Catholic students suspended for cyber-bullying principal

At least 11 students at a Toronto Catholic school have been suspended for cyber-bullying after posting comments on the internet about the school's principal who had enforced a ban on electronic devices on the school campus.

Toronto's City News reports that the students at Robert F Hall Catholic Elementary Catholic Secondary School took their complaints to a website called "Facebook", a MySpace-like entity that encourages kids to chat with each other, after principal Edward McMahon banned electronic devices - such as MP3 players and mobile phones - in schools.

At first the postings were just gripes about the policy, City News says.

But they gradually deteriorated into vulgar, sexually explicit and untrue comments about the principal. When it was brought to the attention of school officials, the hammer came down on the students.

Although cyber-bullying of other students is relatively common, this case was unusual in that it was the school principal who was targeted.

The Canadian case comes two months after the principal of an Adelaide Catholic school wrote to the South Australian Attorney-General asking him to ban a website which they claim encourages students to cyber-bully their teachers.

The US-based website, launched in Australia in May 2006, allows pupils from any school to anonymously grade teachers and attack or praise them.

The Advertiser says that it is rapidly gaining popularity among Adelaide schoolchildren as it becomes more widely known through chat on internet instant messaging networks and blogs on personal webpages.

Students Suspended For Cyber-Bullying Their Own Principal (City News, Toronto, 12//2/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Robert F. Hall School

NZ schools worried about "text bullying" (CathNews, 1/6/04)

Schools ask for 'teacher bullying' website ban (The Advertiser, 7/12/06)

13 Feb 2007

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