Middle-schooler: Vice principal forced me to log in to Facebook

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EVERETT, Wash. —

An Everett middle school student and her family said that her civil rights were violated after her vice principal forced her to log in to her Facebook account.

The family is now demanding clearer school policies.

Samantha Negrete, 14, was recently called to Vice Principal Bryan Toutant's office at North Middle School.

Toutant was investigating a case of cyberbullying involving one of Negrete's friends, who allegedly posted a photo of another girl on Facebook and made disparaging comments about it.

Negrete told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Dubois that, when she arrived in Toutant's office, he was on his computer, and he told her to log in to her Facebook account.

"I felt like I was made to do it," Negrete said.

The vice principal found what he was looking for, and ever since, Negrete said, she has been teased and bullied herself.

"A lot of people are calling me a snitch and saying, 'Why would you do this? This is all your fault,'" Negrete said.

Connie Becerra, Negrete's mother, said that if the school had called and asked permission, it wouldn't have been a problem.

But, Becerra said, forcing the eighth-grader to show a school authority her Facebook page is comparable to police barging into a home without a search warrant.

"She's being called a snitch now, because she was the information gateway for him to get the information he needed to use against other children," Becerra said.

The issue has fueled the debate about whether schools have the right to see a student's private social media posts.


The Everett School District hasn't decided if the vice principal was right or wrong in this case, but an outside agency is looking into it.

The school district is now taking a close look at its policies and will be tackling the issue with teachers and administrators at a special forum on Friday.

"Principals must respond quickly when they hear about a safety issue," said Mary Waggoner of the Everett School District. "That balance of how they conduct the investigation is uncharted territory for a lot of schools, with the prevalence of social media."

Becerra's family contacted the American Civil Liberties Union about the incident, but they aren't planning any legal action.