Tulsa mother sues TPS, Twitter over photo

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Updated: 1/03/2013 9:26 am Published: 1/02/2013 4:02 pm

A Tulsa mother is suing the Tulsa Public School district, two students and their parents and the social networking site Twitter over a picture post.

Court records show the mother is suing over a partially naked photo of her daughter that was allegedly posted on Twitter.

She claims her daughter was changing after a basketball game when she was restrained by two other team members from Booker T. Washington High School’s basketball team and a third team member took a photo of her daughter in her underwear and posted it on Twitter in November of 2011.

Court records allege the mother told the basketball coach and was told they would “handle the issue.”

The mother alleges in court filings that her daughter was ostracized, bullied and physically attacked by other students after the picture was posted.

She also claims the she and her daughter complained to the school's dean and assistant principal but was told “there was nothing the school could do about the verbal and physical assaults being committed because of this picture posted on Twitter.”

Court records allege the mother complained to a TPS administrator and was told “she needed to drop her complaint because these incidents make the school look bad to TPS district administrators.”

She is suing for damages for negligence, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil assault, civil battery, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages.

This suit alleges that Twitter should have "used reasonable care in the administration of its website so as to prevent the publication of photographs of minors while undressing."

In the sites lengthy terms of service, Twitter says “All Content, whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person who originated such Content.”

That along with this fine print will likely be in Twitter’s favor if this case ever makes it to the courtroom, “Under no circumstances will Twitter be liable in any way for any content posted, emailed, transmitted or otherwise made available via the Services or broadcast elsewhere.”

The attorney for the girl and her mother says this case is different because the picture stayed on the social media site for three to four weeks. He went on to tell FOX23 the picture was essentially child porn, a minor in her underwear, and he said the site did nothing to stop the picture from being retweeted.

FOX23 contacted Twitter but the site did not return our calls.

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Quiet Man - 1/3/2013 7:21 AM
2 Votes
There needs to be some real consequences for the school officials who just shrugged their shoulders over the abuse and bullying and tried to sweep the whole thing under the rug. I hope the mother gets every penny she's asking for and that those officials are out of a job after this lawsuit. As for the offending students, if they are still minors attending Booker T. I would have them banned from attending or participating in all school related sporting events. Would also have them sit down and have a long talk with a member of the Tulsa PD who investigates sex crimes and have that officer explain to them the seriousness of the offense they committed and let them know in no uncertain terms that if they commit another act such as this once they are legally adults that they could face some serious fines and jail time for acts such as this.

Mayor Maynot - 1/2/2013 11:11 PM
0 Votes
I don't twitter or tweet. I decided that Facebook was out when I heard that the bride of Bartlettstein was using it to do battle on the Internet in defense of her inept husband. TPS superintendent and Janet Baressi should both be dragged upon the carpet and have their jobs (heads) on the chopping block. It's clear that the only thing they are interested in is the paycheck. wouldn't let them supervise a hothouse for chickens. The principal of the school should definitely be defrocked flogged tarred and feathered and run out of town on a pine pole. Include the tartuffes at VCC (Sharon too) to let everybody know that we will NOT tolerate this type of abuse to children. What happened to the high moral and ethical standards that used to flourish in our society. Anybody remember Theopholis Williams??? He was quote the first black teacher in south Tulsa. Assistant coach to Jan Bartlett at what was then Nimitz Jr High. Moved on to be the first African American school superintendent of TPS a real fine man. He broke something of mine it was my racial barrier. We could use more fine educators like him today. In the aftermath of this rant I'm hoping that in the spirit world he would be in agreement with me when I say HOMESCHOOL. Goodby cooch you know that's what the rotten kids I went to school with called him behind his back. That was their warped wording when they mixed coon with coach. He actually knew it and wore it as a badge of honor cause he knew that he had their attention then.

MommaT - 1/2/2013 5:08 PM
3 Votes
Excuse me if I am wrong, but shouldn't the picture taker at BTW receive the same treatment as the young man from Union who was arrested and charged for taking & posting a picture of a classmate in th bathroom?
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