Mother Files Suit Against Twitter, TPS for Negligence
The mother of a Booker T. Washington high school student filed a civil lawsuit against Tulsa Public Schools and social media company, Twitter, for negligence Dec. 28, 2012.
According to documents, the petition by the mother of the victim.
In the petition, the victim, a member of the Booker T. Washington girls basketball team was changing out of her uniform into street clothes when one of the defendants grabbed and restrained her while another player took pictures of her in her underwear.
The plaintiff called the coach of the basketball team and was told that he would "handle the issue."
However, the picture was posted on Twitter, which was re-tweeted by "numerous other Booker T. Washington students, causing the photograph to be seen by a majority of the student body at the school."
According to the petition, the plaintiff's daughter was "...ostracized by her peers, undergoing extensive bullying both during school hours and at home, and was even physically attacked by other students on school property."
Booker T. Washington officials told the plaintiff and her daughter that there was nothing the school could do about the bullying because the photo was posted on Twitter.
The victim's mother contacted TPS administration, but was told by the high school's assistant principal "...that she need to drop her complaint because these incidents make the school look bad to the Tulsa Public Schools District administrators."
The petition states that Twitter has a duty to all users "...to use reasonable care...to prevent the publication of photographs of minors while undressing..." and that the photo remained on the Web site for weeks.
The social media company is being sued for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
The lawsuit includes the two minors involved in the incident, as well as their parents.
The plaintiff is asking for over $75,000 in damages.
TPS responded to KTUL's inquiries stating that they do not usually comment on pending litigation.
An early version of this story ran with the mother's name as well as the initials used by court documents to identify the students involved in the incident. Editors have since decided to remove names and initials to protect the identities of the minors involved.