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New Laws Governing Social Media Websites and Your Child

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In the last few decades the field of family law has expanded beyond just divorce, marriage and custody proceedings. This shift is exhibited by the new Illinois social media law, aptly titled The Privacy in the School Setting Act, also known as Illinois Assembly House Bill 0064 (“HB0064”). The family law attorneys here at The Law Offices of Cosmo Tedone and Barbara Morton, P.C. can help you navigate this new law governing social media and the privacy of the youngest members of your family.

Children & Social Media IMAGEOn January 1st 2014, HB0064 officially went into effect. Under this law, post secondary schools (colleges and universities), as well as elementary and secondary schools, have strict requirements placed on them when attempting to access a student's social media profile. Under HB0064, if an elementary, middle, or high school would like to access your child's social media profile, the school must first provide you with a specific notification that they have the right to do so, before requesting any relevant account information. Furthermore, the school must have reasonable cause to believe that the social media account or profile in question violates an official school disciplinary policy or rule. The rule for students in colleges and universities is simpler, holding that it is unlawful for post-secondary schools to require disclosure of account information by a student, and it is also unlawful to request relevant student account information from a student's parents.

Under HB0064, your child's elementary, middle, or high school must publish the required notification in the school's disciplinary policies, handbook, or any other list of guidelines/official source of communication with parents. This notification must include the fact that the school at some point has the right to request or require the disclosure of relevant social media account information for any student whose is believed to be in violation of the school's disciplinary codes. Furthermore, for colleges and universities, though they cannot require a student or his or her parent's to provide account passwords and other relevant information, this does not block the school's right to monitor usage of the school's electronic equipment and emails. Additionally, colleges and universities can still obtain information about a student that is located in the public domain. Lastly, HB0064 does not apply to situations in which the post-secondary institution had reasonable cause to believe that a student's social media account contained evidence that a student violated the school's disciplinary code.

Protecting the rights of your children is of the utmost importance. If you are concerned about your child's social media rights, you should contact the family law attorneys here at The Law Offices of Cosmo Tedone and Barbara Morton, P.C in Plainfield, Illinois.
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