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Appropriate pp p Use of Social Media and Cell Phones

Karen Haase Harding & Shultz ((402)) 434-3000 khaase@hslegalfirm.com H & S School Law


Raise yyour hand if … You have a cell phone You use text messaging You’ve taken photos with a cell phone camera You’ve ever forwarded a message You Y h have a F Facebook, b k M MySpace S or Twitter account


What’s Wrong with Cell Phones?  Nothing! Cell phones are useful tools when used appropriately and with ggood jjudgment g


What’s Wrong with Facebook?  Again, Again nothing! Facebook is just like a cell phone – you have to use good j g judgment.


So how do kids get in trouble with i technology??  Cyberbullying  Sexting  Ignoring I t Internet t Safetyy


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.


Common Cyberbullying Tactics  Stealing someone someone’ss online name and using it to write nasty rumors, comment, or spread gossip. i  Alteringg someone’s message g or doctoring photographs to say something different or make fun of a person.


Common Cyberbullying Tactics (con t) (con’t)

Secretly recording conversations using a cell phone, then playing the recording i back for f the person being i discussed. Posting damaging information on blogs or web sites sites. Creating or taking part in Internet polling or list-making


Cyberbullying y y g Example of cyberbullying b b ll i on iChat (Apple’s instant messaging) i )

Divagirl: Hey, loser, watch your back. t t323 What tmt323: Wh t r u talking about? Divagirl: Why don't you kill yourself while u r ahead? tmt323: Why can't you just leave me alone? Divagirl: Ugly girls like u need to be put in their place.


How Common is Cyberbullying? ďƒ˜ one in four students between the g of 11 and 19 have been the ages victim of cyberbullying. ďƒ˜ Approximately A i t l 65 percentt off kids kid know of someone who has been cyberbullied.


So what’s what s the big deal?


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


Examples p  Seattle, WA.: Students who “liked” Facebook page bullying a classmate p all suspended  Memphis TN: Honors student suspended for 180 days for commenting on a friend’s status


Civil Consequences  Student and parents can be sued • Suing for money; no jail time • Homeowners insurance often pays • Judgments can result in home f foreclosure l and d other h h hardship d hi  Suit can be for: • Intentional I i l infliction i fli i off emotional i l distress • Tortuous interference • Slander


Finkel v. Facebook (N.Y.)  High school students created private Facebook page about classmate • Called her a “slut” slut • Said she had AIDs • Said S id she h used dd drugs

 She sued Facebook and kids who created page  Facebook F b k di dismissed i d ffrom llawsuit; it students initially left in the case


Criminal Consequences for Cyberbullying  Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-311.01  Terroristic Threats: “threatens to commit any crime of violence … • With the intent to terrorize another • In reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror  Class IV Felony punishable by: • Up to 5 years in prison and/or • $10,000 fine


In re Minor Child (Ala.)  High school students arrested at school for threatening classmate on y p MySpace • Threatened to beat him up • Said they would plant a bomb in his locker • Said he deserved to die

 Charged with making terroristic threats


State v. Murphy (NE)  Girl’s family disliked defendant  On O MySpace M S he h wrote: t • He was ggoingg to "beat the hell out of a lot of people" • He would be "killing killing a lot of people people.“ • Told girlfriend’s sister he didn’t “want to end d up killi killing her h or her h kid.” kid ”

 Charged with making terroristic threats


Sexting


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


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


How Common is Sexting? g Sexually suggestive messages sent: –39% of all teens –37% girls –40% 40% boys 48% of teens say they have received sexting ti photos h t or messages.


Serious Consequences: Jessica Logan


Criminal Implications Under 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 q sex offender registration g • Require


In re Katrina R.  15 year old texted nude pics to her BF  Was adjudicated “a child who deports herself so as to injure j or endanger g seriously the morals or health of herself e se or o others” ot e s • Placed in legal custody of HHS • 6 months’’ probation i • Required counseling and community service.


Internet Safety


Wisconsin v. Stancl  High school student posed as a girl, tricked male classmates into sending p nude photos  Then blackmailed boys who sent the pictures  Thirty-one y victims


So What DOES Belong on Y Your Ph Phone or P Profile/Page? fil /P ?

Just ask your Grandma


The Grandma Rule:  If you wouldn’t’ ld ’t’ show h it tto your Grandma, don’t photograph it!  If you wouldn’t write it to your Grandma,, don’t text it!  If you wouldn’t tell you Grandma about it, don don’tt post it!  If you wouldn’t say it to your Grandma don’t say it during a Grandma, cell phone call!


Questions? (402) 499-0547 499 0547


Weeping Water junior high