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Below room answers to generally asked questions around the legal rights of K-12 public institution students in RI as they called to modern technology and society media.

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Rules because that colleges and private institutions will differ. Additionally, public school district plans on these worries can vary greatly in between individual districts. An ext information around these policies can usually be discovered in her school’s college student handbook.

Last Updated: august 2021


A.

With details exceptions, your school cannot censor points that you article during off-school hrs while utilizing a an individual email address or account, and also on a private computer system with a private net connection. That consists of the right for you to share info that is crucial of the college or institution officials on society media, or via your personal email.

As freshly as 2021, the supreme Court affirmed this view as soon as they ruled that a Pennsylvania public school violated the very first Amendment for disciplining a college student for a Snapchat she posted on a Saturday when off-school premises. The student, Brandi Levy, was removed from the small varsity cheerleading team after she posted a snap the her and a friend through their center fingers extended accompanied through the message “fuck school fuck soft ball fuck cheer posesthe everything.” In the ruling, the court affirmed the the student’s snap was safeguarded speech under the first Amendment, as it to be posted off of college grounds and not at a school-related activity, and did not reason a an extensive disruption.

However, the Court said that off-campus speech could not be defended in wherein the speech involved severe bullying, hazards aimed at teacher or students, or the outside use of college computers. Here in Rhode Island, because that example, the room of education and learning ruled that a student could be disciplined for composing a sexually explicit song about a teacher and also posting it digital when copies of the tune were then brought to institution by other students. If your write-up demonstrates that you broke school rules, the institution can self-control you. For example, you might get in trouble if you short article a video clip of yourself and friends smoking on college property. ~ above the various other hand, we properly represented a student who was disciplined for circulating a photo of a teacher unlawfully smoking on school property.


What about using my school-provided chromebook in ~ home?


A.What around using mine school-provided chromebook at home?


A.

Many institutions provide cost-free laptops or Chromebooks for students to take home, and school public representative often insurance claim the ideal to have accessibility to every the details they contain, including the web page you have visited, emails you have sent, and also so on. If these computers are school residential or commercial property and, therefore, school officials have specific powers over how you use them, the ACLU believes that you do not totally give up your privacy civil liberties in utilizing these computers, especially if castle are offered to students and their families for uses past schoolwork.


Can I get in problem at school for something i text, email or post online while ns there?


A.Can I obtain in trouble at school for something i text, email or write-up online while i’m there?


A.

As a public college student, you have actually a constitutional best to totally free speech. You can express your opinions and also beliefs in school, even if they are controversial, as long as you do so in a means that no disrupt class or other school-related activities. However, most schools have actually internet usage and also cell phone policies governing the institution day. If you space using a school computer system or email account, school officials have the right to monitor her activity. Any kind of online activity using college computers, web access, or email accounts the creates a disruptive learning environment, or violates others’ rights could result in disciplinary action. Also, part schools have actually rules limiting the usage of cell phones during the college day, and also those rules have the right to be enforced.


Can mine school force me to log in in come my personal social account or include someone to mine contacts?


A.Can mine school pressure me to log in in come my an individual social account or include someone to my contacts?


A.

No. A state legislation enacted in 2014 prohibits any school official or employee indigenous requesting or inquiry a college student to 1) divulge their an individual social media account details – or 2) add someone to your social media contacts. Because that example, a teacher can not ask girlfriend to show them your exclusive Instagram account.


Can my school’s cloud organization sell my personal data?


A.Can my school’s cloud service sell my an individual data?


A.

No. A 2014 state law limits the usage of student data through cloud computing company providers offered by K-12 schools. Under the law, college student data is exclusively to be offered for the purpose of giving the cloud service. The law additionally specifically prohibits the usage or revenue of college student data for commercial purposes, including advertising.


Can my college take my phone? If institution officials confiscate mine phone, space they enabled to find it?


A.Can my school take my phone? If institution officials confiscate mine phone, are they allowed to search it?


A.

If you violated school plan governing cell phone intake during institution hours, then her school can probably in the interim confiscate your phone. However, the institution is normally not enabled to accessibility the an individual information on your phone also if they lawfully confiscate it. If lock take your phone for a particular reason – because that example, another student claims you sent them one inappropriate text message throughout the institution day – also if they may be permitted to check for that specific message, they need to not be check for additional information, such together your call list, photos, etc. Store in mind the if a school official asks for permission to find your phone, you execute not have actually to give your permission.


Can I obtain in trouble for “sexting”?


A.Can I obtain in trouble for “sexting”?


A.

Below room answers to typically asked questions around the rights of K-12 public college students in RI together they relate to modern technology and society media.

Rules because that colleges and also private schools will differ. Additionally, public college district policies on these issues can differ greatly in between individual districts. An ext information about these policies can usually be found in your school’s student handbook.

Is mine school permitted to screen or censor mine online task outside of school?

What around using mine school-provided chromebook in ~ home?

Can I get in problem at college for something i text, email or article online while ns there?

Can my school force me to log in in come my personal social accounts or add someone to my contacts?

Can mine school’s cloud organization sell my personal data?

Can my institution take my phone? If institution officials confiscate mine phone, room they permitted to find it?

Can I gain in trouble for “sexting”?

What space the laws concerning cyberbullying?

IS my SCHOOL allowed TO monitor OR CENSOR my ONLINE task OUTSIDE that SCHOOL?

In general, your college cannot censor points that you post during off-school hours while making use of a an individual email resolve or account, and on a private computer system with a private internet connection. That has the ideal for you come share info on a blog or via social media or personal email the is critical of the school or school officials. However, some courts have ruled the students can be disciplined because that off-campus online conduct if it create a “substantial and material” disruption to the college environment. Right here in RI, because that example, the department of education and learning ruled that a student might be disciplined for writing a sexually explicit song about a teacher and posting it virtual when copies of the song were then brought to school by various other students. If your article demonstrates that you broke school rules, the institution can self-control you. For example, you might get in problem if you post a video of yourself and friends smoking cigarettes on college property. On the other hand, we efficiently represented a student that was disciplined because that circulating a picture of a teacher unlawfully smoking on institution property.

WHAT about USING my SCHOOL-PROVIDED CHROMEBOOK at HOME?

Many institutions provide complimentary laptops or Chromebooks because that students to take home, and also school public representative often case the ideal to have access to every the information they contain, consisting of the website you have actually visited, emails you have sent, and also so on. If these computer systems are school home and, therefore, college officials have details powers over just how you use them, the ACLU believes that you perform not completely give up her privacy rights in making use of these computers, especially if they are given to students and also their households for uses beyond schoolwork.

CAN I acquire IN problem AT institution FOR SOMETHING ns TEXT, email OR write-up ONLINE WHILE i’m THERE?

As a public school student, you have a constitutional ideal to complimentary speech. You deserve to express your opinions and also beliefs in school, even if they room controversial, as lengthy as you do so in a means that doesn’t disrupt course or various other school-related activities. However, most schools have actually internet usage and cell phone policies governing the college day. If you space using a school computer or email account, college officials can monitor her activity. Any online task using school computers, net access, or email accounts the creates a disruptive discovering environment, or violates others’ civil liberties could result in disciplinary action. Also, part schools have rules limiting the usage of cabinet phones throughout the school day, and also those rules have the right to be enforced.

CAN my SCHOOL force ME TO log IN come MY personal SOCIAL account OR add SOMEONE TO my CONTACTS?

No. A state legislation enacted in 2014 prohibits any kind of school official or employee native requesting or request a college student to 1) divulge their an individual social media account info – or 2) add someone to their social media contacts. For example, a teacher cannot ask friend to present them your private Instagram account.

CAN my SCHOOL’S CLOUD organization SELL MY an individual DATA?

No. A 2014 state law boundaries the usage of student data by cloud computing company providers provided by K-12 schools. Under the law, student data is specifically to be provided for the objective of offering the cloud service. The law additionally specifically prohibits the use or sale of college student data because that commercial purposes, including advertising.

CAN MY institution TAKE my PHONE? IF institution OFFICIALS CONFISCATE mine PHONE, are THEY enabled TO search IT?

If friend violated school policy governing cell phone intake during institution hours, then her school have the right to probably temporarily confiscate your phone. However, the college is usually not enabled to accessibility the personal information on her phone even if lock lawfully confiscate it. If they take your phone because that a specific reason – because that example, an additional student claims you sent out them one inappropriate message message throughout the institution day – also if they may be permitted to inspect for that specific message, they should not be checking for added information, such together your contact list, photos, etc. Save in mind the if a school official asks because that permission to find your phone, you carry out not have to give your permission.

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CAN I gain IN trouble FOR “SEXTING”?

It is illegal for anyone under the period of 18 in Rhode Island to engage in “sexting.” the term is identified in Rhode Island regulation as the transmission, via mobile or similar devices, of certain nude images of you yourself – specifics graphic photos of your genitals or pubic area. If the act of sexting reasons a disruption to her school’s finding out environment, the institution can technique you. RI law states that sexting constitutes a status offense – which method you deserve to be sent to family members Court to face a judge, yet you will not confront criminal penalties or a prison sentence. However, due to the fact that of the method the law was written, that technically allows minors who interact in sexting come be charged with kid pornography instead. The ACLU believes together a charge could be legit challenged.