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School warns students: Quit Facebook or be expelled

An Australian principal has banned pupils under 13 from having a Facebook account – even outside school hours.

Image: codemastersnake via Flickr

YOUNG STUDENTS AT a school in Australia have been warned they could be expelled if they do not shut down their Facebook accounts.

The principal of the school in Toowoomba, Queensland, has said all pupils under 13 – the youngest age allowed to use Facebook according to the social network’s own guidelines – must delete their accounts.

The Brisbane Times reports that principal Leonie Hultgren wrote to parents:

No student of Harlaxton who is under the age of 13 is to have a Facebook account [...] Parents should understand that a student who contravenes the law or rule in a digital scenario may need to meet with the Principal to discuss this issue and their continued enrolment at Harlaxton.

Hultgren included information on how parents could delete their children’s accounts, or report them as underage users.

A number of parents have since complained to the school. However, according to the Toowoomba Chronicle, the move has won support from the regional Department of Education.

A spokesperson said: “The principal is demonstrating and reinforcing the ethical use of technology, including the appropriate use of social media.”

He added that this applied “both at school and outside school hours.”

More: Facebook is just a ‘fad’, say almost half of people in US>

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Michael Freeman

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