Staff Editorial: Passwords may not mean privacy for students

Staff Editorial

   In March of this year, a twelve-year-old girl in Minnesota was called into the office of her middle school. She was forced to give up her Facebook password by the principal and a sheriff armed with a taser. Her parents were not aware of the incident until she returned from school humiliated and embarrassed.

   The Hilliard City School District does not have a policy specifically naming whether or not attaining passwords is allowed, but the policy on student searches and interrogations is clear. Lockers, purses, and backpacks are all subject to supervised searches. The question is whether or not there is a line that can be crossed in terms of student rights involving technology and searches and what rights students have in terms of privacy.

   We believe that student safety is important, but schools requiring Facebook passwords is over the top. Seeing as some employers today are asking for access to the account in order to see whether or not someone would be a good representative of the company, we think that they should be able to see the page and any images or posts that are available to the public. That does not go to say that we think schools should be able to demand the passwords regardless of the reason.  That would be an invasion of privacy and uncalled for as most situations have more than one solution.

   As society becomes more technologically advanced, risks come along with these types of publication and networking. Posting something online allows others to view it and can make judgments based on what they see.   Anyone who posts something on any social networking site has to realize that they should only post things that they would want people to see. There is a line between keeping people safe and invading privacy, but being careful with what is posted eliminates the problem to begin with.

 

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