A new Illinois law created to enable school administrators to investigate cyberbullying went into effect on January 1, 2015. It allows school adminstrators to demand social media passwords from students suspected of online harassment. Soon after one school district sent a letter to parents informing them of the new law, headlines claiming that all Illinois students were required to hand over their passwords spread like a wildfire.
But the truth is somewhat less ominous. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the letter sent to all parents in Triad Community Unit School District No. 2 was ONLY a notice that passwords MAY be asked for, if your child gets “into trouble.”
On the same topic, Engadget is running a poll asking students if they would rather get detention, or give up their social media password. No surprise in the results: 9 to 1, students would rather get detention than give the school admins their Facebook password.
What do you think? Should schools be able to access students’ social media accounts to investigate complaints of cyberbullying?