Schools, Facebook, and Free Speech - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Schools, Facebook, and Free Speech

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) -

It's becoming complicated subject in school, students and their actions online, and local school leaders are weighing in.

In Minnesota a student wrote a comment on her own Facebook page while at home talking about her dislike for a school employee. School officials required the student to give them access to her Facebook account, and personal email accounts.

A court ruled that violated the student's First and Fourth Amendment rights.

Perryville Middle School Principle Velda Haertling said if a student in the district posted a comment about a teacher, and the administration knew about it, she said they would talk to the student.

"If a student would happen to say something negative on Facebook and we would find out about it, our first step would probably be to call them in and find out why they're uncomfortable and why they feel that way, we'd want to fix that we want those relationships to be positive, so we would look for the solution rather than being punitive," said Haertling.

She said they don't monitor student's social media pages, and think it's important for students to express how they feel.

"They have very definitely feelings, and they have the right to express those feelings, and as long as it doesn't turn into a conflict, it's healthy to express those emotions," said Haertling.

Haertling said they stress to students the hurt cyber bullying causes, and talk about the consequences of online actions.

She said if the administration hears about a student posting mean things online, they will talk to the parents.

"If the drama gets to be a concern, then we obviously we need to intervene, but until then they're just being middle school adolescents finding their sense of identity," said Haertling.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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