Do employers have the right to look at an employee’s private Facebook page?
That's the center of a legal battle in a Cass County school district WSBT first told you about in March.
On Wednesday the school superintendent spoke with WSBT about it for the first time.
This has been a yearlong war of words.
In April 2011, Kimberly Hester posted a picture on Facebook a parent found inappropriate. After it was reported to the school district, the teacher's aide said she was suspended after refusing to give administrators access to her Facebook account.
You could feel the tension inside the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District's board meeting Wednesday. They didn't address the controversy surrounding Hester, but after the meeting Superintendent Robert Colby answered WSBT's questions.
He maintained the district did nothing wrong.
"Kimberly Hester was not asked for her Facebook password. Never was," Colby told us.
Hester says the principal at the school did ask for access to her profile.
“He didn't ask me for my Facebook password, he asked me to log in right then and there and let him go through my whole account,” Hester said.
After she refused, she says the superintendent put her on paid administrative leave and eventually suspended her.
"She has had the ability to come back to work since September of 2011. Hasn't," Colby said.
"I actually did work in September and all the way through October. That's when he started giving me directives at work and making it a very hostile environment," Hester said.
Hester says those stressful conditions caused her doctor to put her on leave. She's now on workman's comp and medication.
"I know it was reported that she was taking legal action against the district for failure to provide her Facebook password ... both of which are inaccurate,” Colby said. “She was never asked for her Facebook password and there's no litigation against the district. If there were, I'd know about it."
There may not be a lawsuit, but Hester and the district will go to arbitration at the end of May in hopes of settling this without going to court. She knows it will be a long battle, but she says it's worth it.
"If we don't fight for our rights then nobody will, and this is the right to privacy," Hester said.
Hester says she is required to work with her teacher's union for arbitration before she can get her own attorney.
The two sides will meet on May 24 and then again later this year.