Calumet City, IL is a southern suburb of Chicago located on the Illinois/Indiana border.
The proposed change to the school policy follows a new Illinois state law involving student use of social media. We also have info about the law in this post.
Students of the Thornton Fractional Township District 215 high schools could be required to provide school officials with passwords to their Facebook or other social networking site accounts, under school policy changes being considered.
The proposed changes were on the agenda for review when the School Board met Tuesday [1/28/2014]. No vote was actually taken, and final approval is likely to come when the School Board is scheduled to meet again Feb. 25, according to Finance Director Charles DiMartino.
Changes under review include permitting school officials to demand the personal passwords of District 215 students to accounts on Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites in cases where officials can show a “just and reasonable cause” they would gain information related to violation of other school policies.
Among other changes being considered is to add electronic book readers to the list of items such as MP3 players, portable DVD players and cellular telephones that can only be used during passing periods between classes, during lunch periods or during class if part of an assignment.
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Important Note: A new Illinois state law (98-0129) went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 that empowers districts to make such demands.
Starting Jan. 1, school districts may request or require students to provide their passwords to their social networking accounts if there is just and reasonable cause that the content posted on the account violates school rules and disciplinary codes of conduct. Public Act 98-0129, passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat Quinn this past August, applies to public elementary and secondary schools. The law defines social networking sites as web-based sites that “allow individuals to 1) construct a public or semi-public profile; 2) create a list of other users with whom they share a connection; and 3) view and navigate their list of connections and those made by others within the system.
This law applies to content posted anywhere, anytime — whether at home or at school — by students. Content that is deemed to violate published student codes of conduct will result in disciplinary action. District 215 intends to comply with this act.