School Official Accused of Accessing Student’s Facebook Page

Mar 9, 2013 5:05pm

The parents of an Everett, Wash., middle school student are furious after they said a school administrator forced their daughter to log onto her Facebook page so he could investigate a cyber bullying case.

Samantha Negrete, a student at North Middle School, told her parents last Thursday she had been called to the front office and was ordered by her assistant principal to log on to her Facebook account so he could access her friends’ private pages.

“There was no right for anybody to come in and ask her to open up her personal information to obtain any information about anybody else.  That’s just something you cannot do,” said Samantha’s mother, Connie Becerra.

“He proceeded to sit down and go through students’ pages and opened up numerous kids’ Facebooks and was looking at pictures and postings,” she said.

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(Image Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A student was later called to the office and suspended for what the assistant principal saw, Samantha’s parents told ABC News’ Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV.

Everett Public Schools is investigating the incident, according to a district spokeswoman.

“What we do know is the bullying took place and the technicalities of how that was uncovered are part of the investigative process,” spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it will also conduct an investigation to determine whether Negrete’s rights were violated.

“Schools can’t search students’ private belongings or their private communication.  That student’s private communication is private,” an ACLU spokesperson said.

ABC News Radio contributed to this report.

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