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The Law and Technology: What Students & Parents Need To Know Karen Haase Harding & Shultz (402) 434-3000 khaase@hslegalfirm.com H & S School Law @KarenHaase


What’s the deal?  Cyberbullying  Sexting  Ignoring Internet Safety  Copyright Issues


Cyberbullying


Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying, v: the use of technology such as computers and cell phones to engage in repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others. The term "cyberbullying" is used when the victim or bully is a child or teen. The term cyber harassment is used when the victim is an adult.


Boston v. Doe (Ga. 2012)  “Fatbook” Profile


School-Related Consequences  Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-2,137  Definition: “ongoing pattern of physical, verbal or electronic abuse”  Consequences: • Loss of extracurricular privileges • Detentions • Short and Long Term Suspension • Expulsion • Alternative School Assignment


Cooks v. Tulsa Sch. Dist., et al  Student changing after volleyball  Teammates held down, took picture of her and posted to Twitter; others retweeted  Family suing • • • •

Twitter School district Student who took pic Students who first tweeted the pic


State v. Clemmens


State v. Clemmens  Arrested within a few hours  Charged with making terroristic threats  Sentenced to • 5 months probation • Banned in 4 counties • 2 years of no social media


Managing Social Media


Managing Twitter


My Suggestions  PARENTS have user names and passwords  Be sure you are comfortable with privacy settings  Parents: Follow your kids (with text notifications)  Kids: follow the “grandma rule”


Sexting? Sexting, v: (a combination of sex and texting) is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between cell phones.


How Common is Sexting?  Sexually suggestive photos sent: – 20% overall –22% girls –11% young teen girls (ages 13-16) –18 % boys


How Common is Sexting?  Sexually suggestive messages sent: • 39% of all teens • 37% girls • 40% boys  48% of teens say they have received sexting photos or messages.


Interpreting sexting  22% of teens say technology makes them more forward and aggressive  38% say exchanging sexy content makes hooking up with others likely  29% believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to hook up


Sexting?


Serious Consequences: Jessica Logan


Criminal Implications of Sexting  Law enforcement reports that Adults prosecuted for possession of child pornography, solicitation and child abuse  Students Prosecuted as well


In re Juvenile John Does (Fairfax Co. Va 2013)

   

Girls Snapchatted video to boy He forwarded screenshots to friends Three boys arrested at school Each charged with 12 counts of distribution of child pornography  Found guilty, appealing sentences


Nebraska Law  Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-813 et. seq.  Makes sexting (images) a class IV felony for offenders under 19  Class IIIA felony for 19 and up  Both punishable by: • Up to 5 years in prison and/or • $10,000 fine • Require sex offender registration


Criminal Implications  Affirmative Defense: •

the picture is only of the defendant;

• or • • • • • • •

defendant was younger than 19 picture is of someone at least 15 picture was taken voluntarily picture was given voluntarily picture contains only one child defendant hasn’t shared the picture; AND defendant didn’t coerce taking or sending


Internet Safety


Skype


Kik Messenger


Ask.fm


Vine


Game Platforms


Copyright Issues


Capital v. Thomas  Thomas downloaded and shared songs  Received “cease and desist” letter  Record Companies sued  Jury trial 2007  Jury found infringement for 24 songs


Capital v. Thomas  Damages  First jury ordered $222,000  Second Jury $1.92 million. Judge reduced to $54,000.  Third jury $1.5 million. Judge reduced to $54,000, or $2,250 per song


So what to do?  BUY your music  Know about “fair use doctrine”  Parents: Model copyright compliance  When in doubt, ask


5 Things Parents Can Do


1. Talk to your kids  Make sure they understand that nothing in cyberspace is private  Talk through possible consequences – both short and long term  Check up on them • Some cell carriers allow web retrieval of all texts • My Mobile Watchdog/Mobile Spy


2. Know who your kids text with  Via text messaging  Via social networking  In real life


2. Know who your kids text with  If necessary, block problem callers/texters  Options • AT&T Parental Controls

• • • •

Handset-specific Options YouMail Forward your child’s phone Change your child’s number


3. Limit electronics  Don’t let them charge the phone in their bedrooms  Place computers in public parts of the house  Limit texting during meals, homework time, etc.


4. Monitor your child’s postings  Require them to “friend” you on Facebook, etc  Follow them on Twitter, Tumblr, etc.  Google your kids’ names


5. Set & Reiterate expectations 

Discuss limits and reasons for them

You should live by them as well (at least in front of your kids)

Remind kids frequently of the limits


Nothing is truly anonymous


The Law and Technology: What Students & Parents Need To Know Karen Haase Harding & Shultz (402) 434-3000 khaase@hslegalfirm.com H & S School Law @KarenHaase

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