An Illinois law approved in 2014 gives school officials the ability to demand social media passwords from students, but principals and others charged with taking action to protect students don’t seem inclined to use their new authority unless absolutely necessary.

The law is intended to give school leaders another avenue to investigate and crack down on bullying, but Plainfield School District 202 spokesman Tom Hernandez told the district hasn’t had problems dealing with students’ social media activity in the past.

“We’ve had those kind of situations and we have responded in that regard and we’ve had kids suspended and even expelled on things that have happened on social media,” Hernandez said. “That’s not new.”

Brian Schwartz, associate director and legal counsel for the Illinois Principals Association, told the news site he doesn’t believe school officials should seek students’ social media passwords because it would be an invasion of privacy, in most circumstances.

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