• Do students have any privacy rights on social networking sites?

    Date: 09.13.09 | by Natalie Jacobs.

    Most teenagers today have a Facebook, MySpace or Twitter page to stay in touch with new and old friends.  They have the option of keeping their messages limited to their “private” list of friends or going public with them. 

    Does your teen think that what they do on their computer at home is private and their school has no say?  Can they be disciplined at school for something they said online or in a text message?  What about creating a fake profile critical of a teacher – even if they didn’t send it to him or her?  Should they expect an email sent to a few friends to stay private? 

    Image originally uploaded by benstein (Flickr)

    Image originally uploaded by benstein (Flickr)

    There is no question that students have free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution.  In 1969, the Supreme Court said that students and teachers don’t “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” [Tinker v. Des Moines School District] But free speech is not an unlimited right. For example, you can’t stand up in a crowded theater and yell “Fire!” and hope to get away with it.  

    For the rest of the story on student privacy rights, go to RadicalParenting.com.

    Natalie Jacobs

    This post was written by Natalie Jacobs. Prior to joining the AsktheJudge.info team, Natalie worked as a criminal attorney for over five years. She also has worked with Innocence Projects as well as Girls on the Run of Northern Arizona, a character development program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade. When she's not reading and writing about youth justice issues, she thinks about becoming a farmer, chef, world traveler, Bikram master, dogwalker and 80’s film reviewer.

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