The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of a 12-year-old middle school student who was detained and interrogated by Minnesota school officials who demanded her Facebook and email passwords.
According to CNN, the girl claims she was “‘intimidated, frightened, humiliated and sobbing while she was detained in the small school room’ as she watched a counselor, a deputy, and another school employee pore over her private communications.”
The “interrogation” of the student stemmed from an incident where the girl wrote on her Facebook wall that hall monitors in the school were being “mean” to her and that she hated them, which the school determined was enough justification to demand a review of all her private communications.
The ACLU says that the Minnewaska School District violated the student’s First Amendment right to free speech and her Fourth Amendment right to privacy and protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
“Students do not shed their First Amendment rights at the school house gate. The Supreme Court ruled on that in the 1970s, yet schools like Minnewaska seem to have no regard for the standard,” said Minnesota’s executive director for the ACLU in a statement about the case.
The school district maintains that its actions were “reasonable and appropriate.”