Justices overturn girl’s MySpace conviction

The Indiana Supreme Court has overruled a judge who placed a middle school student on probation for posting an expletive-laden entry on MySpace criticizing her principal over school policy on body piercings, the Associated Press reports. In February 2006, Greencastle Middle School Principal Shawn Gobert discovered a web page on MySpace purportedly created by him. The plaintiff, identified in court papers as "A.B.," who did not create the page, made derogatory postings on it, including one that noted Gobert could no longer control her and that she would wear her piercings as she wished. The state filed a delinquency petition the next month alleging that A.B.’s acts would have been harassment, identity deception, and identity theft if committed by an adult. The juvenile court dropped most of the charges but found A.B. to be a delinquent child and placed her on nine months of probation. The judge ruled her comments were obscene. The state Supreme Court noted that a key post appeared in a private section of a MySpace site that was not intended to be viewed by the public, but only by friends who had been invited by the user. The principal was able to view it only after gaining access from another student who had created the site. A.B. therefore had no reason to expect that Gobert would see her post, the high court said in its eight-page ruling…

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