School Pays Student $70K for Facebook 'Interrogation'

They forced her to hand over password to Facebook, email

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 27, 2014 10:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Minnesota school has agreed to pay a student $70,000 to settle a lawsuit stemming from an incident in which administrators forcibly perused her Facebook account, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. It began when Riley Stratton, then 13, posted on Facebook complaining that a hall monitor was mean, and the school responded by giving her an in-school suspension. "They punished her for doing exactly what kids have done for 100 years—complaining to her friends about teachers and administrators," Riley's ACLU lawyer says.

Matters intensified when a parent complained that Riley was chatting about sex with her son. This time the school forced Riley to enter her Facebook password in front of a sheriff's deputy, and perused her page in front of her. "I was in tears," says Riley, now 15. "I was embarrassed when they made me give over my password." Superintendent Greg Schmidt tells Fox News that the school thought it had permission from Riley's parents, but her mother says she was never informed. "I'm hoping schools kind of leave these things alone, so parents can punish their own kids for things that happen off school grounds," she says.

Riley Stratton is seen in this photo provided by her mother.
Riley Stratton is seen in this photo provided by her mother.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Sandra Stratton)
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