Save the Cheerleaders!

This is just disturbing:

[A] suit was filed in Mississippi that alleges a school official—more specifically a teacher acting in her capacity as a cheerleading coach—demanded that members of her squad hand over their Facebook login information. According to the suit, the teacher used it to access a student’s account, which included a heated discussion of some of the cheerleading squad’s internal politics. That information was then shared widely among school administrators, which resulted in the student receiving various sanctions.

This is wrong on so many levels. I understand that many schools have “conduct policies” where students may be disciplined for activities that take place off school grounds and not on the school’s clock. For example, a kid can get kicked off the football team for posting to MySpace or Facebook a picture of himself smoking a joint. I don’t agree with those policies, but I can see where school administrators are coming from.

I can also understand a teacher looking through a student’s public profile on Facebook or MySpace for evidence of bad behavior. Again, I don’t agree with that, either. But public information is just that – public – and if teenage kids are stupid enough to post pictures of themselves smoking and drinking… well that’s their fault.

But I fail to see how a teacher demanding someone’s Facebook login information and rifling through that student’s personal correspondence is any different that the same teacher going to the student’s house and demanding to read their diary or their personal mail. And isn’t logging in as someone else a violation of at least two federal laws (the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984 and the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act of 2008)? And isn’t this a violation of Facebook’s “Terms of Service”? What gives the cheerleading coach – acting as a government official – the right to access private information stored on a private company’s computers? Would this be any different if the coach demanded access to the student’s online banking account to look for beer or cigarette purchases?

Read the whole post at Ars Technica and tell me what you think. Personally, I hope the court hits the school administrators upside the head with the ol’ “clue by four”… but that’s just me.

via Cheerleader sues school, coach after illicit Facebook log-in – Ars Technica.

4 Replies to “Save the Cheerleaders!”

  1. wow!!!! the police state conitues.. can you image this happening when were growing up and in school. I MUST READ YOU MAIL AT YOUR HOME. would have never happend. where are the parents who should be demanding the coachs personal info so they can check up on her. and why oh why did these stupid kids give this info up anyway. my answer would have been a big fuck off to that or any other coach who asked me for personal info. kick me out of school or off your team…my laywer will eat this alive..but then again i was always a troublemaker and damn proud of it.

  2. “why did these stupid kids give this info up anyway”

    It was just one girl. The others used web-enabled cell phones to delete their FB accounts so that they wouldn’t have to give up the information.

  3. indeed…so one stupid kid… following the rules or doing what you are told in my opinion is highly overated..so fuck em if they cant take a joke and joke em if they cant take a fuck…REFUSE ..RESIST. take that THOUGHT POLICE

  4. This will be interesting to follow. Kind of relying on you now to see the outcome. I imagine that trying to adapt the Constitution to the internet must be exceedingly difficult. The “political debate” of this child was only accessible if one had the login information or was it available for public viewing too? It surely is an interesting subject.

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