By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What can you do if someone creates a fake Facebook profile of you, and neither the school nor the police will get involved? One Georgia teen has taken a novel approach.
A 14-year-old Georgia student found out that her classmates had created a fake Facebook profile doctoring up photos of her and implying she took drugs. When the school said it couldn’t discipline for off campus actions and the police said it didn’t meet the definition of cyber bullying and Facebook wouldn’t remove it, she sued her classmates and their parents for libel, which is a form of defamation law.
She’ll have to prove that the defendants made false statements about her that others saw or heard that reflects negatively on her character and hurts her reputation. It remains to be seen if she can win a case against the kids and will be even harder, without evidence that they took part, to win against the parents but certainly it gives teens who feel victimized a feeling of empowerment.
That said, it’s too bad she needed to go that far. The school district said it couldn’t do anything but with a better code of student conduct, it is absolutely legal for a school to discipline even for off campus activities which cause harm to fellow classmates.