Tuesday, July 9, 2013

School District Learns a Lesson Teaching About Internet Permanancy

A 19-year-old Univ. of Georgia freshman has sued the school district where she attended high school and a school administrator for $2 million in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for using a bikini-clad Facebook image of her in a county-wide educational seminar without her permission.

In Chelsea Chaney v. Fayette County Public School District & Curtis R. Cearley (Case No. 3:2013-cv-00089), the former Starr's Mill High School student alleges in a 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983 action that her privacy was infringed on, she was defamed and suffered emotional distress when a photo of her in a bikini standing next to a cut-out of rapper Snoop Dogg was employed by the defendants in a presentation to students and parents, ironically, about the long-term dangers of  displaying images on Facebook and the Internet.

Chaney told Atlanta television news station WSBTV that she thought the Facebook image of her taken when she was 17 was only visible to her friends and their friends. She was upset that the image, captioned "Once it's there, it's there to stay," allegedly was posted without her knowledge in the program by defendant Cearley, the school district's director of technology.

Chaney's counsel alleges the Facebook profile photo falsely portrays Chaney as a promiscuous alcohol abuser. The defendants have filed a motion to dismiss the suit. The lawsuit, a cautionary tale, if nothing else, answers the question posed in a song sung by the non-cardboard version of Snoop Dogg: What's My Name?

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