1. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Do Miidle Schools have a right to Monitor your Facebook?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Fullmetal Xeno, Dec 14, 2011.

    So today i was walking into the Vice Principal's office for something that happened at lunch (nothing big deal) and as i was talking to her, she accepted my apology cause i was messing with friends and then she mentioned a comment i liked on my friend's status on facebook that was posted a few days ago. She had it printed out, and she told me that i shouldn't of liked that comment. The comment wasn't bad. And she tried to say it was Cyber-bulling and that wasn't what my friend intended. He was meaning the class itself, not the teacher. I asked him what happened and he told me the teacher cried. Me and him were confused, we don't know why. Before i spoke with him in chat i was warned by my science teacher in general of the class that if you were involved in that comment by any means- you will get a detention. Even if you said nothing and only liked the comment. (like me) So now i could be faced with a Detention and if possible a referral to the office. Im so worried that im going to get a Detention over this, but i feel like that i did nothing wrong, and im being punished for nothing. This whole thing my school is doing is violating the 1st Amendment by suspending actions of Free speech- and he didn't say anything degrading towards her! And they also said if you like any show, picture that has an dirty joke or whatever involved you will receive a ECO if possible or a Detention. I know i did nothing wrong because i even read the entire status to my Mom and my sister and they were deeply pissed at the school. Now im worried that all my other teachers will get onto me about this- and i will get in deep trouble. My sister and my mother said they have my back, but i feel like they will suspend me. All my other teachers think im a good kid and i want it to stay that way. Im really starting to think my school hacks into people's accounts. Supposedly someone taddled on my friend, but i know Student Report aren't always the source. I strongly disagree with this. I used to support this system against Cyber-bulling, but it has gotten too far. It's power is being abused. My sister told me whatever it takes that she will walk up to my school to talk to my Main Principal in person about the problem. I think this should be reported, and that everyone sees that the Schools are becoming tyrannies. This must stop now! Doy you really think schools have a right to do this?
     
  2. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    If you post something on the internet you are responsible for what you say. You yourself are responsible for what post, as it would be on here if this were a really popular site that was checked by schools.

    Schools will check facebook, either your friend has a teacher/school representative on their friends list and they saw it, or someone has seen it and 'tattled' on you. Either way, be careful what you post or like from now on and just try to explain with your friend that you weren't meaning to upset/patronise the teacher.

    Anything written onto the Web can be found and used against you, always remember that.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It is a tricky situation here. You are protected by the First Amendment if you go to a public school. That said, your rights with respect to school are generally viewed as more limited than that of an adult, and schools are given a fair amount of leeway in handling something if it actually has a detrimental impact at school.

    But I personally believe your rights should be protected, particularly if you are acting outside of school, and that the school should not be able to extend its reach into your non-school life to punish you. Just recently there was a case of a girl who made a rude comment about Governor Brownback of Kansas. She made it on either Facebook or Twitter. The school was going to punish her and demand an apology. Her rights prevailed, and she ended up getting an apology from the Governor (whose staff complained were the ones who complained to the school to begin with).

    You could always challenge any detention by talking to the principal and telling him/her you feel you were engaging in protected speech. Not sure it will accomplish much in reality. Have you involved your parents?
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tell your friends to fix their privacy settings. They have the right to surf the internet, unfortunately. Again, though, change your privacy settings to Friends only and stuff like that. That might not change it, however. See below.

    In year 12, I nearly got suspended for liking a Facebook page called "Alex M. (not his real name) is a fag". A fair few of us thought the guy was actually in on it, so we liked it and all laughed. Anyway, our vice-principal had all of our related comments printed out and such and a list of students who liked it. Naturally, they didn't do anything to us because the list was so damn long, but I also noticed that the pages still had the name of the logged in person on it. It wasn't even a current student who dobbed us in about it. It was a girl who left in a previous year who'd logged in for the vice principal so that she could see all our comments and stuff.
    Naturally, a lot of us were pissed off about this, but it's not like we could do anything, and there wasn't any repercussion but for a bit of a lecture anyway.
     
  5. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    As much as I'd like to agree wholeheartedly with you on something like this, the student is still responsible for what he/she says, does, and acts on with any form of online site, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. True, you do have a right to voice your opinions, but what everyone forgets is that what they say must also comply with everyone's rights to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." If the comment offends the teacher, and if she feels deeply hurt, intentional or otherwise, then it's still the responsibility, and blame, of the person who voiced such an opinion. I'd love to say, "Yeah, the system is corrupt," but the school is completely sound in checking student's Facebook accounts. Employers will do that, too, when it comes time, and Colleges will as well. What you say and do on the internet is monitored and watched by anyone who may need to know. Hacking is unlikely- it's illegal and anybody competent enough to land a job as a principal knows that its too risky. If a student wants something to remain private, then he shouldn't be posting it on a website where almost anyone, in some cases everyone, can see it. Sorry, but I can't let this be a one-sided argument.

    Keep in mind that these forums are still monitored for things that can/will offend. One can argue that they have a right to say what they want, but no matter what, if the offended party is hurt enough, then they have as much of a right to remove it as the poster has of sharing it.
     
  6. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    Yeah, this is difficult and I think we will just see more of this. You do have freedom of speech but many of your rights are abridged while you are a minor and downright suspended while you are on school grounds. But even for us adults our freedom of speech does not protect slander. But plain old offensive language is, in general, protected as nobody has the right to not be offended.

    But in the cases of minors and the anti-bullying laws it gets complicated. I understand why the laws are being implemented, though I can also see how they can overreach. I don’t know the specific circumstances of your particular incident so can’t speak to it. In general I am against schools punishing kids for personal activities outside the school, but there are exceptions. I do hope you take this as a lesson learned with regards to social media. What you say can come back to bite you, even if it isn’t fair. While you can control the security setting on your own FB page, you have no such control over other people’s pages. Remember, you are posting under your real name and the technology to track down what you said online is only going to improve with time.

    I always think twice and sometimes three times before posting under my real name, like I do here. Do I mind if my family, friends, co-workers, employer, or future employers see it? If the answer is no, then I might post it.

    But if you are punished and you feel you were wronged, and especially if your family supports you, then you can always appeal it up the chain. That is assuming you go to a public school. If it is a private school you are probably SOL.
     
  7. Devrokon
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    Devrokon Senior Member

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    I believe it's not of their business what you do outside of the school property and setting, unless it is done on class time. They shouldn't of got you in trouble for that. What a fucking farce. :rolleyes:
     
  8. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your grammar is sub-standard, your use of profanity is unnecessary, and your understanding of the situation is limited at best. One of the comments insulted (unintentionally, we presume) a teacher at the OP's school. While this is a case of people just being ignorant of the consequences of what they say, it has still caused offence.

    And it is their business if they're talking about someone at their school. You wouldn't like it if people talked badly about you behind your back, but by your own admission, it's okay, since it's none of your business what people talk about outside of their conversations with you, right?
     
  9. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    I have just had to make sure i'm fully covered by Indemnity insurance, as now is my business, for whatever I may say publically or on forums as my own company and line of work (football commentary) can lead anything I say to be held against me and as i'm dealing with American fans soon, I could also now be sued for anything I post here, for example, if considered offensive or generally upsetting. (Not so much an English thing but now i've hit America the insurance is needed)

    You need to learn that whatever you write on social media sites or whatever it is comes straight back to you. It's difficult to know the entire story here and i'm not having a go at all, from what we can see from your side of the story it's merely a mis-understanding, but from now on always make sure to think about what you're 'liking', writing about or whatever in regard to school or work etc.

    Anything publically said or writing can and will be used against you by someone if they feel insulted or upset by something you've said. Just be more careful about what you do from now on and you should be fine. Be glad that it has happened during school and not later in life, atleast you know now for the future.

    I hope it all resolves itself without too much incident, and make sure to go and tell that teacher that it's a mis-understanding, i'm sure it'd help her view towards you. Teachers are only human, despite what we all grow up thinking :p (Aliens be lurking in tweed based garments.....)
     
  10. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Ok, why is your facebook privacy settings such that strangers can read your page? It sounds like your facebook page or your freinds is in the public domain, oww how silly. Sense it is in the public domain there is no expectation of privacy on your part. Personally I don’t really use facebook that much, it just seams to be a place to receive invitations’. If it was for that I would not have one. anywase as a summery you where stupid, and you got discovered, the lesion don’t be stupid next time and dong get nabbed.PS I use linked in more, it has a real purpose.
     
  11. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    A bit off topic but in the US you can't be sued for saying something that is merely offensive. You can be sued for slander or libel, but even then it is much harder to sue for those things in the US than it is in the UK.
     
  12. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    ... First, I need to say that sometimes it's really hard to read your posts.
    Second, I think it's important to mention that it may not have been a case of having public settings. If someone on their friends list decided to show the teacher, privacy settings don't matter.
     
  13. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    First of all, a lot of people (like myself) find it very difficult to read a huge wall of text like that. I couldn't even get through it, sorry.

    Second, what I did read was that the VP accused your friend for cyberbullying. You were also a part of it, as you liked that comment. To be short, I don't think anyone has a right to "monitor" your FB, but keep in mind FB is public unless you manually set things to Private. Even I could easily check your FB on a daily basis if I wanted to, if I knew the address. Which is easy to find if I knew your name and town, and especially if I knew you. The point is FB isn't a private place where you can post stuff you only want your friends to see. It's a public place where everyone can see what you post. All your statues, pictures, friendslist and so on are all public unless you set them to Private.

    I think the problem isn't FB, but the cyberbullying part. That's a big problem, and I understand that the teachers and VP are worried about it. I don't know how it was over there, but over here, they had to bad cellphones with cameras because kids would take pictures of each other (even when they were in the shower after gym) and post it online for everyone to see. Some did it to be mean, others mainly as a joke. Either way, they simply didn't understand the consequenses it could lead to. Many post something stupid about someone else, then forget about soon after. But the victim don't always forget it that easily, and it has led to suicide in some extreme cases. Then we had chatrooms, with all those problems. I don't have to tell you how bad they can get. And now, there's FB.

    So no, I don't think it's right to monitor anyone's FB pages, but I do think your parents, teachers, VP and so on have full rights to check the page if they think there's cause to worry. If you are a known troublemaker (not saying you are, of course), it doesn't hurt to check up on what you are doing now and then. But with the internet, being a troublemaker is easier than before as you can be "protected" by the computer.

    And last, as I said, FB is a public place. Anyone can check anyone's pages, as long as they are not manually set to Private.
     
  14. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Under normal circumstances, I would say no.

    But the reality is they will, especially if they have cause for concern.

    It doesn't end there. Prospective employers are known to have a peek online to see what potential future employee gets up to. So, that said, I'd keep that in mind when writing online.

    FB is something I use in a limited fashion; I've already found mixing work 'friends' with real friends doesn't always work.
     
  15. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Strange no one gives Google+ a chance, though. Does it allow you to sort your friends into groups, so you can choose what each group will see? FB simply put everyone into one big pile, which doesn't always work.
     
  16. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    That is incorrect. On Facebook you can assign your Friends to different lists and limit what those lists can see.
     
  17. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can? Oh... sorry, I thought you couldn't, and I'm pretty sure Google said that was a big advantage with their version. But I don't use either, so I don't know much about them.
     
  18. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not on FB (thank God) but any of these sites is like posting your conversations on the wall of a public restroom - or a billboard - unless you set the privacy settings to keep it - well, private. Now, back in the day when I was in school (60s and early 70s) if you painted something nasty on the wall about a teacher - darn straight you'd get detention - if you were lucky. Of course, back then most of the parents would've had their own little "session" waiting for you as well - don't know how that goes nowadays...
     
  19. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ Still, comments were made somewhere not inside the school setting.

    I'd equate it more to kids talking about teachers on their way home from school, or drawing caricatures of them etc. Happens all the time, for better or worse.
     
  20. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    I HAVE heard that the process is much more user friendly on Google, so it may still be an advantage they have over FB.
     
  21. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    I have been advised to take the policies out on the grounds that the business is moving into America and i'm going to need it when I have such a large scope for complaint against anyone working for me. I am unsure on how easy it is but it's certainly alot more common to be sued over there than it is over here.

    I'm working with the Princes Trust over here (they help start up businesses for people in their teens/early twenties) and you gain a personal mentor from this, someone you meet every four weeks or so to discuss how things are going, you get the drift. Anyway, the person I asked was the guy running the program when I went and he happened to be someone who worked for a big Insurance company for years, he saw over million pound deals and that sort of thing.

    Anyway, I was speaking to him about the possible branching out that we'd been discissing with people stateside and I was advised heavily to take out strong Indemnity policies as he was dealing with alot of people who had cases levelled against them where they might otherwise not have over here. It's just a culture thing, it's not as regular over here, atleast not in my line of work anyway. Hopefully I never have to call on the insurance policy anyway!
     
  22. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Opinionated rambling:

    I don't approve of the school taking action against a student for speech that is outside school, and is not related to any physical threat or other crime, or any in-school behavior. On the other hand, I take a very strong position on school bullying; I think that if one little bit of this speech is brought _into_ school, then the consequences should be prompt and serious.

    For example, if the outside bullying includes some catch phrase that sounds harmless, but is clearly associated with the bullying, and if someone uses that catch phrase in school, on a school bus, at a bus stop, on a field trip, at a school athletic or other event - consequences. If a student gives another student the URL where they can read the bullying material, and gives them that URL while in school, on the bus, at a field trip, etc. - again, consequences. If the bullying site is used to organize in-school bullying behavior - consequences.

    But I think that a student that truly keeps his online speech separate from the school, should not be disciplined by the school for his speech. If his speech extends to the point of criminal threats, libel, slander, etc., then he should be disciplined by other parts of the government.

    If he's using that non-school forum to say bullying things about another student, I really really don't _like_ the fact that he could get away with it that way, but nevertheless, I think that students should have free speech rights _outside_ the school. Inside the school, I'd be fine with suspending them for mean looks.

    ChickenFreak
     
  23. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    If they were talking among themselves, or the drawings were exchanged only amongst themselves, I would agree. This was a public display, however, and thus no expectation of privacy. Again, if they don't want to face the consequences of their actions, don't put it on the washroom wall.
     
  24. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    If I can offer a solution, which, by the way, was well-stated above, I remember a line of ads from a while back. A girl is sitting with her friend around a table, a nice happy scene, and then she suddenly gets this evil look in her eyes and starts insulting her friend and even her mother. I'd quote, but vulgarity could get this post removed. Anyways, she finishes, and the entire table goes silent. The girl and her mother look terrified. The official-sounding voice comes on (We all know some form of it), "If you wouldn't say it in person, then don't say it online." With Facebook, this applies tenfold. Intentions don't matter, it's the results that you should care about.

    And a P.S. to the younger posters here- Don't get too into Facebook, Twitter, and all of that sort of stuff. Social skills are necessary, and you can't walk around your entire life with a cell phone in hand, posting your exact location, when you are there, and what you're doing. If you don't see what's wrong with that, then I'd suggest you get rid of any Social Network accounts immediately.
     
  25. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, but you can hardly expect your Facebook page to be under surveillance by your teachers. It may be public, but that doesn't change the fact that they probably had no actual reason to be looking.
     

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