School suspends students over facebook hate campaign

Almost 30 girls have been suspended from a London school for launching a “hate campaign” against a teacher on social networking website Facebook.

The pupils, aged 11 to 18, were removed from classes at Grey Coat Hospital School in Westminster after signing up as members of a group entitled The Hate Society.

The defamatory web pages, which have now been removed, are said to have left the teacher needing counsellings.

The 29 children were suspended for between two and 15 days from December 23. The majority will return to school on Tuesday of next week.

Head teacher Rachel Allard said the school had decided to take a hard-line “to send a strong message” to pupils about future behavior and had the support of the “vast majority” of parents.

“We can confirm that a number of pupils have been given fixed-term exclusions for between two and 15 days after the school became aware of their involvement in a hate campaign about a member of staff using an open Facebook group,” she said.

“While the offending material has been removed from the website, the school’s decision to exclude these pupils temporarily was not taken lightly and has been designed to send a strong message to our whole school community that we do not tolerate such behavior.

“The vast majority of parents who have been to see me about this incident are supportive of the school and understand why we have taken firm disciplinary action.”

Grey Coat is a Church of England comprehensive for girls aged between 11 and 18, which also accepts boys in to the sixth-form.

On the school’s website Ms Allard says it aims to allow their pupils to “make decisions based on Christian values”.

Pupils are expected to follow a code of conduct which states they should “avoid behaving in a way which is threatening, rude, hurtful or humiliating” and are subject to a strict anti-bullying policy.

A spokesman for Westminster City Council said: “We support the school’s decision to temporarily exclude these pupils. We are providing advice and support for the school during this time.”




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