Teen sues school district for using Facebook bikini picture - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Teen sues school district for using Facebook bikini picture

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FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. -

A north Georgia teen has sued her school district for using a photo of her in a bikini in an internet safety seminar as an example of what not to do on the internet.
    
Dozens of websites have shown the picture and carried the headline of the Georgia teen who wants $2 million after a school district used her Facebook bikini photo, but Chelsea Chaney says it's never been about the money.

"My senior year when this seminar went on, we tried to settle it by -- my family asked for an assembly, and they ignored us," said Chaney.

Chaney says Fayette County Schools' director of technology somehow gained access to her private Facebook page, where she posted a photo of Chaney posing with a cutout of rapper Snoop Dogg.

The next day, a friend texted Chaney that the district used the photo in an internet safety seminar. The picture allegedly followed a cartoon that depicted a child confronting her mother about her past Facebook postings about bad boys, Jello shooters and body art.

"It just never occurred to me that teachers would ever hurt a student or even someone that worked for the school system would ever go out of their way to inflict pain on a student," Chaney said.

Her attorney, Pete Willborn, says the cartoon combined with the caption "once it's there, it's there to stay" says something much more sordid.

"The photo was taken and used unfairly and improperly and incorrectly to imply that Chelsea is a promiscuous abuser of alcohol," said Willborn.

Chaney says the controversy continues to cause her much pain and embarrassment.

"There are students who have texted me, and said things to me like ‘I told you, you deserved this in high school. You still deserve this,'" said Chaney.  "So, it's even kind of worse now. But I also want to make sure this never happens to someone else."

Chaney now attends the University of Georgia.

Officials at the Fayette County school district declined to comment on current litigation. The district has, however, filed two motions to dismiss the lawsuit in U.S. district court.

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