School Makes 12-Year-Old Surrender Facebook Password

A female student in the Minnewaska school district in Minnesota who has a Facebook page despite being one year under the social network’s age limit was hauled into a meeting with a school counselor and a deputy sheriff and pressured into surrendering her passwords for Facebook and email.

The student’s age was not the issue, according to CNET’s Technically Incorrect blog. Rather, the problem stemmed from parents of another student complaining about a post on Facebook in which sex was discussed

During the meeting, another post on the social network was brought up in which the student referred to a hall monitor as “mean,” as well as yet another post in which she used “strong language” in demanding to know who betrayed her, Technically Incorrect reported.

The brightest red flag, however, is the fact that the student’s mother did not consent to the search of the girl’s Facebook and email accounts.

The student filed a lawsuit against the school district, with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union, claiming that her First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights were violated, and the ACLU issued a statement saying:

Students do not shed their First Amendment rights at the school house gate. The Supreme Court ruled on that in the 1970s, yet schools like Minnewaska seem to have no regard for the standard.

The student claimed that no school equipment or property was used when she posted on Facebook.

The school district responded to CNN, “The district is confident that once all facts come to light, the district’s conduct will be found to be reasonable and appropriate.”

Readers: Where do you side in this case?

Related Stories
Mediabistro Course

Content Marketing 101

Content Marketing 101Almost 60% of businesses use some form of content marketing. Starting December 8, get hands-on content marketing training in our online boot camp! Through an interactive series of webcasts, content and marketing experts will teach you how to create, distribute, and measure the success of your brand's content. Register now!