• http://twitter.com/sharland Brian Sharland

    This is always a tough one as in conversation with many of my Year 7 parents I find that many of them have actually allowed and given permission to their daughters to get accounts knowing full well they are lying about their age. I therefore get the ‘But My Parents Say Its Ok!’ argument from some of my pupils.

    One of our approaches obviously is education and in Year 5 and 6 (and up) we ensure there are regular discussions about issues to do with social networking so if they do get an account early we an at least make sure they don’t do anything stupid. I don’t condone it and I certainly make this known to the girls but I think it would be remiss of me to turn a blind eye.

  • Dave Stacey

    Interesting post Dai, it’s something we’re wrestling with ourselves at the moment.

    I’ve got a yr 7 form and I think all but 1 of them have Facebook accounts. We’ve got no policy on this at the moment. I must confess if students are using them safely and appropriately personally I’ve got no major problem with it. (I’ve never quite got the 13 year old age limit thing. It’s something to do with a US law I believe, but I’ve never heard a rationale behind it).

    The issues emerge with inappropriate use, and I believe some problems have been exacerbated when parents have stepped in and got involved in way which has made the situation worse. Whatever we settle on we want to take parents with us rather than have it become a point of conflict.

    While I agree about your idea to delete for inappropriate behaviour I’d be more interested in something that continued to have an impact beyond yr 9. Not sure what though!

    Be interested to hear where you go with this one.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the comments Dave and Brian.

    Dave, I believe the 13+ rule comes from America and originally started with YouTube. As an American law it applies to all social networking sites where data is stored in the USA. It is not strictly sensible and I imagine it will be reviewed in time. But until then we as school representatives, have no choice but to refer underage usage of such sites under Child Protection guidelines. However, I personally agree with you: it is much more sensible to educate and protect rather than lock down.

    But my hands are tied. It is not my call to make.