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College Warns Students Over "Spotted" Facebook Pages


3:44pm 20th May 2013
(Updated 6:41am 21st May 2013)

Most of us have put something on a social networking site, a nice photo or a video... but have you ever posted a comment about someone else?

Weymouth College say they've noticed a rise in abusive messages targeting their students on a Facebook page.

So, they're taking a stand and saying any of their students caught making offensive comments could face disciplinary action.

The warning comes in a message on the College’s own Facebook page, saying: "Weymouth College would like to express concerns about the growth of the use of social networking sites such as "Spotted" pages, which allow users to post comments anonymously about other people.

As a College, we welcome the use of social media as a means of communicating to large numbers of people very quickly. However we want students of Weymouth College to demonstrate the best values of the College which are based on respect and valuing other people. We expect all students to exhibit the best of young people in South Dorset and not to participate in this kind of bullying behaviour.

There is evidence that some Weymouth College students are posting comments about others that are potentially offensive and abusive. The College takes the view that this type of posting contravenes the code of conduct and students could therefore be subject to disciplinary action."

We spoke to Rob Jones, the Vice Principal, who told Wessex FM "We've taken a stand to say that we absolutely do not support anonymous comments left on Facebook which are potentially harmful, and we think a lot of young people are involved in this and we need to go through an education process which will help young people understand the impact that these anonymous posts could have."

So, they will be debating the issue and raising it in lessons. Rob told us it was important that everyone involved knew they could be affected in the future by their actions, "There's more and more times when you're going through job interviews or university interviews where people will search on social medium and find out what you're online life has been as well. I think if done face-to-face they just wouldn't do it!"

He encourages anyone involved, and anybody who has been victimised to speak up.         

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