In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 3, 2009 / 13 Menachem-Av 5769

Invasion of Privacy, Yes, but $100 Million Worth?

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Two years ago, members of the Pearl High School cheerleading squad in Pearl, Miss., allegedly were told by their coach to give her their Facebook passwords.

They did.

And then most of them, reportedly, erased their accounts.

But at least one girl did not. And as a result, Mandi Jackson, a freshman, had her e-mails read by the coach, who, according to a legal filing, discovered profanity in some of the messages.

She benched her.

Then she suspended her from cheering.

It is now two years later, Mandi is a junior, and she and her parents, in filing a $100 million lawsuit against the school, claim that the coach not only violated her constitutional rights, but also trashed her high school experience, causing her to be an outcast, depressed and suffering a drop in grades.

Oh, for the days of passing notes in chemistry class.

Now, I won't get into whether a high school experience is ruined if you're no longer on the cheerleading squad. (What about the girls who don't make the squad during tryouts?) And I won't begin to speculate on how this is worth $100 million.

But I do have to say, on the constitutional part, Mandi the cheerleader is probably dead on.

Going into someone's Facebook account and reading messages — even if that person gave you the password — has to be the modern equivalent of tapping a phone or hiding under the bed and eavesdropping.

There's no way I can see how that's not an invasion of privacy — since it wasn't on school time, it wasn't a school activity, and the school isn't sponsoring or paying for the Facebook space. But to take that information and use it against the kid as punishment — well, we're into a whole different area.

How is that any different than, when we were kids, if the football coach climbed up to our tree house and listened in our macho teenage talk about our teachers, then suspended us from the team?

Teens brag. Teens swear. Teens treat profanity — especially when first discovering it — like new sunglasses, amused and delighted at how cool it feels to try them on.

But just because they say dumb things to each other doesn't mean they do so in school. How many of us were terribly disrespectful to our teachers when we hung on neighborhood stoops or bicycle seats? But when we were in school, we knew how to behave.

Isn't that the same for Facebook?

Now, for those of you asking the proverbial "What about the parents?" question, you should know that Mandi's mother told the media she talked to the coach after the initial benching, but got nowhere. She said she chided her daughter. And she was quoted as saying, "That's my spot as a parent," when asked about disciplining her child.

And it is her spot. There's no law that says parents can't demand their kid's Facebook password. And Mom and Dad should be more vigilant with the Internet — seeing it for the weapon of mass humiliation and slander that it can be.

But Mom and Dad — not the cheering coach.

Yes, I know that in today's world, Internet postings are far more dangerous that tree-house whisperings. If a student puts on Facebook that her teacher is a neo-Nazi, it can do tremendous damage before the next sunrise.

And I know some feel that if we could crawl into the private e-mails of our teen students, we might prevent the next Columbine from happening.

But thoughts are not actions, e-mails are not deeds, and profanity is not against the law. And unless you feel that when we were kids, we should have been required to bring in our diaries and read every page to the teacher, you have to — however begrudgingly — side with the cheerleader in this latest sudden spotlight story.

Not for the $100 million. But for a principle worth even more. We still have the right to express ourselves on our own time in our own way. I would hope Mandi's parents would teach her that profanity is never a good idea in the public world. But the coach should be limited to the old way of punishing such offenses.

Make her write in an Internet posting 100 times, in capital letters, "I WILL NOT USE BAD WORDS (SIGNED) MANDI."

The embarrassment alone should do the trick.

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