her privacy.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:33am

    Re:

    And NO, just because she caved in doesn't make it her fault. Kids aren't lawyers, they are kids! They think that adults can override their wishes or their rights, and yes they WILL cave in to any threats, of being flunked, or whatever.

     

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  51.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Shame on you, Mike!

    "he obviously said that with his tongue firmly shoved in his cheek"

    Indeed, and the fact that it can be taken at face value is sadly telling.

     

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  52.  
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    crucible, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Student Files Lawsuit After Teacher Demands Facebook Password

    This teacher should be summarily dismissed.

     

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  53.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Article lacks specifics as to school policy but....

    "At least today, with 24 hour news coverage and platforms allowing anyone to get their stories out there, we hear about the current problems."

    ......are you being serious? You hear what they WANT you to hear, end of story. For instance, I didn't hear ANYTHING from the cable news networks about my jackass Cook County Sherriff going after Craig's List with literally ZERO legal basis. But that's because the traditional media doesn't like Craig's List.

     

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  54.  
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    Gracey, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:00am

    Teacher's don't have the right to be the moral-police off campus. A teacher may be no more moral than a student, or anyone else.

    As a parent I certainly would protest anyone giving my child moral guidance. That's up to me. The teacher's job is to educate, which frankly, in today's system a lot of them are failing. (No, not all, but a lot).

    Asking someone for their facebook password is tantamount to asking them to hand over a personal diary. An invasion of privacy.

    I don't know the circumstances, but I also don't have to know. The simple fact is the teacher should have used another avenue, because the way I see it, her actions weren't moral at all.

     

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  55.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    "Give me your Tech Dirt user name and password; because I am your superior!"

    How many assholes we got on this ship anyway? I knew it, I'm surrounded by assholes.

    ....KEEP FIRING, ASSHOLES!

     

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  56.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    "I thought it's all about the boob size?"

    No, no, no. That just determines who soaps up who in the shower after the game...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Michial Thompson, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    I feel for the school district

    I feel sorry for the School district this took place in. They are already hurting for money everywhere, and now they will have to pay substantially for the damages done by this idiot.

    As for the student, her giving her password to the teacher was questionable, and legally not a requirement. But I am sure she was threatened by the teacher either directly or implied. Either way, her turning the password over to the teacher still holds the teacher to the confidentiality aspects of her job. Spreading any information to any person outside of the appropriate staff at the school would violate that confidentiality.

    Minor's don't have many rights in this world, but they do have the right NOT to be assaulted, or injured physically, mentally or emotionally by those whom the parents trust to care for them. And yes teachers are as much care givers as they are teachers in their roles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    jjmsan (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Not Weighing In

    "Few" rights are not "no" rights, your example would still not give the instructor the right to ask for the information. If the school does not sanction the instructor the parents have no other avenue open to resolving this than to sue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    JackSombra (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    Re: cha-ching

    Good luck with sueing a school board, you would be amazed at some of the protections they have in some states

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    "see now my parents taught me to think for myself and not just blindly obey someone or take anything they say at face value. So if I was forced to hand over a password to anyone at 14 I would have told them to screw off "

    Yeah me too, thats why I dont get it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:54am

    The really sick part is that the teacher won't be fired because the union leaders won't allow it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not Weighing In

    "Now, I MADE ALL OF THE ABOVE UP. But these are the facts ... She's 14. She has few to no rights. Especially in places like Pearl, Mississipi where Football is king and the coaches are Gods." There, fixed that for you. If you're going to be critical, at least get the state correct.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 1:21pm

    Re:

    That is seriously the most entertaining SPAM comment I've ever seen. Thank you for that laugh, Henry the 803rd.

    Now go to Hell and die...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Nasch, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Article lacks specifics as to school policy but....

    I didn't hear ANYTHING from the cable news networks about my jackass Cook County Sherriff going after Craig's List with literally ZERO legal basis.

    And yet you obviously did hear about it somewhere. Which is kind of the point, I think.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Article lacks specifics as to school policy but....

    "And yet you obviously did hear about it somewhere. Which is kind of the point, I think."

    ....yeah...I heard about from HERE. I must have missed the point you got...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 2:30pm

    Re: giving away her rights?

    No

    For example the credit card companies are responsible for fraudulent charged that were not authorized on your card.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    mcs, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Re:

    Well henry you do have a good point. This was all probably just a big scheme by the girl to get money to buy some LV bags.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:11pm

    I agree but...

    Although I agree that the teacher was way out of bounds, this opens up a pandoras box of reasons that add to it being the students fault.

    1. Facebook should never be considered private, thats like hiding a note under a rock, you can hope no one sees it but really, whos fault is it if someone does?

    2. She shouldnt have given up the password, I mean really, the person with the password has the right to do what they want, and facebook says right when you sign up to never give it to anyone, doubt she read that though.

    3. Parents...? Does the girl have any connection with her parents, like maybe asking them their thoughts before doing something like this, where were they. Oh yeah, available afterwards to sue.

    I still think the teacher is out of bounds, thats wicked messed up. Im in high school, and if a teacher had ever done that, wow, it would raise a stink.

    Its really not right, for no other reason than that the teacher punished the student by humiliating her outside of school, and thats wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    mobiGeek (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Article lacks specifics as to school policy but....

    I do agree that they filter stuff. However, it is more WHAT WILL SELL MORE that gets air time. If this story could be played on the air with shots of the girls in the locker room, I GUARANTEE it would be the lead story for the next couple of weeks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    mobiGeek (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Unbelivable!

    Agreed. This would be similar to the teacher demanding the girls bring in their diaries from home.

    If this teacher truly thought something inappropriate is going on OUTSIDE OF THE SCHOOL, they should be contacting the parents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:06pm

    To me it's telling that other students actually deleted their Facebook accounts in response to the teacher's request. Why would they go so far as to do that unless they felt the only other alternative was to give in? This implies that the children did feel threatened in some way.

    As for blaming the girl - ridiculous. So many of you think she should have "stood up for her rights" that I wonder if you have ever been 14. At that age I was shy and easily intimidated.

    Or perhaps she didn't want to lose everything she had on Facebook. She was told that this info was only requested as something like a "background check," she knew there was nothing bad in her account so she had nothing to fear.

    If the facts as stated are true, and the teacher made content from the child's Facebook content public, it's morally reprehensible. I *hope* (not being a lawyer) it's also legally actionable.

    As for this being "a teacher's one mistake" she shouldn't lose her career over - do you *really* think this teacher has never abused her power over students before, in other ways?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:53pm

    Re:

    "As a parent I certainly would protest anyone giving my child moral guidance."

    really? you're serious?

    There are more things wrong with that statement than I have hairs on my head (or had when I was 25) but I've got one question.

    Are you Christian? (or Muslim or whatever)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 7:49am

    Re: giving away her rights?

    Not only is she a minor, but the password was obtained by an adult by abusing a position of authority. It has been determined many times that school officials/teachers have the right to discipline and make demands of students without standard due process. Within the school, the teacher is effectively a LEGAL authority who could have the student suspended for insubordination if she refused. A good principal would have seen through it, but who's to say the student had a good principal? This teacher used intimidation and abused authority to exploit this student. I think this teacher is going down. Hard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Danny, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: I dont get it?

    1. So if he told her to bend over and take it, she should've done it out of respect? This goes far, far beyond respect


    Actually that is exactly how many child abusers treat their victims. They abuse their authority by reminding them that because they are only a child no one will believe them and/or that since they (the abuser) the child is supposed to do what they say without question.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Danny, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 9:06am

    If social netowrking sites are such a big deal....

    ...then why not just ban them. Sure that would be a punk move but the school would be well within its authority to do so and for the all the tech savvy the kids might have to get around the blocking they would be breaking school policy doing so meaning that they can then punish said kids.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    icon
    Cody Jackson (profile), Jul 29th, 2009 @ 9:18am

    How about change your password?

    Whenever I hear about stories such as this, or those surveys that show people will give up passwords for free items, I always have the same question: why not give out a fake password? No one will no whether it's correct or not until they try to log in, then they won't know whether you deliberately gave the wrong password or simply changed it.

    And that's an alternative: Give the right password and then change it ASAP. Or you can use some of those encrypted password holding programs that generate a random password for each of your sites. You can then legitimately say you don't know what your password is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Danny, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 9:19am

    Re: I agree but...

    1. Its not like she put her user info out in the public and someone used. A teacher abused her authority to get it.

    2. I attribute this to her age. Bullying a 14 year old (a 8th grader or freshman right?) is one thing but I doubt this would have worked on a 17 year old senior who would be a bit older and wiser (and more willing to go against authority).

    3. Again her youth. A fgure of authority is pressuring a kid to give up her user info and I wouldn't be surprised of the teacher demanded her to give it up before the end of the day under threat of suspension. Its about like shady dealer trying to pressure adults into making a suspicious deal by saying you have to agree to it NOW or lose out except the adult is wise and bold enough to refuse the deal no matter how much pressure is on them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jul 29th, 2009 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Not Weighing In

    > She's 14. She has few to no rights. Especially
    > in places like Pearl, Texas

    Pearl is stil in the USA, so she has all the rights guaranteed her under the US Constitution, several of which the school apparently violated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jul 29th, 2009 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Unbelivable!

    > But even then, you had no privacy. The lockers
    > were regularly searched. Bathroom stalls had
    > no doors. Students had zero privacy.

    That's because the lockers and the bathrooms were on school property and used by the students during school hours.

    Facebook accounts are private and used off school property and not during school hours (as the article notes, Facebook is blocked on school computers so any use *had* to be from home).

    An equivalent and proper analogy would be if-- during your years in Arizona-- your teacher had shown up at your home and demanded to look through your diary, then taken it to school, photocopied it, and passed it around to everyone else.

    I doubt that would have flown back then, even in Cowboy, Arizona.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jul 29th, 2009 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Unbelivable!

    > Life is different in a small town. A small
    > community does give its teachers a LOT of
    > latitude, including the right to be the moral
    > police off-campus.

    There's no exception in the US Constitution for "small communities". A town doesn't get to exempt itself from the restrictions the Constitution places on government just because of its size and the government (in the guise of the school, in this case) has no authority to police the morals of students when they're in their own homes.

    Back in the day, small towns were isolated and they may have been able to get away with their excesses and outright illegal behavior because no one ever heard about it, but now with our wired world, even the smallest communities find their foibles virally transmitted around the world in a matter of hours, attracting the attention of big-time civil rights attorneys who just love to make their bones slapping down rural school officials who think they're the gods of their particular domains.

    Bottom line, when this case eventually goes to trial, it will be absolutely no excuse for the school district's lawyer to stand up and say, "But judge, we're a small town and life is different for us. We routinely allow our government officials to do things which would violate the Constitution in big cities."

    The school better have a better defense than that or the next thing they'll hear is, "Judgment for plaintiff."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: Two years ago?

    On the other hand, why didn't she delete her account?

    Apparently, the site was accessed the same day the password was collected, and the girl didn't have access to Facebook from school. So the answer is: no opportunity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Weighing In

    Students have no* rights under the Constitution. They lose their protections once they pass through the schoolhouse door.

    *few enough as to make the difference accademic

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Weighing In

    not true, many courts have shown that it is illegal to rifle through a student's back without having reasonable suspicion. they can't do strip searches. The students actually have quite a few rights, including most of the protections that the first amendment provides.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jul 29th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Weighing In

    > Students have no* rights under the Constitution. They lose
    > their protections once they pass through the schoolhouse door.

    That's not what the Supreme Court of the United States has said. In fact, one of the most famous quotes on the subject by the Court was that "students do NOT shed their rights at the schoolhouse door."

    But even so, this student's Facebook account was created, used and managed in her own home; schoolhouse doors had nothing to do with it, hence her rights were in full effect.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    msgreeneyes77, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 2:11pm

    facebook privacy

    Invading someones facebook is the same as invading anything else personal. This is a student at school. Not a prisoner at a jail. The content of her fb isn't the issue. The issue is why!!!!!!! would any authority figure other than a prison guard or police officer With a Warrant!think it was ok to invade a free person's private property. What's next, are they going to demand cell phone records too! How about the family mail before it's delivered to their house, the parents and/or girls credit report, Medical records? Maybe next they'll demand to search the house? I mean this IS after all a School Official!!! Don't they pretty much all think they have the right to do anything that concerns a student? I work as a substitute teacher. I can tell you from being 'in the action' the kids very seldom get the benefit of the doubt!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    msgreeneyes77, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 2:11pm

    facebook privacy

    Invading someones facebook is the same as invading anything else personal. This is a student at school. Not a prisoner at a jail. The content of her fb isn't the issue. The issue is why!!!!!!! would any authority figure other than a prison guard or police officer With a Warrant!think it was ok to invade a free person's private property. What's next, are they going to demand cell phone records too! How about the family mail before it's delivered to their house, the parents and/or girls credit report, Medical records? Maybe next they'll demand to search the house? I mean this IS after all a School Official!!! Don't they pretty much all think they have the right to do anything that concerns a student? I work as a substitute teacher. I can tell you from being 'in the action' the kids very seldom get the benefit of the doubt!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    celle, Jul 30th, 2009 @ 1:08am

    Re: Re: Unbelivable!

    A facebook account is not school property. Didn't we learn from the 1960's civil fights that just because it was done before doesn't mean it was ever right.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    g1252, Jul 30th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    facebool privacy

    It would be very interesting to fine out what happens to the teacher on this. The only people who have the right to a minors usrernames and passwords are their parents, and absolutely no one else, including (teachers, principles and any school officials or administraters. I would hope the courts would throw the book at any of the school officials involved. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against teacers or such. But I do have a large problem with anyone abusing their authority over an influsntial person, be it a minor or an adult. These kind of things need to stop. The parent also need to tell their childeren not to give up any personal info. of any kind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Jul 30th, 2009 @ 9:47am

    unbeleivable

    The teacher had no right to ask for anyones personal information for any reason. Anyone involved with reteiving and or distributing this girls private information should be reprimanded.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Hill Billy, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 11:47am

    facebook privacy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    icon
    Hill Billy (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    facebook privacy

    Although Bozeman is about 100 miles southeast of Lincoln,
    it's still Montana ... (Lincoln is where Ted Kaczynski
    had his little bomb factory).
    Mississippi is another story ... but I think Alabama has
    the record for flunkies (teachers) in any profession.
    I grew up in a western suburb of Chicago, and I can't
    remember there being more than 10 percent of the grade
    school and high school teaching staff that was worth
    anything.
    Fire any person who tries to intimidate a person (no matter
    how young) by demanding their personal information. This
    includes police. This is not (yet) a fascist society.

    Why is anyone surprised that this occurs in backwoods
    communities?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    heydee, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 11:00am

    fuck this teacher

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    forex brokerage, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    What is the purpose of the teachers on why are they able to get the private information of the students? Is there anything that could allow the teachers to do this?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    Terrie, Sep 2nd, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Facebook passwords

    It is not the schools job to police the students outside of the school activities and property. Facebook accounts used at home or outside of school is not within their right to police.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    identicon
    missmay, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 8:37pm

    What a Shame

    I am appalled at the teacher's request. How dare she go into a student's private life. I am considered a very strict parent. This is my job. The teachers job is only to educate my child and direct her in the right direction during school hours. I am a moslem parent so right off the bat I am pretty much a snoopy mom, but to have a teacher interfering in my child's social life is out of the question. WHO the hell does she think she is? I will definitely tell my child to respect her teachers but to also hold her ground. If she feels uncomfortable with what is requested she is to come to me for advice. I have the final say. This teacher should be fired or sent to a boot camp to teach. It's enough our kids have some of their privacy provoked by their own parents, that is my right, not some total stranger who has not paid my bills, put food in my families mouth, or dealt with my family life. Why doesn't she give me her password and screen name, let me pry into her social network, (if she even has one) what in the world is she thinking. Teach my child don't you dare degrade her in such a manner. Shame Shame Shame on her. If she really cared she would have approached this in a respectful manner With only her principal, other teachers, and parents. What was her actions going to prove. What was she a jealous teacher. If she suspected drugs she is to take it to law enforcement. I am now speechless, enough said

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    identicon
    may, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 8:48pm

    disgraceful

    duh abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz now i know my abc's next time won't you kiss my ass

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    identicon
    missmay, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 8:50pm

    Re: lol

    you're too funny. a man of many words.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    missmay, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 8:51pm

    Re: facebook privacy

    hey i want your screen name Hill Billy too funny.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    identicon
    missmay, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 8:57pm

    Re: giving away her rights?

    yeah ok pixelpusher220, when you are getting intimidated by a teacher let's see how quick you are to respond. Have some compassion for the timid ones, you know there are many of them still, have you forgotten how scary some teachers can be and how they embarrass you in front of their peers. Sometimes children do things without thought just because they are nervous and realize the big mistake they made when it's too late to fix. She trusted the teachers, she is taught to trust them in pre-school years. Let's see how you react when someone does a similar situation with your child. Well, that is why she is going to court to make this type of action illegal and to never be allowed to happen again. Don't be so quick to defend this teacher. The number one people I admire and adore are teachers. They are my favorite people. I cherish and respect their job and caring ways to children that are not their own. But not this kind of teacher. She is a monster. A cruel witch hunt on her part.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    identicon
    missmay, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 9:00pm

    Re: Re: giving away her rights?

    Wonderfully Said. I agree, you sound like a teacher with a conscience and with knowledge I applaud you hegemon

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    dont matter, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 8:28am

    Re: giving away her rights?

    r u fuckin stupid?? havent you heard of privacy law?? what she did was in everyway iilegal. Facebook in no way relates to school. and what students do outside of school is there business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    HA! && they wanna allow teachers to go through student lockers at school. It will be a million times worse!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103.  
    identicon
    Dumb Teacher, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Dumb Teacher

    Wow, that teacher must have been desparate to have a faceboook account, lame teacher

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
    identicon
    Kate with a "C", Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Unbelivable!

    No matter the size of the town and the rights of the students inside of school, Facebook is not connected to the education, whether athletic or academic of this girl, I guarantee it. My high school implemented random drug tests (for students who volunteered in order to be allowed extracurricular activities), locker searches (which were school property and school right by law) and drug hounds would come into classes and sniff our belongings for illegal substances. However, this did not give the school the right (legally or morally) to follow us back home, search our house, bug our phone, and hack our emails and social networking sites. The teacher, especially given that she is a coach, used her authority over girls who were taught to obey her or else punishment would be in order to abuse the privacy rights of a young minor who didn't even realize she had them. Sure, it was naive, but she's only fourteen years old, and was probably intimidated and confused. As long as she did not break any laws, I don't see why she should be held at all accountable, or why the coach should receive any less lawful punishment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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