Parents of students expected to appeal… A secondary school in Dublin has expelled four students after they posted offensive comments about their teachers to the Facebook social networking platform.
The school has refused to comment on their disciplinary procedures but the parents of the four students are expected to make an appeal. 40 other students at the school who signalled their approval of the comments by ”liking” them on Facebook received detention as a result of their actions.
The Education Minister in Ireland, Ruairi Quinn was asked to comment on the story while he was in the process of launching an anti-bullying forum in Dublin. His response was not to comment on the individual case involving the four expelled students, instead he said that the existing guidelines in place to combat bullying should be updated to reflect the current trend of cyber bullying.
Launching the anti-bullying forum Minister Quinn said:
“Bullying is a problem which I take very seriously. Bullying in school can ruin a young person’s enjoyment of some of the most important years of their life. In extreme situations it can also, tragically, lead to a young person taking their own life.”
“It is therefore my fervent hope that today’s Forum will provide us with the basis on which to develop a roadmap on how best to tackle all forms of bullying in our schools.
“I am very anxious that the Forum focuses on identifying the practical steps and recommendations that could be taken in the short term to improve how schools approach and tackle bullying.”
A spokesperson for the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) refused to comment on the specific case but did warn that schools should be prepared to deal with the cyber bullying issue:
“Schools should have and are required to have under legislation a process to deal with bullying in their school behaviour code or code of conduct.
“We believe that any code or policy in relation to bullying must include cyber bullying and other forms of bullying, for example by text or the internet.”
Many businesses across the UK and Ireland are implementing a social media policy in order to ensure that employees within the organisation are aware of the the risks and responsibilities involved with posting to social networking sites.