Do students have free speech rights at school? Can schools force students to divulge passwords?

The ACLU has filed suit against a Minnesota school district on behalf of a 12-year old student over two separate instances involving Facebook.

The ACLU alleges that the student’s First Amendment Rights were violated when she was punished for posting her dislike of a school staff member on Facebook. She was assigned detention and required to write an apology to the staff member. She then received in-school suspension and was barred from a school field trip when she subsequently cursed in a Facebook post and complained that someone had reported her to the school.

It is further alleged that the student’s Fourth Amendment Rights were violated when she was forced to divulge her Facebook and email user name and passwords. While the activity of the school is precisely the type that pending legislation seeks to abolish, the outcome of this case could provide noteworthy guidelines for both students and school officials.  Read More.


In addition to Thriving Attorney, Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas.  He also co-founded Project K, a charity devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time.  Click to read more about Darin Klemchuk's practice as an intellectual property lawyer. 

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