Limerick principal seeks school bullying helpline after 28 pupils suspended over Facebook post

Tuesday 12 March 2013 21.01
28 pupils at Coláiste Chiaráin were suspended over 'liking' a Facebook post
28 pupils at Coláiste Chiaráin were suspended over 'liking' a Facebook post

A Co Limerick school principal has called on the Department of Education to establish a helpline to deal with school queries on cyber bullying.

Twenty-eight pupils from Coláiste Chiaráin in Croom were suspended over a Facebook post, which made explicit references to a number of people within the school community.

The suspended pupils had 'liked' the private post on the social media website.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny, Noel Malone said thousands of people could have potentially seen the posting.

He said students are up-to-date with technology but do not always think about its dangers.

Mr Malone said the suspension is about education and not retribution.

"This isn't against social media itself.

"We embrace technology 100% in this school. It just goes to show that it's about kids not thinking about the buttons that they press, for their own sakes as well."

Mr Malone said "liking" one post can cause a dangerous ripple effect.

"Potentially for all those 28 'likes' there could have been, in the context of the school, thousands of other people who would now be aware. In other words it is a very strong form of bullying."

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