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Children and facebook: What are your opinions?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Lauren_Emily, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. Hey,
    I'm currently doing a research masters in Criminology and for my research I want to look at safeguarding issues involving children on social networking sites.
    For the planning stages, I really want to get in contact with as many people involved in education as possible to find out the youngest age group where the majority of children have profiles on social networking sites.
    What age group would you say that was from your own experiences?
    Also I was wondering from you're own experiences/stories you've heard; have you any stories about inappropriate online behaviour regarding children on social networking sites that you could share? Do you have any opinions regarding children on social networking sites? Do children in your classes add you on facebook?
    Any help I could get would be great and I'd really appreciate it.
    Thank you!
    Lauren
     
  2. Hey,
    I'm currently doing a research masters in Criminology and for my research I want to look at safeguarding issues involving children on social networking sites.
    For the planning stages, I really want to get in contact with as many people involved in education as possible to find out the youngest age group where the majority of children have profiles on social networking sites.
    What age group would you say that was from your own experiences?
    Also I was wondering from you're own experiences/stories you've heard; have you any stories about inappropriate online behaviour regarding children on social networking sites that you could share? Do you have any opinions regarding children on social networking sites? Do children in your classes add you on facebook?
    Any help I could get would be great and I'd really appreciate it.
    Thank you!
    Lauren
     
  3. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    FB t&c state no accounts for under 13s
    I have anecdotal knowledge of numerous teenagers being bullied through facebook.
    Any teacher who accepts students onto their facebook page along with their own friends and family is asking for trouble imho - people have had disciplinary action taken against them for this - it is blurring the boundaries too much and leaves teachers open to all sorts of allegations!
     
  4. I teach about 150 Year 7's, the great majority of whom have Facebok accounts. Most declared themselves as over 13 and so parental input/control does not exist. Most have over 200 'friends'. Most have their accounts public or at least allow friends of friends.
    Have they had the talk? From me, the HOY, Head of Key Stage and the Police have come in. Any effect? None. At this age they are immortal and bullet proof.
    I don't think it is appropriate. Can we stop it? No chance. The horse has long since bolted. It can only get worse.
    Do they try to add me? Yes. I have my setings set to private and no to friends of friends. I always refuse and report to the Head of Year. I AM aware other staff have some pupils as friends and I have told them they are really, really stupid to do that. It is against the school's policy for one thing. Has anything 'bad' ever happened? Quite a few near misses every year.
     
  5. I forgot to add. Bullying via Facebeok is a weekly occurrance.
     
  6. Thanks for replying [​IMG]
    I'm seeing that bullying over social networking sites is quite common, something I'd not given much thought to previously. Is there anyway you could give me any examples? What kind of bullying is it? Is it mainly name calling? How do you go about dealing with it if its reported to you?
    Thank you again, I really appreciate it.
     
  7. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    Pretty much all the kids I know have Facebook accounts (secondary school) and I've dealt with numerous incidents of bullying via Facebook - sending nasty messages, posting nasty things about people on status updates, using someone else's account to post things that would get them in trouble (e.g. by using their phone without them knowing), taking photos of other pupils (or staff) on mobiles at school and then posting them on Facebook, and organising what can only be called hate campaigns against members of staff (some of the kids at our school set up a group called "Get Mr X sacked" and planned things they could do to try and get him in trouble). The problem is, this bullying isn't taking place in school, but parents expect school to deal with it and it's open to debate whether it's really the school's job to deal with things that happen outside of school - we spend massive amounts of time dealing with accusations of online bullying, but is it really the school's responsibility? But if not, then whose is it?
    As far as staff Facebook accounts go, we've been told that we absolutely must not add any pupils or even former pupils as friends, and we must keep everything on our Facebook accounts locked to friends only. Mine has no photos or information visible to anyone other than people I've added as friends but I still sometimes get pupils trying to add me. Most of them are Y11s or 6th formers who are leaving and want to stay in touch, but while I would be interested to know what they're doing now, I don't want them reading my Facebook as I don't want to have to be careful what I put on there in case my pupils see it! Not to mention the likelihood that former pupils will have younger brothers/sisters/friends who are still in school so I don't want them to be able to get access to my Facebook.
     
  8. I think roseaspanola summed up the types of bullying we see. Quite often another pupil's account gets hacked. Photo's taken at school get used. It isn't a matter whether we want to get involved in sorting it out. The Police refuse to, so we have no choice. I do not wish to see a whole generation criminalised by Police action, but we are encouraging young people to think that there are no consequences whatsoever for anything they do.
    And the Internet isn't the main problem. CRB checks of adults in schools won't solve it. There are a frightening number of pupils who are on the Sex Offenders Register. I can recall one incident at our school where a new Year 9 boy turned out to be just that. When he attacked a Year 10 girl, and her friend beat the carp out of him (she's a big girl) he was simply moved again to another school across the county boundary. Where friends of the girl also went to school. Moved again to another school in another county.
     
  9. DM

    DM New commenter

    Obviously I can't give details but I have personal experience of students who have attempted suicide because of cyberbullying. It is certainly not just namecalling. The difference between this type of bullying and any other is that there is no escape, it follows them into their own homes and continues every moment of the day and night.
     
  10. An old famous quote goes...
    "You can have 50 people being horrible to you online, but 50 people would be beating you up at the same time".
     
  11. DM

    DM New commenter

    In my Local Authority having former students on FB is a disciplinary matter. The same applies to parents.
     
  12. My school doesn't mention it in their policies. They say it is OK.
    I don't see a risk in having them on to be honest, I don't have hardly any personal information on and not many photos on at all!
    I have got one parent on Facebook, however they are an old family friend I had on Facebook before their daughter came to my school!
     
  13. A child protection inset we had before half term holiday categorically affirmed that communication with students/pupils via FB is absolutely to be avoided. It can open you up to all sorts of allegations and situations. Definitely don't do it.
     
  14. I would never confirm a student as a friend on Facebook, even if it was someone in my family!
    Students can't even add me anymore on Facebook, on friends of friends can add me - so the add button does not appear to students.
    I recommend all teachers set their profile on this setting, it's really useful!
     
  15. With formspring do children give personal details out? As in could you track down who had answered what questions? I'm just having a look at the site now and I haven't quite grasped what its all about yet! I'd never heard of it until you brought it up DM
     
  16. DM

    DM New commenter

    Did you read the link I provided Lauren_Emily? That explains it.
     
  17. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    I think lots of the advice given to teachers about FaceBook is very useful: check privacy settings very carefully, etc.
    However I think that blanket rules (as opposed to advice) should not be necessary, and some examples illustrate the problem.
    I've got an ex-pupil as a Facebook friend. We were on a team together as adults, and the friendship was developed independently of the fact that I once taught her. We can hardly be banned from communicating for life.
    I know someone who has her sons as friends - a good way of keeping in touch when one was on a gap year, but they attended her school, so she'd be breaking some schools' rules. Obviously in that situation, you want to be very careful about not using the "Friends of friends" bit.
    I teach in the village where I live. Many of my Facebook friends will eventually be parents at the school. If my school banned parents as friends, would I have to unfriend them at that point? When my daughter reaches 13, does it have to be my husband who friends her to keep an eye on what she's up to?
    Our local Explorer Scouts do all their communication via Facebook, and a leader who could not use Facebook would be a problem. One solution would be to have an account used purely for scouts, entirely separate from any personal account the leader might have.
    I think that teachers need to be advised, and recommendations may be relevant, but they also need to be permitted to use their common sense in working out whether to heed the recommendations.
     
  18. Facebook is an absolute nightmare at school. We have lots of problems on a Monday because of what has been posted on a weekend for us to deal with.
    As an interesting issue, I've had two facebook accounts created on my behalf by students. One I'd twigged on as I got a confirmation e-mail and another I had no idea about. About 200 pupils make me their "friend". There was a picture of me taken at one of the Y11 proms used as an image on the page. I accepted the site I knew about then immediately logged in to change the password so whoever created it couldn't use it. The other site caused lots of problems, however, with pupils refusing to come to lessons because of what "I" had posted about pupils. I was extremely up front with all the pupils in the school to make sure there was nothing looking as through it was hidden at any times deliberately to make sure people knew it had nothing to do with me - and I'm HoD for ICT!
    FB deleted the "unwanted" account that was set up for me, but refused to give me IP address etc so I could trace it. I gave loads of stuff to the police about it but they did nowt about it at all - shocking I think as the things posted could have easily got me suspended. I'm just pleased that SLT realised it had nothing to do with me at all.
    The bit I found scary was the number of people, in such a short time, who had "friended" me at our place. I still continue to use what was done to me as examples of cyber bullying and what can be posted online without people's knowledge.
     
  19. plus fc's next post mentioned bullying
    well - most of what she said, except we are a junior school
    so far, bullying is only occasional and we haven't had any near-misses we are aware of
    we also write to parents (blanket letter rather than individual ones - though we know who they) and hold computer safety days for parents, and all that has as much effect as everything else ie none (well - maybe in the oddl instance or 2)
    we also end up in that famous hypocritical position of advising kids 'this is illegal, but for those who are breaking the law, this is how to at least increase your safety'
    but then we get kids going round to other kids' houses brandishing broken bottles - who needs a computer........
     
  20. As a primary supply teacher I know children as young as Y2 who have their own facebook accounts. Teachers often have to sort friendship problems from facebook out in school time. I always say no to parents and pupils. But what do you do about staff with their own children at their school, as is often the case with TAs?
     

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