Principal asks parents to ban social networks

To stop cyber-bullying, a New Jersey principal is asking parents to ban social networking for their middle schoolers. In an e-mail, Anthony Orsini, principal at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, New Jersey, also asked parents to tell children they’ll be using parental control software to monitor “every place they have visited online, and everything they have instant messaged or written to a friend.”

. . . there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! None.

The principal also urged parents not to allow students to have a computer in their bedroom, saying more than 90 percent of homework doesn’t require a computer.

Dealing with the emotional fall-out from nasty rumors and gossip spread on social networking sites takes up 75 percent of her day, says Meredith Wearly, the school’s guidance counselor.

The principal urged parents to tell the police and demand an investigation if their child is the victim of online or texted attacks.

So far, response from parents has been positive, Orsini says. Children hate the idea.

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