Minn. District Reaches Settlement With Teen Over Facebook Post

Minnewaska Area Schools officials have agreed to pay $70,000 to a 15-year-old girl for coercing her to give up her Facebook and E-mail passwords.

GLENWOOD, Minn. – Minnewaska Area Schools officials have agreed to pay $70,000 to a student after school administrators forced the girl to give up her Facebook and E-mail passwords.

In 2012, Riley Stratton, then 12 years old, posted unfavorable comments on her Facebook page about a teacher’s aide. Although Stratton, now 15, did not use a school computer to post her message, she still received detention and was coerced to write a letter of apology, ABC News reported.

Several days later, school officials received a complaint stating that Stratton and a male classmate were having racy private conversations on Facebook – but not on school computers.

The complaint led school officials to pressure the teen into sharing her email and Facebook passwords. They then searched through her social media profile, New York Daily News reported.

Stratton is currently being home schooled as a result of the ordeal.

The American Civil Liberties Union took on the case, stating that the Stratton’s constitutional rights, including the right to free speech and privacy, were violated.

As part of the settlement, Minnewaska Area Schools must retrain teachers and change the policy about social media usage.


If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo