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School District Sued By ACLU Over Student's Free Speech Rights 466

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-how-you-play dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The ACLU is suing Minnewaska Area Schools and Pope County, according to this article in the StarTribune. At issue: school administrators and a sheriff's deputy forced a girl to hand over login information to her Facebook and email accounts, after she posted on Facebook that she 'hated' a school hall monitor who had been 'mean' to her, and cursed in a separate Facebook comment because someone reported her. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and an order that would restrain school officials from attempts to regulate or discipline students based on speech made outside of school hours and off school property."
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School District Sued By ACLU Over Student's Free Speech Rights

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  • by Lord Juan (1280214) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @04:08AM (#39284967) Homepage

    I mean, what in the world are the school administrators thinking? That parents are not going to care if they force their daughter to give them their log in information to their personal accounts?

    • by EnempE (709151)
      Maybe they were to busy getting a 9mm and some hollow points to perforate her notebook for sounding off on facebook again.

      Free speech aside, don't you USAns have a constitutional right to not incriminate yourself ?
      • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Thursday March 08, 2012 @04:39AM (#39285147) Homepage

        Yeah, but this isn't even about that. A school isn't a court. If she'd refused to give them any information, what could they do - jail her for Contempt of Principal?

        • by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:03AM (#39285293) Homepage Journal

          dunno.. call the deputy? that's what they did anyways? and the deputy promptly went and gave access to the school "officials" to those accounts.

          the deputy should be fired and the school staff too. they fucked up.

        • They could suspend her, expel her, give her detention, etc.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Fjandr (66656)

            And then they could be rightfully sued for any of those punishments as well. The issue in dispute here is whether a school administrator has the power to punish speech which is engaged in outside of a school-controlled environment.

            If they have the legitimate power to punish this then students have no other rights either, whether at school or not. Since speech and behavior codes in a school do not distinguish between staff, students, and visitors, it means they are claiming the authority to punish a student

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by jeepien (848819)

              Don't be silly. The speech and behavior rules in a school certainly DO distinguish between staff, students, and visitors. And the staff part usually differentiates further, between those who hold professional certification and those who don't (i.e., teachers and custodians).

              IANAL, but in case anyone cares, courts have already ruled on this quite a few times, and the most common test on whether the school can discipline students for out-of-school acts is: whether the act could be reasonably expected to ca

            • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:35AM (#39288307)

              I had something similar happen to me in... 6th or 7th grade? Might have been 8th. (So we're talking late 90s, early 00s.)

              I was doing arts and crafts at some... library thing. Might have been boy scouts. The point is, it was also an out of school function. We were making our own bookmarks and then laminating them. I made one that said something like "Some people are nice..." on one side and "...and I'm not one of them!" on the back. Just something silly and teenage-y.

              I go to school the next day, and I find out that I had left my stupid little bookmark there. The person running the class (who also happened to be my school's art teacher) showed it to my teacher, and my teacher talked to me and stated how it was inappropriate. I replied with it was none of her business at it had taken place outside of school. I suppose she was power tripping or one of those "think of the children" people, but she was really fishing for me to apologize or admit guilt or something. She threatened to escalate it to the principal. I said "Go ahead," sat down, and went back to my schoolwork.

              Still have that bookmark somewhere...

              Long story short, make sure you teach your kids how to deal with authority figures who are asshats. Teach them to say no to the authority when they make an unreasonable request. Teach them to stand up for themselves like my parents did.

        • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail . c om> on Thursday March 08, 2012 @06:22AM (#39285659)

          Yeah, but this isn't even about that. A school isn't a court. If she'd refused to give them any information, what could they do - jail her for Contempt of Principal?

          Nothing, but it is a 12-year old girl. If they had invited one of her parents (in addition to the sheriff's deputy), the parent would certainly tell them to shove it. A 12-year old girl is easy to intimidate.
          I think every administrator involved should be re-purposed to janitorial duty as a more appropriate venue. I do hope ACLU includes that in their lawsuit demand.

          • I send my kid to private school, there school explicitly states that they will not let anyone police included speak with my child without first contacting me for my approval. This should be a basic rule, these guys should be canned and sued for such idiocy.

            • by Fjandr (66656) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @07:57AM (#39286075) Homepage Journal

              At least in the USA police are typically not allowed to interview minors without at least notifying the parents, so it wouldn't surprise me if either department policy or state law was broken during these proceedings. However, it's hard-to-impossible to get abusive officers (or departments) disciplined for anything unless there is video and a willing district attorney (something of a rarity in itself), so it probably doesn't matter much if the former is the case.

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              I send my kid to private school, there school explicitly states that they will not let anyone police included speak with my child

              I see that you, yourself, went to a public school...

      • by stephanruby (542433) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:00AM (#39285275)

        Free speech aside, don't you USAns have a constitutional right to not incriminate yourself ?

        Yes, that twelve year old girl folded like a little girl. She's a wimp. That's mostly the parents fault of not training her properly. When I have kids, they'll be able to survive police intimidation and interrogation techniques by the time they're three years old. In fact, the first word they'll learn won't be "Mama" or "Papa", it will be "IwantMyLawyerImNotTalkingToYouPigs".

        • by netsavior (627338) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:42AM (#39286795)
          You joke, but I was expelled in 9th grade for something vaguely similar (admitting I had done something off campus that was neither illegal, nor against student code of conduct). My kids (age 7 and 5) have explicit instructions from me. If the principal, teacher, or a policeman want you to say something that you do not want to say or do something you do not want to do (other than normal school work) then you need to say:

          "I don't want to do that unless you call my parents"

          will it result in false positives? Maybe. Will I honor that phone call? ABSOLUTELY.

          Kids don't actually have many rights, especially during school hours. They are not protected by our laws because they can't vote. The only ones that can protect them from abuse of power is their parents, so whereas you are entitled to trial, counsel, not incriminating yourself, children are only really entitled to not being denied access to their parents. It is my job to extend my civil rights to my children in this situation, because they have none. So the earlier I am involved in an incident, the better.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by bartosek (250249)

            This. A thousand times this.

            At my son's school they have a student code of conduct regarding technology which both the children and their parents are supposed to sign. One of the more egregious clauses gives the school permission to seize and search through students cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, etc, if they believe there is some incriminating evidence contained within. I struck that clause out and wrote a note saying if they had any problems with that to contact me, not a peep.

            If the school has any co

            • by Shotgun (30919)

              If they want to search anything your son has, they will completely ignore your note. Afterwards, they will completely ignore your protests. They may give you the feel good measure of letting you talk in front of a review board if they think it might shut you up, but you may as well talk to your wall at home. The ONLY way you will get ANY satisfaction is to have deep pockets, and the willingness to give it to lawyers.

              Trust someone who has been there. These people are practiced at screwing over parents.

          • by Shotgun (30919)

            I hope to everything holy that you never have an issue, but if you do, you will see how badly the cards are stacked against you.

            They will first suspend your child. My boy was suspended for "intimidation" for drawing a "racist" cartoon that he saw on a BET comedy show (Dave Chapell). The four black guys that he was trying to get away from in the lunch room apparently were not "intimidating" anyone.

            You will get a chance to go before a board, comprised of the people that suspended your child, set for a month

        • It's funny, but my father (ex-hippy, anti-establishment guy that he is) taught me from about that age about my rights as concerns police and how to handle myself around them. Granted, when he was not much older than I was at that age he was getting his head cracked by baton-happy riot police in one protest or another, so that probably has a lot to do with it.

          It's important to teach our kids their rights, especially these days with all the bullshit surveillance, monitoring of online accounts, "enhanced secu

      • by g0bshiTe (596213)
        We do but that is not saying anything in court to incriminate ourselves. I don't think it would pertain in this case like if I released a newsletter stating the same. At that point it has been made public knowledge. In this case thought it's more worrisome that the teachers forced the kid to hand over login details. Most likely threatening suspension or expulsion. If I found out the school or a teacher did this to my kid, they had better hope a lawsuit was the least I did.
    • by lightknight (213164) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:04AM (#39285301) Homepage

      Ambassador Londo Mollari: My shoes are too tight and I have forgotten how to dance.

      I believe that quotes sums it up. The people involved have committed a great evil to someone less powerful than themselves, preying on the very being they were charged to protect; but it doesn't matter to them, because they've already forgotten what it was like to be a child.

      No doubt the kid will continue to be ridiculed and besmirched for some time, and the wounds will heal, leaving only scars. A few decade's time, she will want to become a teacher / administrator, so she can right the wrongs of her predecessors; and after many years of being pushed around by a system that frankly doesn't care about her now anymore than it did when she was a child, the light will go out in her soul at an inopportune time, during which she will commit a similar act to some young thing, and the cycle will begin anew. She will realize her mistake all too late to correct it, and spend the rest of her life trying to come to terms with an opportunity come and gone.

      I wish I had advice to dispense here, but I haven't found any that works in circumstances like these. I'd like to say that something will come from this, that there will be no scars, that good will triumph over evil, that everyone will learn some sort of valuable lesson, and that it will be the right one, but experience has taught me that good only triumphs over evil in fairy tales.

      • by silentcoder (1241496) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:00AM (#39286407) Homepage

        Well here is your counter story. When I was all over 9 years old I suffered from bad handwriting called by small-muscle coordination problems. I still haven't got great handwriting to this day.

        But with teachers lumping me under "doesn't bother to be a neat writer" there came a day when I had to erase something (at that stage we only wrote in pencil). The eraser I used had, unbeknownst to me gotten some pencil soot on it and left a big black mark in my book. Like a good little boy I went to my teacher to ask for advice. Instead of advice I was shouted at for making a mess in my book before I even finished my sentence... then sent to the teacher next door to be further ridiculed.
        A ridicule process that continued for some time all the way back to my own classroom where she then proceeded for the first time to ask my name. I told her my name ... and she said "I think 'varkie' would be a better name for you." (Varkie in my language literally means piglet - but without any of the 'cute' connotations... little swine is a better translation).

        The nickname stuck with me until I finally left for highschool - I got into fights all the time against kids calling me that, but nonetheless made it onto the student council in my final year of primary school and ended it as one of the top-scorers - but make no mistake that my social life was irreperably harmed and my ability to make friends suffered greatly.

        Like most kids in such a situation, I felt ashamed and didn't tell my family, big mistake, I told my dad some 4 years later (just before I would leave primary school) and then he was furious and told me if I had told him the story on the day he'd have had that teacher fired.

        That message changed my life... for the first time I understood that shit happens, but you don't have to be a victim - you can make bad people pay, you can hold people to account for their actions - even if they are authority figures. I went through high school a great deal happier, and made some real friends. I went to University where I was very successful and today I am 32 and I can say that I earn more money in a day than that teacher likely earns in month.

        There's a last little tail to the story. Just before I left primary school I bumped into that teacher one day, and she spoke to me, and talked of how "you don't like me because you're afraid of me" ... in retrospect, I hadn't fully understood why she chose to stop me and say that, nowadays I would outright have said to her "no, I don't like you because you horribly abused your position of authority and ruined my childhood you fucking bitch" and dared her to do anything about it.

        The thing is - your fairytale happened. I'm a happy and successful person. I remember these events, but they didn't define me - except to give me a perpetual soft spot for the underdog. The good guys won - even if the bad guy wasn't punished, it was the LAST teacher who did something wrong to me and didn't get in deep shit.
        There is a massive culture of power-abuse by teachers who think discipline is their job. I don't agree. Their job is to educate. Discipline is at best an evil they require to do their jobs and should be minimized not maximized. Their power, like that of any authority, should be the LEAST amount with which they can do their jobs, not the most.

        But don't think she's doomed. Her parents are doing exactly the right things. She may suffer a while but don't be surprized if she comes out stronger - and with a lifelong belief in being a champion for those who are stepped upon.

    • by The Creator (4611) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @06:13AM (#39285611) Homepage Journal

      Accessing computer systems with stolen passwords is a crime.

  • Fire them All (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Everyone that thought it was a good idea to try and extract passwords from the girl should be fired and permanently banned from taking any tax payer money, for the rest of their lives. The people that hired them, should be fired and banned for 3 years. I bet, in a very short order, we could put an end to this foolishness.

  • by neiras (723124) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @04:22AM (#39285031)

    I hate Anonymous Cowards. Also, the fucking mods are mean to me.

    Tee hee.

  • ACLU (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2012 @04:23AM (#39285039)

    Sometimes the ACLU's actions make me roll my eyes, but on this one, they're right. Seems to me the school's personnel took their petty authority way too far. Off school property, on a website not controlled by the school. GET 'EM, ACLU! Give 'em HELL!

    • Re:ACLU (Score:5, Insightful)

      by madhi19 (1972884) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @04:43AM (#39285169)
      It the sheriff's deputy action that I found weird and mostly inexcusable of all peoples the cop should have been the voice of reason and told the Principal that he was treading in murky water to say the least.
    • Re:ACLU (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @06:22AM (#39285661) Homepage Journal

      Sometimes the ACLU's actions make me roll my eyes, but on this one, they're right.

      Why is it that so many posts praising the ACLU in any way contain this kind of ritual disclaimer? Can you give actual examples of some of the eye-roll-inspiring things the ACLU has done, or is it just "I've heard they're a liberal organization, and liberals are icky"?

      • by Jiro (131519)

        How about the ACLU opposing the CAN-SPAM act on the grounds that this incredibly weak law was actually too restrictive? And the statements by an ACLU representative that people who are spammed should just press delete?

        Also see http://techliberation.com/2008/08/07/anti-spam-laws-and-the-first-amendment/ [techliberation.com] . Do a google search for "aclu" and "anti-spam".

        • Re:ACLU (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Ragica (552891) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @10:05AM (#39287051) Homepage

          The very blog article you have linked has an "update" at the bottom wherein the writer also says he thinks that CAN-SPAM might be too restrictive! His exact words are "too broad", but his description of the broadness is actually criticising the broadness of the restrictions. (ie. "criminalize the sending of “multiple” deceptive emails or the creation of more than five separate email accounts for sending commercial emails.").

          Anyhow, even if your description of the ACLU's position was true (which your reference does not seem to support), don't you think it more credible to give the ACLU the benefit of the doubt that they may have a point, given the vast amount of experience, expertise and examples of them standing up for freedoms?

        • by Hatta (162192)

          What has CAN SPAM done to SPAM? Still exists right? So why should we tolerate that restriction on free speech? It's not doing anyone any good, and just sitting there waiting to be abused.

        • Re:ACLU (Score:5, Informative)

          by jdev (227251) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:34AM (#39288293)

          Here's what the ACLU was actually saying in this particular case.

          "The law is overly broad, criminalizing not only commercial SPAM but also anonymous non-commercial bulk emails containing political and religious messages"

          http://www.acluva.org/docket/jaynes.html [acluva.org]

          So the complaint here is Virginia's own anti-SPAM legislation was written to also penalize anonymous non-commercial free speech which is a violation of the first amendment. This is different from the federal CAN-SPAM law that specifically mentions that emails need to be commercial in nature to apply.

          I also find it very funny that you pick this particular case because the Virginia supreme court eventually sided with the ACLU that the Virgina law was overly broad. Like most people that criticize the ACLU, I feel like you don't understand the issue they were trying to address.

          http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/151014/court_overturns_virginia_spam_law_conviction.html [pcworld.com]

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @04:24AM (#39285045)
    Whenever I hear Americans make that claim, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

    I had school teachers who thought it was their job to teach the kids how to stand up for themselves and how to stand up to authority. Including theirs.
    • by sosume (680416) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @04:29AM (#39285083) Journal

      In this regard (free speech being regulated by schools, universities, employers, etc) the US is starting to look a lot like former Eastern Germany. I mean, like in this movie http://imdb.to/2fC1aE [imdb.to] I find it really hard to understand how the US justifies this spying on each other's thoughts.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      US citizens seem to be conditioned to be cattle today. And while there is the occasional resistance, as in this story, most seem to be willing to just take it.

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:21AM (#39285387) Homepage
      It's a State that indoctrinates children to swear allegiance to it. That's really all that you need to know.
    • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail . c om> on Thursday March 08, 2012 @06:26AM (#39285677)

      Freest country in the world... Whenever I hear Americans make that claim, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

      I fail to see your point. This was a shitty thing that someone did and they will be smacked down by ACLU. Your comment would be appropriate if this was an accepted behavior with no recourse.

  • by bughunter (10093) <<ten.knilhtrae> <ta> <retnuhgub>> on Thursday March 08, 2012 @04:29AM (#39285085) Journal

    This is disturbing not necessarily because of the password coercion, but because of the entire premise. What are the school administrators, the parents, and the entire adult community *thinking* when they make such a big friggin deal about "I hate you" comments that are clearly just juvenile emoting? Why are they getting involved in such petty hall locker politics to begin with?

    Did they never mature past a high school emotional age?

    Were they itching to make an example of someone?

    Do they have some policy or quota that they need to demonstrate compliance with?

    In other words, it's just like when my wife flips out after I leave dirty socks on the floor. The socks aren't the real problem; something else is. She's been bottling it up, and the socks were just the trigger for some other pent up stress... it may or may not be something I did, but it certainly means there's something I need to fix. In the same sense, something else is going on in Minnewaska... something else that needs fixing. And it's not middle school drama.

    • by Surt (22457) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @04:41AM (#39285155) Homepage Journal

      They are thinking that the columbine kids said they hated people too. And that the admins from that school have a terrible reputation for failing to pay attention to a serious problem.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        The mind well and truly boggles as to why they didn't contact the parents. School punishment is pretty much limited to detention and even that has to be with parental consent. Beyond that, it really is impossible to imagine what got into those idiots heads. This is what happens when you have county rather than state managed schools. Lack of reasonable sensible management principles across the whole state. Tiny nothing local admin drunk on their own power over children.

        The ultimate punishment by a school

        • by Shotgun (30919)

          State or county, it doesn't matter. The school is run by a principal, and that person often believes they are king and ruler over all they behold. It is their school and they get to decide what goes on. The parent is a bother to them. I've had to deal with enough bastards to know. Unless you have deep pockets for lawyers, or the backing of the ACLU, they can basically jack around with your child's education however the damn well please, and they believe that give them total license over the child's lif

      • I don't like Mondays...

      • by dargaud (518470)
        Fine, then why not contact the parents, and/or have a teacher/administrator/psychologist with some tact speak to the student ?
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Ah yes. If only someone had forcibly corrected the writings of Harris and Klebold.

    • My special snowflake (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bradley13 (1118935) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:54AM (#39285543) Homepage

      Too many parents think that their child is a special snowflake. They must protect their snowflake from having any negative experiences, like having another kid dislike them. Their special snowflake is not supposed to grow up, and not excepted to actually be able to cope with such traumatic thins as having some other kid actually disliking them.

      Of course, it goes without saying that no one else's kid is as special a snowflake as your own - it's absolutely fine to traumatize other kids, in order to protect your own.

      The next generation of Americans will have a huge challenge to overcome their upbringing...

    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @06:12AM (#39285609) Homepage Journal

      Years and years of political pressure for "zero tolerance," a.k.a. "zero intelligence." The idea that most of the things kids get up to are individual incidents and should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis is anathema to this mentality. But it sells well to parents (until their kids get caught up in it, anyway), to legislators, and to voters in school board elections.

  • They can force somebody (does not matter whether it is a child) to hand over credentials without a court order? Sounds like any totalitarian regime out there. This should get those responsible into really hot water, including criminal penalties.

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @04:47AM (#39285199)

    Welcome to the New American Nanny State.

    Right now, schools are under heavy pressure to reduce "bullying". The politicians and money groups have seized on an issue that is easy to win over the hearts of American voters and donors. That's why "bullying" is such a hot issue right now and gets tons of media coverage.

    Kids talking about sex, something mentioned in the article as being another reason why the police and school went after this student, is another always hot issue especially with American "conservatives". We must avoid talking to children or exposing them to sex at all costs.

    So we have a school where a kid is accused of bullying, and also talking about sex, on Facebook. The school knows if it does nothing they'll get blasted by moms, and the media, about how they failed to protect other children from bullies and perverts. They let a student make hate speech and promote sex talk amongst pre-teens or whatever. But if the school acts then they'll get blasted by people who think that the schools should mind their own business and let the parents handle things. And we know how well parents handle things in modern America.

    Instead of finding a middle ground, the school feels the pressure from all sides and.....calls the cops. Huge overreaction in hindsight of course but they must have felt at the time that it was warranted.

    But seriously? A kid can't say that they hate their teacher anymore? A kid can't talk about sex with another kid? When I was in school it didn't matter if a kid said he hated a hall monitor or a teacher. Most of the teachers had been around long enough to recognize which kids disliked them. And most of my teachers could tell which boys and girls had started puberty earlier than others because we behaved much differently around the opposite sex. Times have changed.

    The school should have just called the student's mother or father and said "some kid tattled on your kid, it's not a big deal, but you should monitor your kid's facebook and just check to see if they are doing anything that is inappropriate". No cops. No teachers. No detention even. Let the parents do their jobs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      +1 for a think of the children post done right. People, this is what thinking of the children is all about. If you want to know what it's like when someone really thinks of the children, here it is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:07AM (#39285319)

    Someday we'll end up with this. Keep in mind shit like this has happened before:

    A few years after the WW-II a young teenage girl called Erika Riemann defaced the moustache on picture of Stalin at school in then soviet occupied Germany. She got ratted out and then they sent her to Sachsenhausen, a nazi concentration camp the soviets had reactivated. She spent 8 years there where she was continously brutally raped by the guards who knocked her front teeth out in one episode.

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:16AM (#39285359) Journal
    I'd encourage using facebook's terms and conditions as the reason not to give out your password.

    "You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account."

    It's not ideal. The administration shouldn't ask in the first place, but it's a means you can employ to protect your privacy.

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:32AM (#39285451)

    Rational adults know that just because a kid says something bad about a teacher doesn't mean the student's out to do the teacher harm. So why do most school policies nowadays attribute any attitude short of sunshine and happy unicorns to be evidence of mental problems worthy of nuke-it-from-orbit 'solutions'? The most obvious conclusion is that it's the school trying to save face when the student gets too close to the truth for their comfort, so they play out the zomg-columbine excuse. The fact is, the teachers that get the majority of the jeers from students often deserve it, and since most often the student complaints get buried under piles of bureaucratic and jingoistic fallacy (arg from authority usually) whether they're legitimate or not, students resort to other means of expression. In many ways, this is the equivalent of employers using the law (and contracts) to dictate more and more of what employees may do outside of work..

    I swear, it's like every institution in this country is looking to get their hands on as much of everyone's freedom as possible, with the schools becoming the front lines for indoctrination. Too bad. I guess expression is only to be tolerated when authority has the mouthpiece most of the time and gets to set the politically correct boundaries for everyone else. It's truly a shame how hard and how fast liberty has fallen in this country. The stipulations for when and where we may exercise our rights have become more and more byzantine and the fine print is getting ever more fine as the power hungry chip away..

    • by forkfail (228161)

      It's all about the fear. Something has changed, and we as a society are suddenly willing to do anything to keep that fear away.

      Couple of kids go nuts with guns? Take all the kids rights away.

      Terrorists attack? Take all the rights away, period.

      What causes this willingness to give into fear is another matter. I think it's complex, but probably has its roots in the fact that even if we don't generally acknowledge it, there's a widespread awareness that Bad Things are probably going to happen given that the

  • Thugs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shiftless (410350) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:41AM (#39285489) Homepage

    You know, police officers used to be looked up to back in the day. Now they are just hired thugs to be feared. How big of a man do you have to be to intimidate and coerce a little girl? What a piece of shit

  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @06:18AM (#39285641)

    Nowhere in the article was there a complete quote; there was only single words. There have been a number of posts here that assume all she said was "I hate you". It is not clear from article that those were the word she used. maybe they were stronger like "I hate him because he was mean to me and he should have the crap beaten out of him". This is yet another article with enough detail to get the "free speech" brigade up in arms without giving enough information to make a logical conclusion about the issue.

    There are many schools that "regulate and monitor" speech off school property. Those kids who use bullying speech off school grounds are the same ones who use physical bullying on campus. A target can avoid bullying off campus but when they have to be in the same hallways, change rooms and classrooms as their bullies it becomes impossible. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to threaten or bully. Would you rather the school handle it or the youth court system? Perhaps if the school did it a bully will learn before he/she get a juvenile record. The juvenile court system is burdened enough as it is without having to deal with issues that could be handled in a much simpler way.

    To those who think that anti-bullying campaigns are "nanny brigade" I say you have never been bullied. Personally I got beat up by the entire soccer team I was on because a few bullies started it. Stand up for yourself does not work when it is five to one. You have never had to walk down a hall when you never know when you will be body checked into a locker, have your books slapped out of your hands, be elbowed in the head, etc. Bullies are smart they know where the teachers are and will not be seen.

    • by sociocapitalist (2471722) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @07:29AM (#39285945)

      I have to disagree a bit here. I had similar issues and I was jumped by five boys after school one day. I fought back out of sheer terror and ended up putting two of them in the hospital.

      They nor anyone else in the school ever bothered me again.

      The only way to deal with bullies is to hurt them badly enough that they're too afraid to come back.

  • It is illegal to obtain someone else's password without a warrant.

    It's a violation of the terms of services, and violation of federal law:

    18 USC Â 1030 - Fraud and related activity in connection with computers.ahref=http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030rel=url2html-19895 [slashdot.org]http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030>

    Cops need a warrant to obtain a password. Even if the person is a child. Schools are forbidden from doing so even with a warrant.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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