Tim Cushing writes on TechDirt about a recent case where a Minnesota court sided with a twelve-year-old girl whose school forced her to give up her Facebook password so they could trawl through her private messages:
For some strange reason, a large number of schools adhere to the notion that their students are not actually citizens of the United States and therefore, not granted the same rights as the “grownups.” The rationale for the limitation of these rights usually involves the word “safety,” a word that has been (ab)used in various forms to curtail rights of full-grown American citizens in other arenas.
This notion that students’ rights have to be curtailed in order to protect them from themselves has a lot of traction not only in public schools but in American society. As a parent, I have some sympathy for this perspective — of course my seven-year-old son shouldn’t get the same rights as an 18-year-old adult. But he still does have some basic citizen’s rights and I expect school administrators to respect that.
You can read the complete text of the Minnesota judge’s decision on GigaOm.