Georgia court ruling could hold parents responsibile for what kid posted online

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DENVER -- An appeals court ruling in Georgia could put parents across the country—and here in Colorado--on notice about their kids' online activity.

The ruling marks a legal precedent on the issue of a parents' responsibility when it comes to what their kids do online.

"Random kids were telling. Sorry. It makes me upset. They were telling her that she should kill herself. That she was ugly. That she was awful," says Highlands Ranch mother, Naomi Lowell.

She was floored when she saw the posts on her 13-year-old daughter's Facebook page last year.

And she got involved.

"I told the kids, 'I’ve reached out to the authorities. This needs to stop.' And it did," she says.

But it didn't stop for a 7th grader in Georgia, Alex Boston.

Her classmate created a fake Facebook page--making her look obese, as well as racist and promiscuous.

It's a page that stayed up 11 months after the boy was told to take it down.

"The parents in this case knew what the child was doing. They knew what he was putting online and did not step in and require him to take it down and that is why they could potentially be liable," says Denver criminal attorney David Beller.

He says the ruling doesn't hold a parent accountable for what their kids post--until after the parents learn about it.

Now, a jury could decide whether that boy's parents pay up for what their son did.

"This decision ultimately could potentially be a wake-up call for parents across the country that you have to pay attention to your kids and specifically, you have to pay attention to what they're doing online," he says.

It’s a rare decision, according to Beller.

“I think most states, and most courts, would have ruled these are the acts of a child. These are not the actions of parents,” he says. And they would have thrown the case out.

But the case now goes forward in civil court.

"We watch to make sure they don't stay out too late or watch the wrong movies or hang out with the wrong friends. Why not monitor what they are doing online?” questions Naomi, about supervising children.

She says the court's decision is just and should make some parents actually "parent."

"I'm glad to see she's not still struggling with this," she says about her daughter.

She’s now in high school--and doing well.

Thanks in part to a mom with the courage to step in and speak out against bullying.

"None of us picked who we are. And no one picked to be here. Some are luckier than others. You need to respect that. The person who is not as popular, the handicapped person, they are all people," she says.

The bully's attorney says he will appeal the decision to Georgia's Supreme Court.

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