Posted in: Free Speech, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views, Legal News
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed suit on behalf of a sixth-grader in Minnesota, claiming her school violated her constitutional rights.
- First Amendment rights by punishing her for off-campus speech, and
- Fourth Amendment rights by demanding her Facebook password.
Here’s what happened, according to the complaint:
During the 2010-11 school year, R.S. posted a Facebook comment that stated she “hated” a school hall monitor who was “mean” to her. The next day, R.S. was called to the principal’s office, where she was given a detention for being rude and required to apologize to the hall monitor.
A few days later, R.S. posted another Facebook comment: “I want to know who the f%$# told on me.” For this comment, R.S. received a one-day in-school-suspension and was banned from participating in a class ski trip.
Later in the school year, concerned parents called the school to report that their son was talking about sex with R.S. In response, school officials “demanded that R.S. give them her email and Facebook login.” The complaint accuses guidance counselor Mary Walsh and another school employee of searching her Facebook account.