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Thread: Educator sues teens over page on MySpace

  1. #1
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Educator sues teens over page on MySpace

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/met...t.2f28841.html

    Highlights:

    Accusations that two 16-year-old students cyber ambushed their assistant principal have landed their parents in legal trouble, highlighting what has become a new battleground for student-educator animosity.

    Anna Draker, an assistant principal at Clark High School in the Northside Independent School District, filed a civil lawsuit against two students at the school — junior Benjamin Schreiber and sophomore Ryan Todd — and the boys' parents, claiming defamation, libel, negligence and negligent supervision over a page on the popular Web site MySpace.com.

    Benjamin also is facing criminal felony charges. Both boys are named in the lawsuit.

    "This is the most serious, most concerted effort that I've seen a teacher or a school administrator undertake involving a posting on MySpace," said Steve Jones, a professor of communication at the University of Illinois-Chicago and author of "CyberSociety" who has written extensively on Internet use.

    Draker found out in April that someone had created a page on MySpace, a public free-access Web site popular among students, using her name and picture from the school's Web site. The page was filled with, according to Draker's attorney, Murphy Klasing, lewd, defamatory and obscene comments, pictures and graphics. It was written as though Draker herself had posted the information.

    The Web page included instant messages from people Draker didn't know who lived near Clark High and made suggestive, lewd and obscene comments based on the Web page's content.

    Klasing said Draker wants the students to face consequences. She's suing for an unspecified amount for damages for emotional distress, mental anguish, lost wages and court costs, but Klasing said the lawsuit is really about teaching a lesson.

    This seems like a very interesting case. Should a parent be held responsible for the content of a page on MySpace? Many parents are behind the 8-ball on internet technology. Even those that are "with the program" have a hell of a time keeping up with sites operated in anonymity. How is a parent supposed to know how to look for something like this? They can find their kid's profile on the internet, but how are they expected to know if he/she has created a false, defamatory posting as well? With the kid already facing criminal charges, is it really necessary to teach a financial lesson? Is the assistant principal's skin just too thin for working in schools?

    I have no problem with the criminal charges and feel those are deserved. However, I don't see the parents having responsibility under "negligent supervision"--I can't fathom a parent knowing to look for something like this. I also have to wonder about the assistant principal claiming mental anguish and emotional trama--I've never known a principal to get so hot & bothered over name-calling. The criminal charges are enough in my mind and teach an effective lesson.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    How is the principal suing for lost wages? Did she get reprimanded?
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    At least they did not threaten to kill a teachers Dog on Myspace, such as this student did...
    The most foolish thing one can do this fall is to vote for Clinton or Trump. Wake up, get out of the matrix, and send a message to the political establishment that you won't play their game.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    seems to me that myspace is more at fault than the parents. myspace should police their content!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #5
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    The article didn't say anything about whether she missed work, so I don't know where the lost wages came from. If the assistant principal was forced to take leave due to being emotionally distraught, I'd wonder if she really has the thick skin necessary to work in public education.

    How would you suggest MySpace police this type of thing? I don't know how you go about verifying the identity of someone posting a profile on that site.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I'm still wondering why MySpace lets kids make up multiple identities. I knew about my son's everyday page/identity and had the password to check it out, but had no clue about the others he'd established for more nefarious purposes. It would be a lot easier for parents to keep tabs if this was restricted.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I think the asst. principal has a right to sue them and probably should. She was publicly ridiculed and these students may be guilty of felonies for falsely impersonating her. Just because they are kids doesn't mean they shouldn't be held responsible for their actions, which in this case damaged another person's reputation.

    As Sammy Davis sang "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    The ass. principal must not be making enough money on the job, hence she is suing. What a joke. Or should I say, take a joke.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

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