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Teen reaches $70,000 settlement with school

Teen Reaches $70K Settlement With School Over Facebook Comment
A Minnesota teen won $70,000 in a settlement with her school over one of her Facebook posts. Back in 2011, 11-year-old Riley Stratton posted a message on her Facebook saying she hated one of her school's hall monitors. The Minnewaska School District slapped her with an in-school suspension.

After a parent complained about a sexual message that Riley sent to their son's Facebook, the school demanded her Facebook info and went through her account: an action her lawyer calls unconstitutional.

Riley was so embarrassed by the incident that she is now being homeschooled.

According to the Star Tribune, the school maintains they asked permission to go through Riley's Facebook, a claim her parents strongly disagree with. The school district reached a $70k settlement, and says that they will use more caution in the future when handling similar matters.

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ngcolby March 27 2014 at 9:56 AM

facebook ...the anonymity to say anything you want regardless of the consequences. Riley was wrong, the parents who's son took their complaint to the school were wrong, the school was wrong in the illegal search. facebook...the greatest and worst idea of this generation.,,user beware!

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1 reply
suziebisback ngcolby March 27 2014 at 10:08 AM

"User beware"... are the operative words here.

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michele March 27 2014 at 2:10 PM

A sexual message at age 11 ??!! That seems to me more the problem than the school going through her facebook!!

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2 replies
Sire michele March 27 2014 at 2:16 PM

We dont know what the message was. Considering what schools consider sexual it could have been anything from "cute smile" to "nice butt."

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Kevin Arthus michele March 27 2014 at 2:21 PM

A "sexual" message could be "You're hot". The school has no right to invade her privacy. That search is no more allowed than them coming to her house to look through her diary.

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murfneedham March 27 2014 at 9:35 AM

Facebook is an abomination and this is just another example of why this is the case. However, anyone that believes that their personal information is private is deluded. Once you share anything with "friends" they can share it with anyone else, even if you did not intend for it to be distributed beyond your "inner circle". Young teens cannot be expected to control themselves. They need guidance and supervision from their parents.

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TnT March 27 2014 at 2:11 PM

Riley should have been embarrassed by the sexual message she sent to the boy. This whole incident is ridiculous.

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1 reply
Sire TnT March 27 2014 at 2:15 PM

Why? How sexual was it? You never said you liked a boy/girl in HS?

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Adrienne March 27 2014 at 9:30 AM

The parents should have been monitoring their daughter's behavior. To expect the school administration to go through each student's social media profiles as suggested by the lawyer is crazy. Our local schools in California have 3500 students each with at least 3 social media accounts. Parents need to step in and place some restrictions on kids' computer usage and educate them on appropriate behavior.

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sstuczynsk March 27 2014 at 9:29 AM

We need more actions like this to keep the school administrators in check. They are out of control.

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gabe1aaa March 27 2014 at 9:28 AM

First, she should not even be on FB.. there is a question when you sign up for the account about the users age; so she lied to get said account. FB should shut the account down. Second, do her parents not monitor what she is doing online? Apparently not, she is too young for such nonsense. Third, she made the mistake of writing something on a public forum; word does spread.. quickly.. if you can't own up to things you say or do then don't do such things; simple!

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no1gum March 27 2014 at 9:24 AM

Why is she embarrassed now? She posted something sexual when she was 11? As usual, an AOL article makes little sense.

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shadowdew5 March 27 2014 at 9:16 AM

This is what you get for being on FACEBOOK.

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latinguytony March 27 2014 at 9:15 AM

WHY does an 11 yr old HAVE a FB account ? HOW is she posting WITHOUT parental permission ? At that FIRST post about the hall monitor the 'parents' should have stepped in and made her take it DOWN if in FACT it caused the school to take notice. Obviously the parents had a good lawyer and the school just bent over. Either they paid OFF the judge OR the jury for this verdict which is nonsense !

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2 replies
wllharrington latinguytony March 27 2014 at 9:25 AM

Some may resent this but I think the BRAT should have been spanked, nowadays that is called an 'attitude adjustment' . There should also be an investigation into the question of when did the parents abdicate and allow her to become the parent.

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resnetwk latinguytony March 27 2014 at 9:38 AM

You are correct about her not having a Facebook account and the parents should have taken action sooner. BUT, that still doesn't justify the actions of the school. The school was wrong, period, end of story.

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