• Middle school principal wants kids off Facebook

    Date: 05.14.10 | by Judge Tom.

    Out of concern for his students at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in New Jersey, Anthony Orsini sent an e-mail to all parents. He wrote “There is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! They are simply not psychologically ready for the damage that one mean person online can cause, and I don’t want any of our students to go through the unnecessary pain that too many of them have already experienced.

    Although many parents monitor their children’s use of the Internet, “…once someone says something about a student’s sexuality or body image or friends, you can’t take it back. The damage is done. Those kids are totally distracted in school. It consumes their lives,” Orsini added.

    This recommendation to keep students off social networking sites was met with mixed reactions. Some parents agreed while others didn’t see prohibition as the best way to fight cyberbullying. Education about online bullying and Internet dangers are proposed by some as the better approach.

    What do you think? Have you received a mean or cruel message online?  Did you tell your parents or a friend? Did you continue to read or walk away from your computer? Have you heard of SCBT - stop, copy, block and tell.  That’s stop reading, make copies of all mean messages, block further emails or messages, and tell a trusted adult.

    Read more about Internet safety tips here. Also, check out www.netsmartz.org.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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