17 Year Old Girl was Awarded $33,000 after Suing Her School for Searching Her Cell Phone

By Dipankar Das, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

pennsylvania A schoolgirl at Northeast Pennsylvania who was initially suspended for keeping obscene pic in her cell phone, sued her school authorities for invading her privacy and has won $33000 in the landmark lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania settled the lawsuit and announced on Sept 15th that that the school authorities denied any wrongdoing. Yet they want to pay the above amount to the student and lawyer to settle the dispute.The 17-year-old, who was named as ‘N.N.’ in order to protect her privacy, was made to serve a three-day suspension from her high school in north-east Pennsylvania.

It all started in January last year after a teacher seized her mobile phone which she was using before the beginning of a lesson.The girl is named as “N.N” for privacy reason. The school principal then browsed the email, text message and photograph of her cell phone and found naked picture of the student in the image gallery. She was then served three day suspension from the high school.
The lawsuit charged school authorities for violating the first and fourth amendment right of N.N by searching her cell after confiscation.The images were not sent to anybody and it was only meant for her and her boyfriend. The last week’s verdict sends a positive signal to the students who think that right for “sexting” is violated.

American Civil Liberties Union’s legal director Witold Walczak added: ‘School administrators have no more right to look through personal photographs stored on a student’s cell phone then they have the right to rummage through her purse, read her diary and mail, or view her family photo album.’

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