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Online bullying probe at All Saints’ RC School
A POLICE investigation is under way after cyber bullies targeted pupils at a York secondary school.
A page on the social networking site Facebook called Dirty Little Secrets focuses on pupils at All Saints’ RC School.
Staff at the school reported it to police to try to get it removed and it was taken down by Facebook several days later after more than 250 people had “liked” it.
Bill Scriven, the school’s head teacher, said it was the first time he had needed to deal with anything like it and the nature of many of the comments was “vile” and aimed at individual pupils.
He said: “Facebook is a real nightmare for schools and this incident is particularly unpleasant.
“We have a lot of concerned parents and pupils who do not recognise the school in this. We are dealing with it very robustly and have reported it to the police, but the situation is extremely frustrating. All schools are doing a lot of work to make sure students use IT responsibly and to make sure they are aware of the risks and we will be stepping up our efforts in that area, but it’s the lack of our ability to close down such sites quickly that is so frustrating for schools.”
The site was originally set up last Sunday with the name All Saints Secrets. By Wednesday, the site had attracted 266 “likes” and hundreds of comments. It was taken down on Wedneday afternoon.
A Facebook spokesperson said: “The page has been removed as it broke Facebook’s terms as set out in our statement of rights and responsibilities. Whilst we don’t comment on individual cases, content can be removed for a number of reasons such as bullying or harassing another user. We encourage people to use the tools available on every page of our site to report content to us.”
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “We are looking into reports of offensive comments being made by school children on a Facebook page.
“The school has been given advice about having the page removed by Facebook.
“The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) offer advice to parents, young people and carers and is an effective way to report online abuse.
“By adding the CEOP app to your own Facebook page, help and advice is just one click away.
“For more advice about online safety, visit the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/internetsafety.”