Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

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Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:38 pm UTC

More than 100 students at a Minnesota high school are in trouble after having appeared in pictures on Facebook, shown drinking at parties.

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Today's lesson: If someone asks you to hold their alco-beverage container so they can take a picture of others at the party, simply refuse.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby The Spherical Cow » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:48 pm UTC

I think the only students the school has a right to reprimand would be the ones who signed promising not to drink. It's difficult to tell if these were the only ones who were affected, but I don't think so, from reading that.

Even if they are drinking underage, I'm not sure it's a schools' place to punish the pupils for something occurring outwith school hours.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Freyja » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:57 pm UTC

Under normal circumstances, i'd agree and say that the school does not have the right to take action against these students. However, from what i gather, these kids are athletes. Students- especially those engaging in high profile extracurricular activities- are representatives of their schools. If they behave poorly in public, that kind of behavior becomes associated with their school. Moreover, the students actually signed an agreement to refrain from that kind of behavior.

So although i think the school is overreacting (i'm sure they have much more important things to worry about), i have to admit that they do have the right to take action.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby 22/7 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

Completely agree with what was just said. I was a hs athlete, and had to sign a similar "I won't make you look bad" document, and it really doesn't restrict you on very many fronts. To be honest, I have little or no sympathy for them in this particular instance, as, IIRC, it's still illegal for them to be drinking. Whether the school overreacted is kind of a different issue, but in this case they've got a clear-cut (imo) right to reprimand the kids here.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby segmentation fault » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:17 pm UTC

The Spherical Cow wrote:Even if they are drinking underage, I'm not sure it's a schools' place to punish the pupils for something occurring outwith school hours.


no, its not.

and unless the pictures show them ingesting, they cant really be punished for drinking, since theres no concrete proof.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby The Spherical Cow » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:20 pm UTC

I don't think I was clear. I agree that someone who signs promising not to drink has to expect repercussions if they are caught drinking. They have no excuse if the school then decides to ban them from taking part in sports.

However it seems to me that others were reprimanded, without having signed such a document. I don't think it's a school's place to do so, when said event occurs outside school.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby 22/7 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:29 pm UTC

segmentation fault wrote:
The Spherical Cow wrote:Even if they are drinking underage, I'm not sure it's a schools' place to punish the pupils for something occurring outwith school hours.
no, its not.

and unless the pictures show them ingesting, they cant really be punished for drinking, since theres no concrete proof.

Except that, I believe, it's illegal for someone who is underage to posses or transport alcohol. And when exactly do you think athletics happen? They happen outside of school hours, whether for practice or games/meets/matches. Again, as an athlete, you (or at least they did) sign a contract saying you won't do these things because they reflect poorly on the school.

Edit: ninja'd.
spherical cow wrote:I don't think I was clear. I agree that someone who signs promising not to drink has to expect repercussions if they are caught drinking. They have no excuse if the school then decides to ban them from taking part in sports.

However it seems to me that others were reprimanded, without having signed such a document. I don't think it's a school's place to do so, when said event occurs outside school.
This is what I probably should have said.
Last edited by 22/7 on Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:31 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby scowdich » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:30 pm UTC

Actually, in certain states one can be punished for underage drinking without ever ingesting. I know for certain that in Illinois someone under 21 can be ticketed for underage drinking simply for being in arm's reach of an alcoholic beverage. However, people 19 and over are allowed into bars. This has, quite understandably, made me quite paranoid about where I sit when I go to bars.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:34 pm UTC

One thing that people fail to realize, especially teens, is that nothing, and I mean NOTHING on the Interwebz is private. Sure, you can set your MySpace or Facebook page to "Private", where only those whom you have added as a Friend or whatever Facebook's equivalent is may view it.

However, this is still a gray area because not only can your friends view the pictures, but they can (A) save them to their own computer, in which they can (B) print them out and distribute as they see fit, or (C) e-mail them to others who don't have Facebook or MySpace accounts, which can, and sometimes will, include teachers or other faculty at their school of attendance. It's not exactly difficult to get a teacher's or some Administrator's e-mail address. Some will actually give them out so the students can e-mail them for class assignments if they won't be in class for a few days nowadays.

If you don't want to get in trouble for your actions, including getting drunk at a party, there are two things you can do: First, if you must take pictures, don't upload them to any wobsite where just about anyone can view them, especially social networking sites like Facebook or Myspace. Either upload them to your computer's hard drive but not to the Interwebz, or better yet, get them developed at a 1-hr. photo kiosk. Second, which sounds simple enough, but is rather difficult, just don't do the action.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:13 pm UTC

My biggest problem with the whole thing, they can't prove anything those kids ingested was actually alcoholic. But then again, I'd be smartass enough to bring that up when somebody tried to pull this shit on me. And taken to court, you can't prove it from a photo, and all you have is circumstantial evidence that they were drinking. For all they know the Coors can could have had water in it.

Then again, I'm of the opinion that schools need to stop trying to police their students actions outside of school and start worrying about doing what their job actually is, educating students/turning them into pawns for the state.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Miles Invictus » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:04 pm UTC

The school has no business involving itself in what its students do in their private life. That's something that should be handled by the students' parents or law enforcement -- and, though law enforcement can do it legally, I think they'd be wrong for punishing an essentially victimless crime after the fact.

The students who voluntarily signed waivers, though, screwed themselves over.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby akashra » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:08 pm UTC

This is yet another case of people getting involved where they have no right. The law is there for the purpose of what's happened here - the school should not be able to get involved in this in any way at all. How what happens outside of school is any of their business is beyond me, although I'm sure they'll come up with some interesting (bud ridiculous) claims.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby JayDee » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:04 am UTC

scowdich wrote:Actually, in certain states one can be punished for underage drinking without ever ingesting. I know for certain that in Illinois someone under 21 can be ticketed for underage drinking simply for being in arm's reach of an alcoholic beverage. However, people 19 and over are allowed into bars. This has, quite understandably, made me quite paranoid about where I sit when I go to bars.
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Also, I thought Facebook evolved from school yearbooks. I'd almost accept an argument that they were representing their school on the site.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Perfect Illusion » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:32 am UTC

One could be having much fun with photoshop...

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby lorenith » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:28 am UTC

I think my dorms are like that, theres a whole page warning, that if one has something like facebook, and has pictures of them doing anything illegal or that even looks slightly illegal posted, they will in all likelihood be ejected from the dorm if someone in charge finds out about them. I dunno if that's true for the whole school, but it probably is. There's a pretty strong zero tolerance policy about that sort of stuff, and it's kind of hard to miss the rules like that.

That said, I think the way this school is pursuing things is rather unfair...but zero tolerance policies tend to kind of stink like that.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby pollywog » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

It seems crazy that you wouldn't be able to drink at High School, but then I remember that the drinking age in the U.S. is higher. There are many photos of me drinking online. In my yearbook, there is a photo of me drinking vodka, and several other students drinking absinthe. My Form teacher once bought me beer in a pub (I then bought him beer) and on my last day of school our English class went down to the park and had pizza and beer.

But I do think that the school had a right to punish them. They are representatives of their school, no matter where they are. If they went out and posted pictures of themselves vandalising a car, the school would be obligated to punish them. Doing illegal stuff makes the school look bad.

An example from my school: A group of boys vandalised a billboard, and posted themselves doing so. Unsurprisingly, the school administration found out, and they were punished. Not much, because it was funny, and not that hurtful, but still.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Belial » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:09 pm UTC

pollywog wrote:But I do think that the school had a right to punish them. They are representatives of their school, no matter where they are. If they went out and posted pictures of themselves vandalising a car, the school would be obligated to punish them. Doing illegal stuff makes the school look bad.


Unless they signed something to that effect, I disagree. The school shouldn't be able to exert control over your behaviour outside of the school and school sanctioned activities, no matter how "bad" it makes them look.

Otherwise, they'd be able to mandate how you dress outside school as well. It's none of their damn business.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Lycur » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:54 pm UTC

They were only kicked off of extracurricular activities temporarily. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. The lesson here: don't get busted.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby pollywog » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:54 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Unless they signed something to that effect, I disagree. The school shouldn't be able to exert control over your behaviour outside of the school and school sanctioned activities, no matter how "bad" it makes them look.

Otherwise, they'd be able to mandate how you dress outside school as well. It's none of their damn business.


My old school could do that. If we were outside school, we either had to wear full uniform (if we had just left school, or were going to school, or were in town at lunch or something) or full mufti clothes. I wouldn't be allowed to wear my uniform shirt (green polo, with crest) and jeans. A teacher would be allowed to tell me to take the shirt off.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby JayDee » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:07 am UTC

My school was concerned with how we behaved while wearing our uniforms (the words 'ambassadors for the school' may have come up) which pretty much meant to and from school. I don't remember any cases of punishment following from people doing stuff outside of school, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was, and it wouldn't really worry me.

If my school decided to punish me because of something I did on the weekend, completely unrelated to school, that'd be completely different.

Incidentally, this talk of people signing contracts as athletes is new to me. Is that just an American thing?
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby xabram » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:12 am UTC

Perfect Illusion wrote:One could be having much fun with photoshop...


Too true. If you dislike anyone and have minimal knowledge of any kind of image manipulation software, you can now get them in trouble. Or, on the other hand, any of the students caught could claim tampering, and the school would be unable to disprove them without resources that it in no way has.

However, it will probably end up that the kids dont fight it, which would be a real shame.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Solt » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:19 am UTC

They should have used cups...

Anyway, it's not like the school is trying to actively interfere in the extracurricular lives of their students, they are punishing them by taking away a right that the school gave them in the first place.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Dr Strangelove » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:57 am UTC

The school made the right call with the information it had. But how it obtained that information makes me a bit queasy...with Photoshop and other programs, it really isn't hard to get someone into a photo and give them a cup of beer. If this going to set a dangerous precedent? relying on Internet information to administer discipline? I hope my school doesn't start with this kind of crap.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Belial » Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:32 am UTC

I just feel it's foolish for the schools to take it upon themselves to enforce discipline outside the school. That's the parent's territory.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby simo » Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:43 am UTC

Ok, I dont know about the US...

....but in the Uk this would be totally illegal.

An institution going on someones facebook page to find out about them breaches data protection laws. I mean if I applied to a job and the employer checked out my social networking sites or forum posts they could find themselves suffering massive fines or even prison time.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Jahoclave » Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:18 am UTC

simo wrote:Ok, I dont know about the US...

....but in the Uk this would be totally illegal.

An institution going on someones facebook page to find out about them breaches data protection laws. I mean if I applied to a job and the employer checked out my social networking sites or forum posts they could find themselves suffering massive fines or even prison time.

:roll:

Well, even in the States it's illegal for employers to make decisions on hiring and firing based upon information on networking sites.

Then again, we wouldn't have half these problems if people over here would pull their collective heads out of their asses and stop worrying and criminalizing things that aren't problems in the first place.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby lorenith » Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:04 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Well, even in the States it's illegal for employers to make decisions on hiring and firing based upon information on networking sites.

Apparently it happens often enough anyway, I've seen a lot of suggestions to keep ones internet life hidden from being easily search able, because an employer might look you up and fire/not hire you based on what they find.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby zingmaster » Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:52 pm UTC

lorenith wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:Well, even in the States it's illegal for employers to make decisions on hiring and firing based upon information on networking sites.

Apparently it happens often enough anyway, I've seen a lot of suggestions to keep ones internet life hidden from being easily search able, because an employer might look you up and fire/not hire you based on what they find.

It does happen a lot. My cousin is actually going to delete his Facebook in a couple years once he starts looking for a job out of college, since even though he's responsible, he has no control whatsoever over what other people post about him. At least if he deletes his account, he'll have some control over what employers can see about him.

Anyway, in general, the students were stupid for breaking rules they know they shouldn't be breaking, but the school was stepping over the line by taking such harsh action. I have little sympathy for the students, though, because they were playing with fire, and when you do that, there's always a chance you'll be burned. At the teenage years, we're always confident that "it won't happen to us." We think we're invincible. But that's not the case, and this will open those kids' eyes to the truth.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Hephesus » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:11 pm UTC

The lesson here is: Set your fucking profile to private.

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby jestingrabbit » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:28 pm UTC

Hephesus wrote:The lesson here is: Set your fucking profile to private.


Whereas your normal profile should be public.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby 4=5 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:31 am UTC

anybody remeber the "fuck this shit" comic?

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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Marvin » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:14 am UTC

No contract should ever allow a school to ban you because of something posted on interwebs, except maybe something directly concerning the school...

i can't understand how they made school look bad by drinking in their free time... IMHO the school just made itself look bad by baning them...
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby 22/7 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:27 am UTC

Ban you from what exactly? School? No, of course not, that would be ridiculous. Extracurriculars? Absolutely. Of course, baning them might indeed make the school look bad. Keeping them from participating, well, that may just be a well thought out punishment for breaking the rules... or, you know, the law. Whichever.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Marvin » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:45 am UTC

22/7 wrote:or, you know, the law. Whichever.

last time i checked, there was police, and it was not up to schools to enforce the law, on anyone...
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Bakemaster » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:50 am UTC

The school is not arresting the students; that would be enforcing the law. It's operating within its own jurisdiction, which is school-related activities. You've never heard of anyone being expelled from school for criminal activity? Vandalism, for instance?
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Marvin » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:55 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:The school is not arresting the students; that would be enforcing the law. It's operating within its own jurisdiction, which is school-related activities. You've never heard of anyone being expelled from school for criminal activity? Vandalism, for instance?

vandalism in school yes, vandalism outside school... nope... seems i live in a fucked up place... or you do...
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Belial » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:14 am UTC

Yeah, this has to be the first I've really heard of people being disciplined in school for something that happened outside of the school's jurisdiction or involvement.

The only thing even close to it was the fact that RA's at CNU could be expelled if they were caught drinking anywhere, but that was because they signed a contract to get the job.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby 22/7 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:23 am UTC

Belial wrote:Yeah, this has to be the first I've really heard of people being disciplined in school for something that happened outside of the school's jurisdiction or involvement.

The only thing even close to it was the fact that RA's at CNU could be expelled if they were caught drinking anywhere, but that was because they signed a contract to get the job.

My emphasis added. We had kids punished (I can't remember if it was a suspension or not) for spiking their drinks at another school's basketball game (and getting caught, obviously). Those kids were athletes, too, so maybe it's strictly an extracurriculars thing.

Either way, they signed a contract not to do these things, they knew the consequences, they decided to do them anyway. Then, and here's the kicker, they were stupid enough to post pictures of themselves doing said forbidden act on a website where just about anyone can pull them up at any time. You'll have to excuse me if I don't feel too awful bad for them.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby Belial » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:46 am UTC

Either way, they signed a contract not to do these things, they knew the consequences, they decided to do them anyway.


So, after reading that sentence, I actually combed through the article more closely and found the random aside where they actually said they'd signed an agreement. From this thread, it looked like we were just musing that they might have.

My bad.
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Re: Facebook Photos Get Students Suspended

Postby 22/7 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:56 am UTC

Belial wrote:
Either way, they signed a contract not to do these things, they knew the consequences, they decided to do them anyway.


So, after reading that sentence, I actually combed through the article more closely and found the random aside where they actually said they'd signed an agreement. From this thread, it looked like we were just musing that they might have.

My bad.

No worries. Of course, I'm an idiot and am going to make this post even though it appears that my point of view is starting to prevail. The question that should be getting raised here but (and I don't know why) isn't is should these *[b]minors[/i]* be able to sign a binding contract, regardless of its contents?

I still say yes, but it's certainly debatable.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!


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