School yard punishment for Facebook Trolls

Over the past 10 years we have seen the evolution of the internet. Its earlier uses were for the location of businesses, restaurant or holiday destination; however as of late it is being used to communicate with others via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Most social media accounts are only used for general communication between friends and family, but more and more we are seeing ‘trolls’ hiding behind a cowardice mask of anonymity while posting highly defamatory material, all with zero consequence.

 

The Gold Coast Bulletin have published an article in today’s paper reading “Too Cruel For School” in where a local principal has suspended students for posting inappropriate content. In summary, a group of school students created a page on Facebook dedicated to offensive memes directed at school students and teachers. While it may seem like an overreaction, here are two of the many unpleasant posts:

 

“The only problem with this time of year is that I’m nt sure if it’s a Halloween costume or just another southport whore.”

 

“”All the Sputhport girls wear more make up then they do clothes.”

 

While some parents support the Principals move to suspend students participating in these acts of abuse and harassment; many parents believe he has taken things too far.

 

One mother, who asked not to be named, had two students at the Southport school and said they had a right to free speech.

 

“They haven’t done anything wrong. They have posted on a Facebook site — so what,” she said.

“They have accessed the site in their own time. The school has no right to punish my children for what they do in their own time.

 

“That’s my job. The school is out of line.”

 

So the question is, how far is too far when dealing with cyber bullying? Is it too invasive for school faculty to punish students for what is posted in their own time?

 

For the whole story see here: http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2012/10/31/440879_gold-coast-news.html

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