News Releases

Lindquist & Vennum Attorneys and ACLU-MN Settle Facebook Case with School District

03.25.14

Lindquist & Vennum attorneys Wally Hilke and Bryan Freeman, working on behalf of the ACLU-MN, reached a favorable settlement for Riley Stratton, a middle school student who claimed that her first amendment rights were violated by Minnewaska School District administrators and staff. The school district has agreed to pay $70,000 to settle the case.

In 2012, the ACLU-MN filed a lawsuit against the Minnewaska School District for violating the student’s rights (she was a 6th grader at the time) when they unjustly punished her for content she posted on her Facebook page and forced her to turn over her passwords for her Facebook and email accounts.

"They punished her for doing exactly what kids have done for 100 years — complaining to her friends about teachers and administrators," Hilke said. "She wasn’t spreading lies or inciting them to engage in bad behavior; she was just expressing her personal feelings. Educators can still be involved in the lives of young people and they can look out for the interests of young people — they just can’t punish them for exercising their constitutional rights.”

This case has received national media attention. See coverage below

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