Boy charged over alleged Facebook ‘humiliation’

Picture: Getty
Picture: Getty
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A SCHOOLBOY has been charged by police following an investigation into a Facebook page created to mock and ­humiliate teachers.

Parents of pupils at Alva Academy in Clackmannanshire were urged to check their children’s mobile phones and laptops in a letter from headteacher Sharee MacKerron last week. It informed parents there had been “a serious incident in school involving the ­irresponsible setting up of a ­Facebook page”.

The page was “designed to deliberately cause humiliation, defamation and insult to staff”, and was believed to contain images of teachers with sexual references written on them.

The site has since been deleted and police are investigating its creation.

The academy’s official Face-book page was suspended “pending investigations into attempts to gain unauthorised access”, but is now accessible.

The letter continued: “Disappointingly a number of pupils not only visited the site, but commented on the images and indicated that they ‘liked’ the images.

“We are grateful for your support and encourage parents to contact us immediately if you come across information or online material that you believe is impersonating or disrespecting of the school, its pupils or staff.”

A spokeswoman for Central Scotland Police confirmed yesterday that a 14-year-old boy has been charged with breaching the Communications Act.

Ms MacKerron’s letter advised parents to “check your child’s mobile phone and other electronic devices for copies of images”, and reminded parents children aged under 13 using Facebook accounts were breaking the site’s terms and conditions. Alan McKenzie, acting general-secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) said: “This is yet again another example of kids being over- technologised and having equipment upon their person that allows them to get up to this kind of mischief.

“The scale of this behaviour becomes viral when you’re able to post to sites such as Facebook. I know it’s difficult for parents to control that, because that’s the society we live in, but parents need to take responsibility here.

“Holyrood also has a responsibility to say ‘this is a national code of conduct concerning the use of mobile phone technology within school ­buildings’.”

One Alva Academy pupil tweeted last week: “Ridiculous how far the schools taking this whole thing. Ma mums going nowhere near my phone or laptop [sic]”.

Clackmannanshire Council education convener Ellen Forson said: “We are working with parents, staff and Central Scotland Police to resolve this.”