Sunday, April 29, 2007

Woman who lost teaching degree over MySpace photo sues university

There have been warnings about pictures and comments people leave on social media sites coming back to haunt them. But this is one of the more severe that I've heard of:

Woman who lost teaching degree over MySpace photo sues university:

Here's the story:
MILLERSVILLE, Pa. — A woman denied a teaching degree on the eve of graduation because of a MySpace photo has sued the university.

Millersville University instead granted Stacy Snyder a degree in English last year after learning of her Web-published picture, which bore the caption "Drunken Pirate."

"I dreamed about being a teacher for a long time," said Snyder, 27, who now works as a nanny.

The photo, taken at a 2005 Halloween party, shows Snyder wearing a pirate hat while drinking from a plastic "Mr. Goodbar" cup. It was posted on her own MySpace site.

Although Snyder apologized, she learned the day before graduation that she would not be awarded an education degree or teaching certificate.

Jane S. Bray, dean of the School of Education, accused Snyder of promoting underage drinking, the suit states.

The federal lawsuit seeks at least $75,000 in damages. Millersville spokeswoman Janet Kacskos referred questions to a state System of Higher Education spokesman, who declined comment.

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UPDATE -- Here's another story, via TechDirt, about a Canadian man denied entrance to US after a Google search turned up a story he'd written about his LSD use 30 years earlier.

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