• It’s not just teens that need to “Think B4 U Click”

    Date: 12.10.10 | by Judge Tom.

    Federal and state laws exist to protect the privacy of students.  The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act* (FERPA) spells out what information is public and what remains private.

    In this digital age, it is easy to make a mistake and release protected information with a click of the mouse.  Every day we read about a celebrity or high profile figure who forgets that “www” stands for “the whole world is watching.”  Unintended posts can go viral in minutes and alter the course of your life.

    Photo by Raneko (Flickr)

    A dean at the University of Missouri learned this lesson in October, 2010.  Graduate School Dean George Justice responded to an email message about a female student who withdrew from the graduate program.  The Dean included the student’s name and email address and referred to her as suffering from “mental distress.”  Instead of hitting ‘reply’ to limit his response to one colleague, he hit “reply all,” sending his email to 6,000 graduate students.

    The university announced it will review it’s training policies regarding the handling of sensitive information.

    *20 United States Code 1232g (1974).

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    2 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Askthejudge.info
      Fri, 10 Dec 2010 at 05:10

      Have you ever "replied all" accidentally to an email? That's what this college dean did & shared private info. http://fb.me/Dc05rynX

    • monica @ paper bridges
      Tue, 14 Dec 2010 at 04:42

      Hi, Judge Tom. I just wanted to pop over to thank you for stopping by my blog to let me know about your book and website.
      (No, I’ve never “replied all”, but I’m very careful to double check before I hit send.)
      You’re welcome. We like your blog – keep up the good work.

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