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School sued for privacy invasion

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Shoshino, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/10/us/mi...paign=Feed:+rss/cnn_latest+(RSS:+Most+Recent)

    http://www.newser.com/story/141499/girl-aclu-sue-school-over-facebook-flap.html

    The article is one sided but we'll just discuss what we see for now. As the article goes, a girl is punished for a comment made on face book, the comment was not made from school property or during school time. She was then punished again for another comment made, again not from school property of durign school hours. Soon after a parent complains to the school that the girl is discussing sex on facebook at which point the school goes third reich on the girl, interrogates her, forces her to hand over her login details, accesses all of her private communications and gives her a 'hard time' over what they find.

    Obviously this can't be legal?

    In the UK a school has no juristiction over a pupil outside of school hours and it has been debated whether or not they have any powers over a pupil while they are wearing school uniform - the only way they can handle something outside of school is to inform the parent in writing that they have concerns and maybe ask the parent to come into school to discuss them.

    I have no doubt that this kind of thing is more common, as comments written on facebook allow many people to view them, I know my wifes login details, if I wanted I could log into her account, and take any comments made by any of her hundreds of friends to whomever they may offend - facebook is a dangerous thing.

    Should schools have more powers to punish children for comments made on social networks? after all, Ive seen comments in the past which could be construed as threats. Would this kind of power result in kids to better control what they say?
    Or is it better to have a society protected by free speech where people can say what they want, when they want? provided that it doesnt break the law.
     
  2. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    There is a debate here discussing whether teachers should spend work hours on monitoring what their pupils do online because apparently everything, everywhere that pupils do is the responsibility of teachers. My point is I guess that the school is damned if they do and damned if they don't, if the facebook comments of this girl led anyone taking offence or feeling slighted or whatever I am sure the school would be held responsible for that as well.

    To me as a teacher it seems that every problem kids have today are sooner or later dumped into my lap without any of my previous responsibilities removed, poorer working conditions and real salary that has been almost cut in half the last 40 years.
     
  3. Darion

    Darion Resident Dissident Veteran BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I don't think it's legal.

    Sounds outright scary!
     
  4. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I know in my town the schools do have a 24/7 policy. For instance if you are caught drinking alcohol or doing drugs outside of school, you can lose your access to sports and other extracurricular events, as well as privledges. I don't believe they have a social networking policy and I really hope they don't.

    Personally, I'm opposed to all of this. I don't like the schools trying to usurp parental and/or legal responsibiity.
     
    reepnorp likes this.
  5. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I do not think it is an issue of schools trying to usurp anything I think it is an issue of parents and others thrusting these issues onto the schools whether the schools want them or not.
     
  6. Darion

    Darion Resident Dissident Veteran BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    ^ Great argument!

    Parents these days thinks all upbringing and educations is left best to the schools!
     
  7. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yeah, one of the articles above said the guardian of another student complained to the school that the girl had a conversation about sex on her Facebook page. WTF?! How is Facebook a school's responsibility? :confused:

    I could understand if some kid threatened to shoot up the school on their Facebook page, or said a teacher molested them or something else directly involving the school...
     
  8. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    The thing that you're missing is that the majority of school violence and similar problems today start on facebook. Even primary school pupils are all on facebook and the bullying, remarks, threats, psychological torment etc. all continue there once the students come home from school. In the pre-FB era, at least the bullying stopped when kids were at home. These days, it's present 24/7.

    I'm sure that in America and in the UK this is as much a problem as here, if not more so. And when the FB bullying is accompanied by RL school threats, violence and abuse, any kind of investigation needs must extend to the abusers' (or victims') FB profiles to see what was actually going on.
     
  9. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I have no problem with the schools monitoring Facebook. However, the school should have contacted the parents instead of interogating her. Period. I cannot believe the cowardly parent of the boy -- why didn't she contact the girl's parents instead of going through the school?
     
  10. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    I think the school went too far here. Getting someone in trouble because their FB remarks weren't nice enough to the monitors is already on the wrong side of the line for me (she was pissed and wrote that she hates someone on her wall, big deal), and demanding the kid's password is certainly wrong. Why didn't they contact the parents? What is next, the school starting an investigation if it heard student X wasn't sufficiently respectful of some teacher over dinner with his/her family?

    I think with all the blame game passing between schools, parents, state agencies and so on every time the system fails now everyone's going crazy to ensure they can't be accused of being negligent. Ironically, this may be making things worse.
     
    Silvery likes this.
  11. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Well, first of all we do have a one-sided version of events here. I can't really imagine what the school or district could change in the girl's (and her lawyers') account of the events to make the conduct appear reasonable as they claim they can prove.

    However, Tal's comment below has a point:

    Without seeing the content of the FB comments, I can't really say if someone cracked under pressure or if the girl really posted something hugely inappropriate (just "hate" isn't that; every kid sooner or later says, "I hate you, mum/dad"). Still, forcing a kid to divulge passwords and setting up a big interrogation (with likely a couple of powerful male figures while the subject involved sexual matters of a girl going through puberty) seems dumb on the face. The reason I became a lawyer was precisely the things that happened in my elementary school. Those guys need to learn fact-finding and dispute resolution if they want to dabble with it.
     
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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  13. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Pretty much where I'm at. But you don't get to read my e-mail or look in m my underwear drawer, sorry. ;) Seems a pretty clear distinction between public and private information.
     
  14. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I guess it's a win-win for companies either way. If people have no problems showing the profile, they know that it's unlikely that they have anything there that is problematic. If they refuse, it's quite likely that they do, and they wouldn't gain employment in such a case anyway. So whether they show the profile or not it plays out exactly the same.
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    What if you're just a private person? I don't share a lot of my personal business with people at work, and in this case, it's not even people you work with... they are basically complete strangers at this point.

    Or what if you have someone colorful friends? I know I have had my fair share in the past. What if it's not so much with you, but they don't like what some of your friends have to say?

    Again, I don't really have a dog in this fight as I don't use FB, so I don't have a profile. I just see it as somewhat problematic. I do agree with Gaear that accepting a friend request is a lot less invasive than actually asking for your login information, as some other companies do. I will also grant that technically no company "requires" that you allow them to see it - that they merely request you give them that information. However, seeing as how you're looking for a job, I do not feel that consent is being given free from coercive elements.
     
  16. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Yeah, it's kind of a slippery slope no matter how you slice it.

    You might be surprised ... I've seen people with significant criminal records submit their info heedlessly (without saying "yes, I have such and such criminal record" in the disclosure portion of the app ahead of time), presumably unaware of what might be discovered or just hoping that no one will notice. Like people with felony larceny convictions applying for jobs as financial advisers, etc. And the FB crowd is just generally clueless, reacting with surprise when someone sees the pics they posted on FB showing themselves passed out at the latest bash, etc. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Good point, I was working on the wrong assumption that we're talking about fairly intelligent individuals here... :lol:
     
  18. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    joacqin has the right of it here. Believe me, teachers don't want to get involved in the lives of our students to this degree. At the end of the day, we want to pack up our stuff and go home to our families, watch some TV, take our kids for ice cream, read a good book, and then do some MUG stuff before hitting the sack.

    However, if anything goes wrong at the school, from as drastic as Columbine to a minor scuffle between two students, there's idjits who've never worked with kids on the front line asking "why didn't the teachers / school admin know about this? Why didn't they DO anything?" and the hammer drops on us big time. Teachers can lose their jobs and even their careers if someone gets it into their heads that the teacher could have prevented something negative from happening.

    You know, we have a charming piece of crap here in Canada named Robert Pickton. He killed a bunch of hookers and fed them to his pigs.* My friend was taking an Education after-degree, and the piece of $*&@ professor actually said to the class "somewhere along the line, a teacher failed Robert Pickton. If that teacher had only been paying attention, maybe this could have been averted."

    For the amount of money we make, society is going to lay off ALL of its ills on us? And when schools do get involved in an effort to "do our 'jobs' better", everyone starts urinating on them for violating privacy. WTF?? Society can't have it both ways.

    *This was the basis for a Criminal Minds episode, though they shifted the locale to Ontario rather than British Columbia.
     
  19. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    And the really funny thing is that if I do notice something and if I do alert the proper people nothing will happen anyway. I have a pupil I strongly suspect is suffering from anorexia so I tell the principal and the counsellor and they actually contact the welfare office but they show no interest. If it turns out that I am right, that the kid does suffer from anorexia and collapses weighing 35kg sometime in the near future I am sure me and the school will be blasted for not doing something about it.

    I would like to say though that there are many "bad", blind teachers and school personell out there that seems completely incapable of noticing when things are awry. Blaming every issue their pupils have on them being "lazy", "ill disciplined" or having bad parents. We as teachers do have a responsibility but it is not endless.
     
  20. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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