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New Illinois law gives schools access to students social media passwords

BELLEVILLE, IL  ( KTVI)- A new Illinois law aimed at stopping cyber-bullying, gives schools access to kids social media accounts. Some say the law goes too far.

Previously  Illinois schools could take action against students if online bullying occurred,  such as something posted on Twitter or Facebook during the school day.

However, with the new law that Illinois legislators approved, school districts and universities in Illinois can demand a student's social media password. The new law states if a  school has a reasonable cause to believe that a student's account  on a social network contains evidence that a student has violated a schools disciplinary rule of policy.  Even if it's posted after school hours.

This week some  school districts sent home letters to notify parents and students about the new rules. " To get into a social networking site and it could be  at a school or at home. That we would be able  to get that password and get onto their account," said  Leigh Lewis Triad Community Unity  School District Superintendent.

Some parents who received the notice says the new law raises some  concerns about privacy. "It's one thing for me to take my child's social media account and open it up, or for the teacher  to look or even a child to pull up their social media account, but to have to hand over your password and personal information is not acceptable to me , said Sara Bozarth.

Some students  say there still needs to be some separation between schools and what  students d on  their own time and personal device. "I think it's an invasion of privacy to the extent that if a student wishes to share something with a university it should be to their discretion," said Nathan Sterling.

While other students say the new law sends a strong message that threats and   cyber-bullying will not be tolerated . "I believe it's a good law because help stop bullying   rasing awareness .Stopping kids that have been bullied or will get bullied in the future, " said Keanna Williams.

The new law went into effect January 1, 2015.


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