A story posted Friday morning (May 18, 2012) on MSNBC and USEC Network International Magazine says the city of Geneva's assistant public works director is at odds with Geneva Middle School South administrators for forcing her 13-year-old daughter to log into her Facebook page and show them personal information.
Pam Broviak, who also is the Public Works Department's civil engineer, says Geneva Middle School South Principal Terry Bleau and other administrators were anything but civil when they demanded that Broviak's daughter reveal personal information on the 13-year-old's Facebook page—according to the article written by Bob Sullivan and posted shortly before 6 a.m.
According to Sullivan's story, the principal of Geneva Middle School South forced the 13-year-old to log in to her Facebook account and show pages, including those containing personal information. The story did not say why administrators asked for that access.
The story said Broviak's daughter "ended up crying through most of the day," and Broviak said that other parents are "scared to talk about" the practice.
Bleau was recently named , and was nominated in part because of his ability to connect with students on a personal level.
According to the article, Broviak says the administrator's actions were a violation of privacy that traumatized her daughter.
"Schools should not violate kids' privacy," Broviak said this morning on her Twitter page, which links to the story.
Broviak wrote about the incident in detail on her "Public Works Group Blog" posted on April 24.
"Normally I don't like sharing the nitty gritty details of my family's life, particularly on my blog. But I'm doing so because it brings to light an issue government agencies need to be made aware of and only by sharing can we convince legislators there is a real problem," she said.
Broviak said the actions taken by the administrators "have been appalling."
According to the blog post, "It started because a teacher heard another student spreading rumors about my daughter—all of it unrelated to school and nothing against the law."
She said a school official called her daughter to demand to know if rumors were true. There are penalties for spreading rumors, but the seriousness of the punishment depends in part on whether the rumor is true, Broviak said.
The post says the GMS South vice principal "called me to demand I come to the school immediately to read through her (Broviak's daughter's) private messages."
Broviak was out of town and so called Bleau the following day, according to the blog post.
"I told him not to pry into the private lives of my children. And he said he cannot do that—it is his obligation to look out for the morals and ethics of the children at his school. And if he feels they are not leading a moral life (obviously according to his standards), he is going to launch an investigation."
Broviak said she considered pursuing legal action but now she and her daughter are just "trying to get through the last part of seventh and hope to make it through eighth with no more problems."
Broviak said in the blog post that, at that time in April, officials were "still regularly taking kids into the counselor's office and telling them they cannot leave until they open up their Facebook accounts to their scrutiny."
"That is just wrong," Broviak said.