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Students Won’t ‘Like’ This — Elementary School Threatens Expulsion If Kids Use Facebook

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Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

A while back, we told you about the Jewish girls’ school in Brooklyn that instituted a Facebook ban for its students, saying using the social media site violated its religious tenets.

Now an elementary school in Australia is following suit, but its demand that kids delete their Facebook pages has an entirely different reason: it’s an attempt to wipe out cyber-bullying.

Leonie Hultgren, principal of Harlaxton State School in Toowoomba, Queensland, said in a newsletter that children must obey Facebook’s rule stating no one under 13 is permitted to sign up for an account. It’s not uncommon for kids to lie about their ages to circumvent that policy, but Hultgren said any of her charges who did so would face expulsion.

Falsifying one’s age to gain access to Facebook is not only against the law, she wrote, but “there has been some considerable Facebook traffic that either bullies a child of this school or in some cases denigrates some staff and the school. Either of these circumstances warrant the school becoming involved.”

Some parents are outraged at the new policy, but child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg applauds it, saying Hultgren’s stance is “directly related to the lack of supervision of very young people who do not have the skills, knowledge and strategies to manage their digital behavior.”

[The Age]

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