Schools have access to students' social media accounts with new - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Schools have access to students' social media accounts with new IL law

WALTONVILLE, IL (KFVS) -

Students in Illinois can now be legally forced to give up their social media usernames and passwords.

The new measure is aimed at curbing cyberbullying.

Some students say, "no way," when it comes to giving up their passwords, but administrators say cyberbullying has become a real problem in schools and they hope that will change with the new law.

Combined, Alicia Kabet and Morgan Massie have over 10 social media accounts.

Besides posting pictures and birth shout-outs, both girls say they've encountered a lot of cyberbullying.

They're not the only ones and now lawmakers have stepped in.

Under the new law, school districts and universities can log into those accounts regardless of when or where the alleged harassment occurred if they believe a student violated a school's disciplinary rule or policy.

The Waltonville, Ill. superintendent said that while there are benefits to the new measure, she still has concerns about getting parents on board with the idea.

"I think if you are asking for access to their private social networking, I think it could be an issue," she said.

Some students say the new law sends a strong message that threats and cyberbullying could be costly.

Before any administrators can take action for an offense, it must first be reported.

In the Waltonville School District, there have been no reports of any incidents where the law was put into place.

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