Illinois Students Accused of ‘Cyberbullying’ Must Give Up Social Media Passwords
January 22, 2015 9:12am PST
Oh heck no. A new Illinois state law now mandates that students accused of
“cyberbullying” could face criminal charges if they refuse to reveal their social media passwords to school administrators. The new rule has the gall to say all forms of “digital harassment,” – on or off campus, will now be investigated as a violation of school rules.
Parents and students in several districts were informed of the new policy, which began at the start of the year, after receiving letters from school officials earlier this month.
From Info Wars, one of the letters obtained by Motherboard states that administrators may demand passwords from any student deemed to have “evidence” relating to suspected cyberbullying.
“If your child has an account on a social networking website, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, ask.fm, etc., please be aware that State law requires school authorities to notify you that your child may be asked to provide his or her password for these accounts to school officials in certain circumstances,” a letter to parents in the Triad Community Unit School District states.
“School authorities may require a student or his or her parent/guardian to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to his/her account or profile on a social networking website if school authorities have reasonable cause to believe that a student’s account on a social networking website contains evidence that a student has violated a school disciplinary rule or procedure.”
According to Triad District Superintendent Leigh Lewis, refusal from students and even parents could lead to criminal charges.
“If we’re investigating any discipline having to do with social media, then we have the right to ask for those passwords,” Lewis told Motherboard. “If they didn’t turn over the password, we would call our district attorneys because they would be in violation of the law.”
Parents speaking with KTVI News argued that the law went too far and violated not only the rights of students, but of parents as well.
EXACTLY! Imagine if this was your work place. Do you think for one moment you would be allowing your supervisor to come into your office, demand your phone and passwords for social media, and go through your account? All because someone whined to HR about you making fun of them? Yea, I didn’t think that you would be so willing to hand over the goods.
This is one of those typical, well-intentioned laws that liberals think are the bee’s knees. It might sound like protecting the kids, but in reality, its a violation of these kids’ rights. Most accounts like FaceBook and Instagram require that a kids be 13 to use them. Thirteen is old enough to have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
This new policy will hopefully be challenged and struck down by civil liberties advocates. It clearly represents yet another bold attack on the rights of both students and parents alike.
My daughter and son would personally raise holy hell until their lawyer-and father – arrived at the school. Please, educate your children on their Constitutional right to free speech. Don’t let them be the generation of complacency.
Written by Katie McGuire. Follow Katie on Twitter @GOPKatie
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