PUPILS at a local school have been suspended – after posting offensive comments about teachers on Facebook.
Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School headteacher, Anthony Smith, suspended the pupils after their comments were published on the social networking site after school.
He described the pupils’ behaviour as “unacceptable”.
Mr Smith said the comments, which have since been removed, were posted in an evening discussion room.
He said: “While the events took place out of school time, the messages were publicly accessible and the members of staff quite rightly objected.
“To support the staff and other students, the decision was made to exclude them.”
To raise awareness of the problem, the school will host an internet safety information session for parents and pupils.
Last year Calderdale Council introduced a package to raise awareness of cyber-bullying in all schools.
The aim is to protect children in around 40 schools in the borough.
Social networking sites, including Facebook, are blocked at all Calderdale schools.
With four million children posting content online every day, nearly half say their parents know very little or nothing about their online activities
Trevor Harris, Calderdale Council’s internet safety officer, said: “Internet safety is an area of growing concern and there is a lot of government guidance and training packages for staff who come into contact with young people, and parents.”
He agrees with Huddersfield University social psychologist Sarah Jane Robinson, who said people could hide behind their online profiles.
He added: “If you are not prepared to say something face-to-face then do not say it through technology.”
Speaking to the Examiner this week about sites like Facebook, Sarah Jane said: “There is the tendency for us to say things more spontaneously, without thinking about it ... people will say things that they wouldn’t normally say to a person.
“Within seconds news and opinion can be broken on sites like Facebook or Twitter and shared among many other people.
“What they do and say can have an immediate response – good or bad.”