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August 1st, 2009 by Dr. Phil

You've Got Mail

computergirl2I read an article the other day that really, really bothered me, and I need your help to think through this one! It was an article about a young woman who is suing her school after she was allegedly forced by her cheerleading coach to hand over her Facebook login information. According to the lawsuit, an exchange within her Facebook e-mail included heated and profanity-laced comments that ripped into the coach and other teachers. The girl was reprimanded as a result, and now she’s fighting back.  Now, I don’t know what really happened here, but the specifics are not the point. Either way, it is a really thought-provoking scenario, to which, I have one point and one big question.

The point is that the Internet may be a lot of things, but private is not one of them. There is good news and bad news when it comes to all of our newfangled technology. The good news is: We have so much info at our fingertips. The bad news is: We have so much info at our fingertips! 

We parents, including Robin and me, need to constantly remind our kids that everything they post about themselves or others — whether it’s a compromising photo meant to be fun and goofy, or a personal e-mail — can be found, and can be passed on. Passwords can be hacked, and friends can become foes and choose to pass on info the sender meant to be private. Privacy is a myth.

Everyone from future fiancés, to college recruiters to potential employers invariably go straight to the Internet to see what they can learn beyond the interview where all candidates put their best foot forward. OK, point made about Internet privacy.

If what is being reported in the cheerleader story is true, I’m really bothered. Should a non-parent adult (high school teacher, coach or otherwise), in the absence of warning signs of impending danger to themself or others, have the right to compel a student to turn over access to private information, such as a Facebook account or e-mails, in order to see what might be being said about them or others?

classroom2Some will surely say yes, especially if the teacher knows they are being attacked in some way on the Web site. But I’m not so sure. While I agree that a student can’t rely on an expectation of privacy when having a conversation in a public place, is a non-public e-mail different? To me, going into someone’s personal e-mail, even a teen’s, is no different than going to their house, sticking your hand into their mailbox, pulling out a letter that is addressed to them, tearing it open and reading it. Are the boundaries for an e-mail the same as for “snail mail”?

What kind of power do you want teachers and school officials to have over your kids when it comes to their Internet activities? You can argue it both ways.

Does it matter if there are warning signs that the student could be a danger to themself or to others? For example, if the parents of the Columbine shooters had monitored their Internet activities, could they have adverted tragedy? And, are the boundaries different for parents, who, in fact, are responsible for their children on so many levels, including legally? What if a parent suspects their teen is sexually active or involved with drugs, school violence or inappropriate parties? 
Let me know what you think, because I get lots of questions about this on the show, and I’m not entirely sure what the right answer is, or if there is one answer.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for our grossly underpaid teachers and certainly don’t want to say anything to make their jobs harder, or create obstacles to their responsible guidance of our children. They have a hard enough job as it is. So, I especially want to hear from you teachers.  Do you need this access? If the story is true, did the coach go too far? Thanks for the help and input.

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118 Responses to “You've Got Mail”

  1. TCarter says:

    It sounds to me like the teacher acted out of insecurity and her actions appear to have been a bit unprofessional. The teacher needed to be less concerned with how the opinions of the child made her feel and more concerned with how she might be contributing to the barrier between her and the child that could negatively affect her ability to reach this child. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all saying that the teen didn’t hold any responsibility in the situation. What I am saying is that, has the teacher’s focus been appropriately placed, she might might have been more likely to respond in a way that would have served to resolve the situation rather than exacerbate it.

  2. Theresa says:

    I think it all pretty simple. The teacher had no right to force the student to turn over password and give access. We have police for that and the teacher should have gone through legal channels.
    Legal channels need to have means to deal with hate related issues on internet or anywhere.
    I actually belive we might be far better off if the threat of a ruler across the wrist was there in the schools because teachers having no power leads to many many problems with kids and leaves parents hopelessly responsible for all the kids do when not under thier control. But I believe this action was over the top
    Typing with a bust wrist so forgive the errors LOL.

  3. Stephanie says:

    If the teen were posting negative comments in a public forum in print then it is liable for slander; thus, the teacher has a right to see what is being written about him/her.
    Did the teacher go to the parents and ask that THEY look into what THEIR teen was doing? It wasn’t the teacher’s responsibility to parent the child.
    I have a teenage boy who I opened a myspace and facebook account to promote his band. I have access to all emails, comments, passwords, and I have his emails forwarded to my phone (this he does not know). But, I approve what gets posted on his page. I approve the comments and have even denied comments that get posted on his page. He’s allowed to do the format, invite and chat with friends, post music, videos, anything he’d like and he keeps it clean because he knows I’m watching. Bottom line, parents NEED to be involved. There is no one else to blame in the above situation but the teen and parents. It is the teacher’s responsibility to involve the parents in their teen’s life when the parents are not aware of a volitale situation. If the teacher is concerned, not only parents should be brought in, but a supervisor, counselor, vice principals and a whole team to surround themselves as armour when going in to “battle” a teen. The coach did act inappropriately in that he did not protect himself or handle it in a calm, rationale manner.

  4. Joan says:

    The school district should start settling now! If the information in the court documents are true, there is no way they can win. And if the plaintiff can prove that the defendants disseminated the emails and information within, well, they are really up a creek without a paddle. I can’t even imagine what the school districts’ defense would be.

  5. Tracy says:

    I don’t see any reason for a non-parent adult to ask a child for his/her screen name or password. I do however believe that parents should have access to their childs screen name, passwords, emails, blogs, who they chat with, everything. That way if there is something thats not right, the parent can take care of it. Some would say its an invasion of privacy or infringing on your childs rights. I however call it being a responsible parent. We have to protect our children, sometimes even from themselves. They don’t realize that things they do our say now can affect them later in life, and also lets not forget about all the pedifiles out there just waiting for some innocent child.

  6. Shelley says:

    The coach went too far. Part of being a teacher or a coach, particularly in a high school, is being criticized by your students. Some students will love you, some will hate you, and some will fall somewhere in the middle. This is not to say that I approve of teachers/coaches being called names or what have you by students, but when the students are doing it on Facebook e-mail or through general e-mail, that is NOT the business of the teacher/coach. Sometimes it helps the student to get out their frustrations with their peers.

    Now, if a student is a danger to him/herself and the teacher/coach is aware of danger signs, they need to report that student to the school counselor or to the police, whichever is appropriate. It’s one thing to talk about parents monitoring e-mails/internet communications, but having teachers/coaches DEMAND that a student hand over their login information when there is nothing more suspected than complaints about the teacher, is simply wrong.

    There may not be much privacy on the Internet or anywhere these days and everyone’s life may be an open book, but that doesn’t mean you have to read it to anyone! In other words, if someone wants to find out about you, that’s fine, they can search the internet, but you do not have to help them do it, which is exactly what this teacher/coach was asking for when she required the student hand over her login information.

    This is totally outrageous and I hope the court slams that school and they have to pay. What they did was wrong on many levels. If that teacher/coach is so insecure as to be concerned what students are saying about her in e-mail, then she needs some serious counseling and a new profession.

  7. Fatim says:

    Hey Dr. Phil, welcome to Australia and sorry about the whole terrorist thing.

    After I finish my undergrad. degree in forensic science I’m planning on undertaking a masters degree in teaching, high school science teacher.

    One thing is for sure I would never invade the privacy of a student by forcing them to tell me their password for the email etc. Everyone, including teens are entiltled to their own opinion, however the a student crossed the line than I would take action, i.e inform the parents and principle.

    However in terms of cyber bullying, if I was concerned about someone’s safetly than I would call the parents, and if I deemed the parent didn’t think their was a problem than I would proceed to the next level. If I thought someones life was in danger, than I would contact the police, its better to be safe than sorry.

    Back to teens entitled to their own opinion. How else will young children evolve and discover who they are, rather than be a clone of what a teen should be. They need to develop adequate coping mechanism skills, which includes voicing their opinion based on facts and defending their opinion. Where bringing up a generation of cotton wool kids. Spying on our kids. Checking their emails. Reading their text. Checking who they are calling etc.

    Let kids be kid, but explain the possible consequences to their actions, which include slander and defamation. Teach your kids from an early age, that if they want to say something, debate a topic with you or anyone else, that it must be based on facts. Not only will it help them avoid internet trouble, it will also aid in their eduation. My little brother whom is 13 years old, will look up something if he is confused and his never been in any trouble. I think the last time he got a good talking to was when he was about 10, he was calling a fat kid names, and we explained to him it wasn’t nice and to put himself in the other kids shoes. It worked and I don’t think he has teased anyone since, well I hope not.

    Kids aren’t dumb, you have to give them more credit.

  8. Christine says:

    There’s so much that can be compromised on the internet, but I also think we neglect to remember that these things can happen IRL (life outside of the internet). Of course, the internet makes it easier to find information, private information. But, the message is, Who you are, decides what you will post online. However, that doesn’t always stay that way.

    If there is an important email, why not send it in a letter, or address the situation on the phone? But, someone can very well blog about it on their blog, about something you said, and many people will read it anyway.

    There’s pictures you want to share with friends that is funny or goofy that may be compromising, hand them a photo? Well, they can easily scan it or post it themselves.

    The point is, with the portable cameras, Picture phones, mini video cameras, you’re bound to end up online anyways! Micheal Phelps didn’t think he’d end up online, and plastered all over the news.

    You can have a very innocent picture, and someone can post a comment, and turn it into something it’s not with just a simple label. Maybe the camera caught you with your eyes partially closed, but someone labeled you ‘plastered’, but that’s not what happened! It happens all of the time.

    This is a hard topic, because the internet can turn into so much more.

    If a person puts themselves into a compromising situation, by having sex, and letting people take nude pictures of them. That’s something that will probably end up online the second you get them angry.

  9. Mona says:

    As we don’t know the exact details of what went on, we can only speak in general terms. If this was something that really bothered the teacher, then I think this situation could have been diffused by speaking to the student. I don’t think that handing over access to emails etc. is going to get anywhere. This might be a good time for teachers to speak to students in general (even in elementary school) about the repurcussions of their actions and words on emails, facebook, myspace etc. As with everything in life there are consequences to our actions. I think that people in general will be a little more careful about what and how they write knowing that potential colleges, employers etc. might see their facebook pages and emails etc.

    The one time where I believe action should be taken is if there is word that someone’s life is in danger etc. But this is where the authorities should get involved.

    Handing over login information is not the end of it. Anyone can start a new email address with a new password etc.

  10. Sandra says:

    Oh how the world has changed, when I was in school, I got my first car, and skipped a few classes driving a few schoolmates around the town, well the teacher took my car keys and wouldn’t let me have my car. Now was this an abuse of power, maybe, but I realized there was a consequence to my actions and accepted the punishment, my parents never underminded the teachers authority, at least they never let me know they did, they dealt with it with the teacher, I could just imagine how I would have felt, if they told me that the teacher had “no right” and that “hey I see a lawsuit here” Well I would have to say my sence of consequences would be far different today I’m sure.

  11. Jan says:

    i mean that students under 18 years, can’t take responsebility for what they do, and that i therefor mean that the teachers shall be allowed to get all information about the this students that they have responsebility for, and by that i also mean that theachers shall be allowed to get the this students password, email and so on to the internet, and i mean all that because the teacher is responsebel for this students.

  12. Betty says:

    I use the Golden Internet Rule: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it on the internet. Also goes for anything you don’t want a specific person or persons to know. Secrets are not kept on the internet. Remember, Big Brother may be watching YOU.

  13. Toni says:

    I do not agree with compelling a teenager to hand over password info. It undermines them as a person as well as invades their privacy. This one act leaves the same “sting” as physically overpowering her would.
    As for the dangers of the web, the answer lies in strong foundation of love and learning at home and in the school. If we see teenagers as untrustworthy and treat them as such then they become what we see, we create the monster.
    A little trust goes a long way.
    In the extreme example of the Columbine disaster, I would assume (and hope) that there would be other signs. Paranoia from parents and teachers may lead to second guessing on every count, one day it’s passwords, the next it’s strip searches and peeing in a cup.
    What happened here on the internet was no different to the old days when we passed notes in class…

  14. Paradoxis says:

    One thing I don’t understand is, if I had said negative stuff about a teacher in private and that same teacher asked me for my login details and password, and I then provided these, then what is to stop me from going straight home and deleting or editing what I had posted? This does not make sense.

  15. Anita says:

    I’m not a teacher, but I do have 2 grown kids. When they were in school, we didn’t have a computer at home, so I didn’t have to deal with all the trials that I’m hearing about today. When either one of my kids said something negative about thier teachers through the years, in my presence, I tried to say something positive. I’m sure that when talking with thier friends they expressed some negative thoughts about thier teachers. They both just simply liked some teachers better than others. I think teachers are probably aware that students and parents alike have either positive or negative opinions about them. I don’t think the teacher in question here, had the right to force the student to give her the password. Why in the world would she want to read what was being said about her or anyone else? IF, in the case of a student being accused of writing threatening things concerning others or themselves, then get the parents involved, get the police involved. Otherwise, ignore it, and go on. None of us are immune to having negative comments made about us to others. I, for one, have no desire to hear or read negative things that are said about me. I think this whole situation has gotten completely out of hand and should never have happened in the first place.

  16. Lauren says:

    It doesn’t say whether or not the coach contacted the parents BEFORE they asked for her password.
    1) a meeting with the student and all parties to assess what was being said and whether is was illegal, defamation of charater, or teenage chit chat.
    2)And then the school and parents should have negotiated clear guidelines as to what the school thought was completely innapproriate
    3)The school could then write up guidelines on what the rules were, for instance no written attacks on specific school personnel. Ex you can say the teachers suck, but not mr. jones is a pedophile.
    4) then make a behavioral plan that could result in her being dismissed from the team should she not comply with school rules.
    Dr. Phil, the school missed a opportunity to educate their students on how words can hurt people, instead they taught her that being shunned is an acceptable means of punishment. And if you don’t like it your only recourse is court.

  17. Vanessa R says:

    HI Dr Phil,

    The BIGGEST welcome to Australia, I hope enjoy your stay and I just wanted to tell I’m so happy and excited to be coming to see you at the Brisbane event up here in sunny Queensland. You’ve saved me a plane trip as I have always wanted to fly over just to go to your show, so thank you for that!! Anyway, see you Friday night, we have a date, please don’t be late. te he …. :0 …. ;)

  18. TO: LAURA DAY Aug 3, 2009 at 11:46 am
    and DR. PHIL ” at 6:31 pm

    I agree with Dr. Phil… “Thanks for adding perspective” Laura Day (GREAT post!).

    CONGRATS Dr. Phil on name live link to http://drphil.com . You can change to your twitter link, too, by changing to twitter or Dr. Phil article links relative to your blog topics. What I do, and you may do as well, is I google topic with drphil or Dr. Phil after topic. Example: Google Internet Safety Dr. Phil to find show topic link on Dr. Phil Website etc. topics to find article about show. You can search on Dr. Phil Website too. This new blog and you and your family and Dr. Phil Show producer, Carla, http://twitter.com/penninca tweetin rocks!


    Saw on twitter that your sons http://twitter.com/JordanMcGraw and http://twitter.com/JayMcGraw are in route to Melbourne Australia to meet up with y’all. Jay shared two GREAT pics. Paradoxis, here on blog, is going to see you at event in Brisbane.

    Well, off to let persons on both Dr. Phil Website message boards, for today’s show, know about your new blog and how you’re tweetin now too. Some skip home page and go straight to message boards when fired up about a show. A pop up banner about blog and twitter on message boards would help with a heads up there too. Y’all may have one. IDK Home page is GREAT heads up about your new blog and Twitter. You are the rock star of psychiatry aka THE BEST and your moderators, website techs, online and offline staff and even we fans ROCK, wherever we flock, too! GO TEAM GO! “One for all and all for one” Dr. Phil Cyber FAMILY FIRST. Sincerely, SEA

  19. isherself says:

    whoa now,,,,,, I read the piece you have written then watched the vid from the news… Now I don’t think it is so bad to have they , the coaches ask to be let in as friends, that is a choice that should have been made by the student, not the demand of the coach. Then to demand that they give them there passwords, nope not for one hot minute do they have the right or need to get that info…
    Words spoken thru email from one party to another are private and should not be shared with anyone except for parents if the person is in high school. Parents have the only option there. No these coaches are not parents of these girls, they do not have any right to read private anything. For them to want to monitor the account is , I guess for them, important, although I can’t for the life of me figure out why….
    If I was any of them that was on that team, I would use a dump email and set up another account just for that purpose. Just because the teach doesn’t give them the right to rule outside of their zone….. I feel bad for that kid. the email of that day might not have been the attitude always carried.

  20. Danielle says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,

    Unless the facebook emails said something that was going to be illegal, then I do not beleive the coach had a right to kick her off the squad. The girls were probably just venting out their frustrations over the coach, which I beleive most teens do with any adult authority in their lives. I have two teens and one tween, and I know they vent A LOT on myspace about me and their teachers. The only way that a school or law enforcement officer has the right to break in a computer is if they are planning something illegal or threatening someone.

  21. Pam says:

    I hate to sound cliche’ but what happened to our freedom of speech? I have to agree with you Dr. Phil or at least what I think you’re implying in that we are definitely crossing some boundaries in this decade and we really need to stop and think about what is happening. There isn’t one explanation or a simple one – take the information which is obtained to catch child molestors from the internet. Would anyone argue that we shouldn’t do everything in our power to spy on these creeps in order to protect our children – and, the information is out there – I mean they don’t call it the World Wide Web for nothing. So, these people deserve to be prosecuted based on the information that is gathered. And, if someone is thinking of harming themselves, I believe that parents and caregivers should do anything and everything they can to protect them. I have friends that snoop through their kids diaries, or read their emails or sneak on their face book page etc. I think as long as these are their children and especially if they are under 18, they have every right to do what they think is the best way to prevent them from getting into trouble or harming themself etc. But, this has to be a family choice. I can’t imagine reading a diary of my child’s. But, I’ve never been in the position to feel like I needed to – same with private notes or email – although I did sneak a peek when my son’s facebook page was left up accidentally. As for this issue regarding the students private emails/face page, I say absolutely not. The educators are going to far. We need to stop this type of invasion of privacy. I mean if I go home and tell my child his teacher isn’t a very good one – I don’t expect for that comment to be made public to this same teacher. Like you said – what then happens to the snail mail or our phone conversations? I wonder if those same teachers would mind handing over all of their personal letters and emails etc. Imagine if they’ve made some derrogatory remarks regarding other staff members in a personal email to their spouse. Would they be so willing to make this information public?

  22. Timothy M. Sanborn says:

    Dr. Phil, first off let me tell you that I am a huge fan of yours and thank you for all the good you do for others. You and Robin are true angels in my book. Now back to the student and the coach, taking a quote from you, “Are you kidding me?” I think this coach should be fired for his invasion of privacy in forcing this student to hand over her Facebook login and password.
    While I agree with you completely that there is no such thing as privacy when it comes to posting information on the internet, what that coach did is like sticking his hand into the private mailbox of that student reading her mail. He is an adult and should be setting the standards to which his students should follow, but not if this is compass in life to invade the privacy of others.
    Furthermore I agree with Robyn who states that “As parents we are legally responsible for our kids. When they are of age then I think they have to deal with real life and it’s consequences. Until then give them a chance to learn and grow. There is a reason we call them Kids and not Adults.” But it is up to the parents not the coach or teachers to monitor the kids behavior online, especially when it comes to something that is equal to going through a student’s private mail or diary!
    Keep up all the good you do for others Dr. Phil and I’ll keep watching.

  23. Kerum says:

    I think the teacher/coach acted poorly on this one. In my opinion, it sounded like she was a little insecure about what her students thought about her. You can’t get into someone’s head to hear what they think about you; getting into their e-mail or Facebook messages is basically the same thing. I, personally, wouldn’t want to hear all the bad things being said about me by someone who didn’t like me anyway. If they don’t like me, then so be it. That’s their problem. I’m not going to dwell on it and find out exactly what they say about me!

    A student shouldn’t have to hand over that kind of information unless it’s a dangerous situation (plans to harm self or others) and even then, school administration need to get the parents involved before anything is done (and the law if that is required as well).

  24. Nancy says:

    This is an out and out invasion of privacy. It is a slap in the face of freedom of speech. Students have always bad-mouthed their teachers and they always will. Sometimes it can be pretty nasty and maybe that should be addressed by parents, but in the end its just venting. There has been a pretty big over-reaction and hopefully this can be solved in-house or settled before hitting the courtrooms. Grow up coach and set a better example.

  25. Teresa says:

    Dr Phil, NO ADULT, other than the parents of said student, should be allowed to have that kind of authority over our children. The teacher/coach should have contacted the parents, told them what he suspected, and let them handle it. The student could have been waaay out of line in what they are posting (have had to deal with that in my own child a time or two), and they need parental guidance and advice. The coach appears to be a bully, and the student is correct to fight back. However, the student should also take heed and use some self-control and common sense when posting on the internet. Good reputations are hard to build and even harder to re-build once you tear them down.

  26. Marjan says:

    I am a 23 female student.

    I strongly, am against that non parent adults, have access to email passwords or facebook passwords of teenagers. We all know that having access to the internet, is real power, maybe sometimes too much for a teenager. to be able to write something or spreed news, seems giving too much power to a teenager. So? we all know what facebook is all about. But, IF, IF, a teenager has a facebook account, I believe the password was not meant to be given to his school teacher. Plus, whatever you think teenagers might do in the facebook, their parental observation on that would be totally enough. if the school feels some problem with that, they must ask the parents to take action.

    & something else, we all know that great power comes with great responsibility, who guarantees that a school teacher or coach leader is not asking for the password, for their own benefits? maybe they want to have access to students personal data or their friends personal data and abuse them? I mean, when I am a friend of someone in facebook & he is teenager, I may expect his parents to see my personal data. in fact, they should see it. but, what has a school teacher to do with that? why should a school teacher have access to my personal data? In facebook privacy policy is written that teeangers between 13 & 18, can have facebook account with their parental observation, its not said with their teacher or school observation!

  27. Grace says:

    I think that the teacher needs to cool off. I mean she said it on her facebook. I feel that if she thought the coach was a you-know-what then she should be able to say it. Facebook it a public site and not a school-owned message board. That would make it different. It had nothing to do with the school. i think its crazy

  28. Theresa R says:

    I believe that if the teacher perceived a threat from the student that the parents should have been contacted to speak with their child and then it should have been taken to the police for investigation. Otherwise, the teacher had no right to demand any privacy information from the student. When raising my children, I told them that as long as they lived under my roof they had no privacy if I suspected anything wrong. Luckily, I never had any serious problems to deal with being a single parent. I just taught them never to lie to me because if they ever had a problem and I found out that they lied to me, the consequences would be worse and then I would have a difficult time believing them in the future. I can happily say that a situation arose where that bit of advice came into play with good results. It also helped to strengthen the bond with my daughter, now 38.

  29. mandy says:

    So i think the teacher is in the wrong and she should have gone to the superintendent or the childs parents if she felt something like that was going on. However i also feel that adults should know exspecially teachers that kids are going to get mad and say things they are children they will act like children. But the teacher was out of line here.

  30. Susani Sacca says:

    I just scrolled right to the bottom without reading a word that anyone else wrote because I didnt want to be influenced by your smart posters.

    My Momma was a school teacher for 27 years in Piscataway, NJ before she retired, and my father sat on our BOARD OF EDUCATION, for 25 years and actually 2 cases made it to the UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT and I actually went to school with a female student PISCATAWAY HS vs. TO, this is when a principle searched this females locker and purse and found marijuna sticks. With good reason TO was a small time pot dealer and well she got popped.

    ANYWAY lets fast forward to the year 2009 not backward to 1982
    IF a child that is a person who is 18 years old or younger and who is still attending HS and living at home with there parents and there primary computer function is at said parents home it was W R O N G O F T H A T T E A C H E R
    To approach that student for off property regardless of a rumor or whatever.

    IF THAT SAID TEACHER really wanted to know something he should have called that students PARENTS IN FOR A CONFERENCE and requested that the parents get that information and to provide to the coach. THOSE PARENTS HAD NO OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE IT ONLY IF THEY WISHED TOO..

    Do you really know why kids have certain number of days they are “ALLOWED” to be absent in a school year? Its not because the teachers care or are afraid of the kids failing…Its because if the numbers dip below 19 absences per kid per school year $$$$$ gets yanked away from STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION AND DR PHIL DONT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON LABELS AND SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS AND THAT RACKET because I HAD A KID THAT HAD SPECIAL NEEDS AND WHAT I WENT THREW OI!~
    THAT COACH WAS DEAD wrong……needs to get a frickin life and I will tell him or her right to her face.
    Certain face book accounts are marked private unless your friends and I am actually new to facebook and its an ok sight but the kids school system SHOULD NOT STICK THERE NOSE INTO THE PRIVACY OF OFF CAMPUS ACTIVITY UNLESS THERE WAS A DIRE WARNING OF SOME GUN or another tragedy which would happen at there said school. OTHER THAN THAT BACK OFF TEACHERS PRINCIPLES AND ALL OTHERS

  31. Cindy says:

    SUING the school?!! For what? Privacy issue notwithstanding, is suing the school really necessary??

  32. vince says:

    Dr Phil i just want to take thjis moment to tell you a story about myself if i may! i started playing a game called runescape ohhh prob 5 or 6 years ago, in this game we were allowed to create a male or female carroctor, after a bit i changed my male carroctor to a female, my game persons name is Shakinnasty, i changed my players sex cause the girls stuff was much nicer to look at, well after i changed my players sex i met a guy going through a bad marriage and needed a girl friend in the worst way you know just a girl to talk to and feel good about him self, no yall im not gay but that dont matter i love the gay people just the same as i do ALL, man i blew my self to peices just a while ago ya see Shakinnasty is in a clan called Nemesis, damn doc i got tears in my eyes at this very moment, heack i decided it was time for me to clean my very soul up a bit and made sure i told my clan mates the truth about my self, man that hurt my heart so much but im sure i deserved every thing i feel now hell fire im a lier to my very friends i made in a game online, Dr Phil i would rather give my very life rather than know i hurt people around the world with lies and i know i deserve what ever they decide about me in game as well as in real life, ya see im a coward doc! i could never take my own life, maybe one day God will end all this pain for me, till that day or night arives im kind of stuck in limbo so to speak, torn apart by simple lies not ment to hurt no one but my self, and trust me i do indeed hurt doc! but what the hell i got what i deserved, also i thought by acting as a girl online i would protect my kid too from identy theives we all know are very real!!! i just wanted to take this moment to come clean online where it all started doc! so for the true records every body who watches Dr Phil or visites this site guys and gals Shakinnasty is i and i be named vincent-aka vince-aka chamakabang-aka shakinsman-aka shakinsghost, i can be found all over runescape free worlds as i lost my membership so im just a back to free player, hell i had more friends in free worlds than members worlds any how, but yall my son made me a video on my game site and Doc you got the address, http://www.shakinnasty.com it is still named space, all i did was ask him to use my images i downloaded from NASA.COM and use a Tina TURNER song named we dont need another hero, all the rest was pure magic some how just happened yall, i saw a lot of pics i never downloaded and my son had not those images nether, whear the hell they came from is a mystry to all of us, i just had NEBULA PICS LOL, but ALL please let my pain be a lesson to all of you about what real pain a simple lie ment to hurt no one can do in real life, TRUST ME IM A LIER AND NOW THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD KNOWS , and that HURTS LIKE HELL YALL! even if you lie to help some one who needs to hear a simple lie to make him/her feel better for even just a few hours a week end!, thanks Dr Phil you see i told you that you helped me and just didnt know hehehe, hell man i feel like a woman when im logged in as shakinnasty, but im a man at the age of 52, with a heart og gold at times.

  33. vince says:

    wow i forgot on my game site im called Vinessa and my son is Britney, and he is a real wab master trust me there yall, now im at 100% truth, sorry Dr Phil, honest i am i just forgot was all, its hard to keep up with a damn lie aint it,!.

  34. vince says:

    HEY Dr Phil have you ever heard that saying that the truth will set you free? well yeah i know you have lol but maybe you can tell the world the true meaning? the truth just set me free from all my lies Doc, and i feel like living again, damn this feels so good words cant explain it but you can sir! please tell the world for me if you will, cause no one can bring it like Dr Phil can bring it, hehehehe TRUST ME!

  35. vince says:

    Dr Phil i relly wonder how a video would turn out with pics from NASA with any other song? hehehe maybe you can try it just use animoto.com and see if ya ever have the time lol, i was scared enough by just the one we made togather, my son and i that is, hope my truth on ur site will make people think b4 they lie about any one in real life doc, all i post on ur site is from ALL my heart with ALL my heart, and TRUST ME DOC God do indeed read what we all post and God LOVES Dr Phil and ALL HE STANDS FOR,IF I MAY PLEASE ALLOW ME TO THANK YOU FROM ALL THE KIDS YOU GAVE CHRISTMAS TOO DOC I WOULD GIVE YA A HUG BUT THAT AINT POSSIBLE IM IN GEORGIA AND UR IN CALF, JUST ASK MRS MCGRAW TO GIVE YOU ONE FROM ME THROUGH HER PLEASE,EVEN ON CAMERA IF SHE WANTS TOO, THAT WOULD MAKE ME SMILE ON A DAY I KNOW I WILL NEED TO SMILE DOC. THANK YOU AGAIN God YOU WERE CORRECT DR PHIL LOVES ALL JUST LIKE YOU DO! THANKS ALL FOR KNOWING ME FOR WHAT I AM.

  36. vince says:

    Dear Dr Phil, why do so many people want to sue others? do they not beleive in God? wow i sure do, well let me say i dont beleive in God, i know God is here, i can look in any direction and see God! also i can look in any direction and see the Devil aswell, i know God created the Devil aswell sir, and i also know the Devil cant harm me cause God will and has always protected me from him and his pure evil that consumed him, no doc im not a nut sir im just a human being that knows i did not just happen into this world nor did i get placed here by God to sue people, i have made a lot of mistakes in life and i have paid dearly for my mistakes but i have yet to sue a person for a stupid reason, God dont like that and i know that!i just wish more people would trust in God as i do, i may not have nothing of what man would call wealth or health sir but this life we all live here on planet earth is just a testing ground for the next lv of life that awaits all, hell man i know hell is very real and so is heaven, God held my hand 21 years ago when i was shot and not expected to live, all the druken surgen did was patch me up a bit that night doc, but i did not sue him for being drunk, hell i did not care, even had i got to leave this world i did not care, what i saw and experenced was REAL Dr Phil, i did not want to live but sir God gave me a reason to want to come back, i look after those 2 reasons too sir, those reasons are my mom and a son i got to watch grow into a young man, that is now at the age of 20 years old now, not only can God flash ur life before your very eyes sir but he can take you on a journy into ur feture aswell like he did me that night i laid on the opp table fighting the very ones who were trying to save my life, hell fire i did not care to live i feared not what i know was real, and i assure you God is real, God dont want us to fear him doc he only wants us to fear the evil that consumes our very souls, cause he wont save us when we just lie and steal from each other here on earth, ya see God’s streets need no cops nor lawyers or judges, God is the judge the only judge the only cop aswell,he can take us or leave us at any time, its us who cant take or leave him no matter what we think, god dont care its all up to us to do what we all know is the wright things in life, i could have sued that surgen doc dut for what? coming in and trying to save my life even tho i messed up his only off time to enjoy a drink? i think not. hell i did not care hell i was drunk too lol, he prob needed to be drunk to be able to stand me if the truth were ever known hahahah, nha i dont beleive in a law suite doc, i trust in God! and look what it got me im still here sir at home looking over what God showed me that night over 21 years ago, yeah its real that experance some of us get to have at a near death experance doc, i was as close as you can get with out dieing sir, but God allowed me to return for these 2 ressons! i was almost in hell doc! please tell people to not just sue to be sueing!.

  37. Debbie says:

    Funny this should come up not long after I read something that is quite appropriate to this conversation. It goes something like this… “What other people think of you is none of your business”. This was written by a columnist as she celebrated her 90th birthday. I can’t understand why this coach thinks he should have the ‘right’ to anyones passwords, does he seriously think this will stop anything?? All he’s done was to most likely prove whatever this young person was saying about him. The parents should have been involved in this, he went way overboard and he needs to be reprimanded for his actions. If there was a physical threat of harm to someone, that’s one thing, but it sounds like this was just a kid blowing off steam. The coach abused his authority.

  38. Marcie says:

    That is a tough situation. As a former teacher, I know it would be tough to have someone talk about you and be torn down to the lowest. However, I would not have asked for the email password. That kind of information is private information and requires legal rights to it. On the other hand, I agree with Vince when he says:
    Why are people always resorting to suing the other person. In essence she was defaming his character. As I see it, both people are in the wrong; however, in today’s world everything is upside down — but what upsets me the most is that so many people think it’s OK to “kill” people with words, but when the “attacked” resents it, the attacker gets all upset and cries “foul! Time to sue!”. Where is the respect for self and others gone?

  39. vince says:

    hey Dr Phil want to read something funny? ask houston county sheriff dept how i shot my self in the gut with a bow and arrow 21 years ago hahahaha, dang doc im good i tell ya sir, it almost went through me tho lol, but i did mannage to remove it all by my self only took two hard jerks to get it out, hell i even put my own hand inside me as soon as dr brawn cut me open enough to get my hand in, hell i remember that too hahaha, its all on reacords at houston county hospital doc, i give you all the premission you need to use my story to help others sir, just please help stop all this crap we see on the news over and over and over and over, cnn wears out a damn story in 5 min doc i hate that station and all there reporters! blowq that sat out of orbit please b4 more kids get hurt please? thanks doc ill leave you alone now i think, i cant help it doc im on a tell the truth kick atm is all but i want you to know all the truth not just one side, its all on reacords hell my dad got out of prison to come visit me cause they thought i was not gunna live 21 years ago hahahaha, see i told ya i know God is real, he even let me ride his big horse doc it was a blast but its in my past sir i assure ya but my child is here with me now thank you God please forgive me for not being where i should have been when i was needed! i did not want to put my only child through a cusdtody battle was all i was thinking, ill gladely go to hell as soon as you come for me God but please make man kill me i hate jail.

  40. vince says:

    TCarter you make a great point the kid prob needs her or his butt spanked but the teacher should just teach and stop trying to police our children, fire the damn teacher and hire one who cares about teaching children.

  41. vince says:

    Theresa , i hated alot of teachers i had as a child in grade school but no need for the cops or legal channels lol, kids are just that kids, its the damn adults who need to learn how to turn the other cheek! hell im stupid my self but i can always turn my cheeks and walk away from a child throwing a temper tantram lol, what the heack i say let them talk i know what i am so i dont care what others think hell im 52. and forgot more tricks than a kid in collage will ever know lol i quit in the 7th grade too hehe.

  42. MJ says:

    I think it’s the parents’ responsibility to keep tabs on their kids. For a teacher to pressure a child to give them the password to their “private” account, for whatever reason, is entirely out of line. If the teacher had concerns, then she needed to discuss it with the parents. And that is it.

    I don’t understand why someone would put so much stock in what a teenager thinks or talks about with her friends. It changes BY THE MINUTE in most cases, and with the roller-coaster ride of adolescence, it’s never pretty.

    I’m not that far from my teenage years, I remember how angst-filled and frustrating it was to almost be an adult but have no real control over your life. I don’t care if she was talking to her friends and cussing about her parents or a teacher or me or Dr. Phil. Everyone needs to have an outlet.

    I’ve worked in a high school. I have a few relatives who are teachers at the same high school. I know firsthand the things teachers can say about students. Should a camera be put in the teacher’s lounge so that teachers can be punished for venting their frustrations about particular students?


    And kids don’t need to be punished for talking to their friends, either in person or over the internet.

  43. vince says:

    yall im sorry with all my heart i came on Dr Phils topic blog and aired my dirty laundry so to speak, i am ashamed if it makes any differance to any one here, i just ask yall to please forgive me guys and gals, this was a time i had no one or no where to turn too, i guess i was trying to reach out to any one but seems i probley failed, but i do feel better any ways, im just scared im about to louse my mother yall and her and my son are all i have left in this world, and also i want all you kids to please think b4 you make up anything thinking it wont hurt no one yall my heart ache is very real just from a white lie i made up just to make a guy feel good for just a few hours a week end i can just amigine how he would feel to know i was not really a girl in real life, i dont want that pain on my shoulders but that is where it will all fall and i know it, and for me it would be easer to just stop living instead of hurting any one even i ment not to hurt no one but my self, hell this pain is REAL AND IT HURTS BAD so please tell the truth please. and stop making damn lawyers rich. just tell people ur sorry and go on in life hell i did and it works.

  44. vince says:

    MJ===============——————————– i could not have said it better my self, thank you for seeing kids as kids, hell we all love to see kids express themselves in any way they can as long as no life is lost in the process, its a honor to read your post M.J.

  45. Shauna Piatt says:

    I am a female high school teacher who has encountered situations similar to this. First of all, I believe that each situation is circumstantial. If something is suspect to causing danger or harm to someone then I absolutely believe that it should be reported and investigated. However, in this particular circumstance, I think the adult teacher in the situation should remember that she is, in fact, the adult and that kids will be kids. Kids will complain about anything and everything. In her field, she should know that educators, coaches, etc. take criticism from everyone. She should have let the comments go and had no right to have them handed over.

  46. Jeanie says:

    Dr. Phil, Vince seems to be crying out for something. At 52 AND with a kid, he should have better things to do then play runescape and write comments all day. He could be a whole show!
    Shame on the girl for giving her password to a teacher anyway. Kids need to learn that just because a person of authority asks them for something, doesn’t mean they have to give it. I have always taught my kids to stick up for themselves if they think they are being wronged by a teacher. And if that doesn’t work, go directly to the office and call me!

  47. Eva C. says:

    In my opinion as a parent of a teen who uses both Facebook and My Space, I do not think the teacher had the right to force thast girl to give her any information. The issue should have been handled by contacting the parents. Everyone would have been able to discuss the matter and come to a conclusion together. I would never condone anyone forcing my son to do anything against his will without consulting me first. Army and Marine recruiters have been calling our home asking to speak to my 17 year old son. I always respond with: “You do not have the right to call my minor son. Please do not call again.”

  48. Karen Palomino says:

    Being a single mother of three daughters (They’re grown and gone now) and with a lot of thoughtful hindsight, I believe a coach or teacher should have the right
    to confiscate the cell phone in this particular case. Teenagers are still children in adult bodies, and don’t have the experience to realize how much damage they can cause. Cell phones give them too much power–and like kids, they’ll use it in an irresponsible manner. They are entitled to their own opinion, but they’re not entitled to liable and slander adults in cyberspace, and should be held responsible.
    Cell phones may be a necessity for adults, but should not be a toy for teens and children.

  49. lainee says:

    I am a teacher and when I am removing mobile phones from the children I ALWAYS tell them I will never read their texts or in boxes,nor would I insensitively delve into a diary. This approach ensures that I get the phone for a short time and we are not in direct confrontation. It has always worked and the student knows that you understand how important their phone and privacy is to them.
    The students are free to write any opinions they like about me as long as not inciting violence or the like. They also have to understand that the internet is not a private space and that they do not have 200 well meaning friends on social networking sites.
    Also, educational policy in this area has been overtaken by developments in ICT and teachers and students both need clarity in this area from legislators.

  50. david howe says:

    I feel that the teacher should have taken it an then called the parent(s). Then with the student present set and tell why he took it and then let the parent(s) look to see what is there. I agree teachers have a hard job I for one couldn’t do it. At the the same time I feel teachers step outside their teaching box and bring their parenting skills to work with them. And that I see is steping outside of the box.

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