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Facebook involved in ACLU lawsuit

In early 2011 R.S. posted a comment, while at home, on her Facebook page about her dislike of a school staff member. The school learned about the comment, and R.S. received a detention and was forced to write an apology to the staff member. She was disciplined again when she cursed on her Facebook page, complaining that someone reported her to the school. This time she was given an in-school suspension and was prohibited from attending a school field trip. The ACLU-MN contends that these sanctions violate her First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

In a second incident R.S. was brought into a school administrator's office where she was coerced to turn over (against her will) login information to her Facebook and email accounts because of allegations that she had online conversations about sex with another student off-campus. Present at the search was a local deputy along with two school officials. During this process, R.S. was called a liar and told she would be given detentions if she did not give the adults access to her accounts. R.S.'s mother was not informed about the search until after it happened. The Deputy and school officials did not have a warrant to search R.S.'s private accounts. The ACLU-MN alleges in their suit that this violated R.S.'s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

The lawsuit seeks damages, declaratory and injunctive relief for the violations of R.S.'s constitutional rights.


Any ideas? Who do you think is right in this unprecedented lawsuit?


Comments (4)

CrazyMom CrazyMom # 0 Up Down

In my view, there is lack of information in this article concerning the matter. Firstly, the authors haven't quoted the comment itself, so that it is very difficult to judge how offensive it is. Secondly, the plaintiff referred to the First Amendment right to freedom of speech only, which sounds rather vague and can be interpreted by lawyers differently. That is why I can't answer your question…

Zocker Zocker # 0 Up Down

What would you say if you came home after a hard day at work and would post on your Facebook Timeline something like 'My boss is a stupid piece of sh*t' only to find out the next day that you've been fired because of that post?
Your Facebook account, despite its essentially public nature, is no media. It means that there you can write whatever you want whomever you want wherever and whenever you want as long as it complies with the Facebook terms of use.
Therefore, it was the girl's inalienable right to write there she thought the school staff is a bunch of morons, retards, Nazi-lovers or else.
It doesn't matter at all what the girl wrote in her post. Nobody in the whole world has the right to persecute her in any way for expressing her opinion on whatever matter, from the intellectual abilities of her teachers to the Holocaust denial to the theory Obama is actually an extraterrtstrial creature from the Aquarius constellation. Even more so, nobody has the right to make her turn over her personal information and search through her private e-mail crrespondence, unless they are not auhtorized to it by the state and are having all the required warrants-shmarrants. It's not about the legal casuistry, it's all about the fundamental democratic values.

Vivien_Leigh Vivien_Leigh # 0 Up Down

I agree that your Facebook account is somewhat of a private diary where you can express all the thoughts and idea that overwhelm you. And nobody has the right to stick their nose into your affairs. Therefore, I think that it's extremely silly of so gentle teachers to allow themselves to get offended and take such measures.

Zocker Zocker # 0 Up Down

It's not just silly, m'dear, it's illegal.

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