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Student Data Privacy Bills Gets Initial Approval

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Senate has voted to give initial support to a bill that would prevent school administrators from requiring students to provide passwords to their Facebook and Twitter profiles, as well as other digital media accounts. 

Senate File 14 is intended to protect student data privacy. Baggs Republican Larry Hicks expressed concern that the legislation could prevent schools from investigating threats of suicide or violence. 

Laramie Democrat Chris Rothfuss said administrators would be encouraged to go through different channels.
"Let's get your parents here, lets get them on the phone. You could also say, this is serious we are calling law enforcement and they are going to get a warrant to read your email. It just precludes you from saying, I as the Principal have some suspicions I need your user name and password for all of your social media accounts, which is a very different thing."
School officials would be fined 250-dollars for a first offense and a thousand dollars for each additional offense. The Senate will debate the bill two more times.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.

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