My Facebook Account is MINE, not Yours

Example number 2 – Minnesota 12 Year Old: Monitor was Mean to Me

In this example, a 12 year old Minnesota girl whose identity is withheld in a pending lawsuit, came home “crying, depressed, angry, scared and embarrassed” after she was intimidated into divulging her login information by a school counselor and a deputy sheriff, who arrived in uniform and armed with a Taser, the lawsuit alleges.

Obviously, the CHILD thought she was either going to be arrested or shot if she refused to give up the goods, so she gave up her credentials, and the counselor and sheriff’s deputy trolled through her account, looking at all her private information and posts.

If this isn’t a clear violation of both the US’ First and Fourth Amendments, as well as any additional local, state and federal statues regarding the questioning of a minor without the presence of their parents or other representation, I have no idea what is.

REGARDLESS of what the child claimed, intimidating a child with an armed police officer is inexcusable! As a parent, if it were me, I’d probably do something REALLY stupid and get in the councilor’s and the officer’s faces with my pointed finger telling them EXACTLY what I thought of them and where they could go…but that’s just me. I’m a papa bear when it comes to protecting my children, and this was completely out of line.

The action stems from a post from the student where “she felt targeted by a school monitor and posted an update to her friends-only Facebook wall saying she “hated” the monitor because “she was mean to me,” using her own computer and while off campus.” There are additional complaints that involve posts to Facebook for an incident related to this initial posting, and then for an additional, unrelated posting.

And for that… for THAT…you brought an armed police officer to the school to help a counselor and other school officials interrogate the student, without her parents present, just because YOU thought you had a problem on your hands..? Really..? REALLY??

Wow. Talk about yer going rabbit huntin’ with an elephant gun.

Again, can we PLEASE grow up; and can we PLEASE act appropriately?

The school claims that it had parental permission to get the passwords; but from the article it’s unclear if they were present during questioning. Its implied that they were not. If the parents WERE involved, I feel that it would have been very easy to get the offending posts removed. It would have then been left to the parents and the school officials to work through the issues with the hall monitor; and with the parents of the girl and another student from the unrelated posting, to work through the issues.

The police didn’t need to be involved. Again, can we please stop over reacting and think through this as adults? What I’m seeing here besides a clear lack of understanding how Facebook and other social networks work, is a lack of communication or the ability to communicate on the part of the school districts involved.

You’re teaching our children – the next generation of leaders, businessmen and women, and parents – and all I’ve seen you do in the past few weeks is throw fits over how you don’t appreciate what their saying.

You know, when I was a kid, there were many things that other people said to me and about me, in both public and private forums. My mother taught me something very helpful in dealing with other people’s opinions about me that I didn’t like:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

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