Schools snoop students’ social media to sniff out security threats

(Editor’s Note:  As the Court stated in Tinker v Des Moines ICSD, students don’t surrender their First Amendment rights when they enter the schoolhouse gate.  They don’t surrender their Fourth Amendment rights either!  — Mike Tully)

For now, you have to do something overt to attract the attention of campus social justice warriors before they can censor you (post a valid critique of a video game, say, or question the employment rates of Gender Studies majors).

But what if the hordes of radical feminists and experimental art students were able to discover your racist, sexist and discriminatory tendencies before you’d ever set foot on the quad? If one school in Florida has its way, your social media profile could provide plenty of fodder for a Minority Report-style effort to curb aggression on campus.

Orange County school districts, near Orlando, have contracted with a startup called SnapTrends, which designs software for “location-based social media discovery.” While it sounds like the capability would be essential for marketers, SnapTrend actually sells its product as a security tool…

MORE  >>>

Rep. Linda Sanchez sends Ogle app CEO letter asking how company combatting cyber bullying

CERRITOS >> Rep. Linda Sanchez penned a letter to the maker of the social media app Ogle, demanding an explanation as to how it will combat cyber bullying after a student from Cerritos High School posted a threat that turned out to be a hoax.

Sanchez, D-Norwalk, a member of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, sent a letter to Daniel Jiang, the founder and CEO of Ogle and its parent company, Nuistars, last week after she received phone calls from concerned parents and district officials about the Cerritos incident as well as various media reports.

“I am increasingly concerned by the amount of bullying and harassment on the app, and the lack of accountability for those posting,” Sanchez wrote in her April 27 letter.

MORE  >>>

Alaska author shows how to defuse nasty workplace bullies

(Editor’s Note:  I am posting this as a courtesy.  I have not read this book and this comment is not an endorsement.  I’d be interested in hearing from somebody who has read the book and is willing to let me know what they think about it.  — Mike Tully)

We live in an era when brazenly abusive bosses like Donald Trump and chef Gordon Ramsay find fame and fortune on reality TV shows, so it’s no surprise that a lot of loathsome behavior is tolerated, even rewarded, in American workplaces.

There are plenty of bosses out there who believe their job is to “just get results, it doesn’t matter how. If I grind people up and spit them out, hey, it’s a cruel world out there. The beatings will continue until performance improves. If you can’t hack it, see ya later, loser.”

Even bosses who aren’t tyrants may allow a toxic bully to wreak havoc on unfortunate co-workers.

You know the kind — the angry, aggressive jerk with a hair-trigger temper, so you constantly feel like you’re walking on eggshells. Or the chameleon — nice to your face but trashing you behind your back. Or the Jekyll-and-Hyde type who sucks up to the boss while treating underlings like prison camp inmates.

If any of these situations sounds familiar, you may want to check out a new book, “Beating the Workplace Bully,” by Alaska Dispatch News business advice columnist Lynne Curry.

MORE  >>>

Federal district court in Pennsylvania rules that parent stated valid claim for First Amendment retaliation based on superintendent’s alleged threats of legal action for complaining about a student’s bullying

Abstract: A federal district court in Pennsylvania has ruled that a parent has stated a valid claim for First Amendment retaliation based on a school district superintendent allegedly threatening, intimidating and coercing the parent for complaints about school officials’ failure to put an end to bullying of her child and other students by a classmate. It concluded: (1) the parent was engaged in protected activity when she criticized the school district for its unresponsiveness and ineffectiveness in halting the classmate’s assaults; and (2) the superintendent’s emails to the parent would “deter a person of ordinary firmness from exercising her First Amendment rights.”

The court rejected the assertion of qualified immunity as to the superintendent. It found that a reasonable school administrator in the superintendent’s position “should have known that the statements amounting to coercion, intimidation and threats of lawsuits or prosecution might chill [the parent’s] criticism of the [school district] and violate her First Amendment rights.” As a result, it concluded, based on the record as developed to date, the superintendent was not entitled to qualified immunity.

MORE  >>>

New York state school district settles suit with white student who claimed district failed to protect him from peer harassment/bullying at high school with predominantly minority student body

According to Newsday, Brentwood school district settled a suit filed by Giovanni Micheli, who is white and formerly attended Brentwood High School (BHS), that claimed school officials failed to protect him from bullying by a predominantly minority student body. Micheli’s suit claimed he was forced to leave the BHS’s Sonderling Center during his sophomore year after being mocked as a “white boy” and facing physical threats dating back to sixth grade.

MORE  >>>