Illinois Public Schools Can Demand Students’ Social Networking Accounts and Passwords at Will

Illinois public schools can now demand students’ social networking accounts and passwords at will.

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O’Fallon Superintendent Dr. Darcy G. Benway recently sent this letter out to parents.

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Pursuant to Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 75/15), OTHS is required to notify parents/guardians that we may request or require a student to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to the student’s account or profile on a social networking website if the district has reasonable cause to believe that the student’s account on a social networking website contains evidence that the student has violated a disciplinary rule or policy.

This email serves as that notification.

Thank you.

Dr. Darcy G. Benway, OTHS Superintendent

Sure enough Illinois State Law 105 ILCS 75/15 allows schools to demand social networking passwords.

Sec. 15. Notification. An elementary or secondary school must provide notification to the student and his or her parent or guardian that the elementary or secondary school may request or require a student to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to the student’s account or profile on a social networking website if the elementary or secondary school has reasonable cause to believe that the student’s account on a social networking website contains evidence that the student has violated a school disciplinary rule or policy. The notification must be published in the elementary or secondary school’s disciplinary rules, policies, or handbook or communicated by similar means.
(Source: P.A. 98-129, eff. 1-1-14.)

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