A teenager was left in tears when a school assembly on the dangers of Facebook “humiliated” her by showing an enlarged picture from her profile.
The furious teen’s mum has complained to the staff at Eggbuckland Community College in Plymouth after teachers lifted a picture from her daughter’s Facebook page, enlarged it and used it at the assembly in order to demonstrate the dangers of social networking.
The teenager’s image was one of several pupils’ photographs used during the assembly at which over 100 children were present, but the bikini-clad teen’s mother feels her daughter’s photo was a step too far and she has complained to the school’s headteacher as well as education watchdog Ofsted:
“They took the photo from her Facebook profile – she put it on there last year. They used other photos of kids from the neck up but for some reason they thought it was OK to use a picture of my daughter in her bikini. Why did they have to use an image like that to make their point? Then they pointed her out in the assembly. I got a phone call from my daughter in the afternoon. When she told me about it I went from nought to 60 – I was so upset at work I was sent home. She’s really upset and hurt and this has knocked her confidence.
She’s not the type of girl who likes attention like this. She’s a tom-boy, she doesn’t wear make-up and she doesn’t even have her ears pierced. It’s not often you even get her in a bikini. I’ve now written to the school, Ofsted and the governors about it. The headteacher has since phoned me and couldn’t be more apologetic. I don’t think she was aware it was going to happen.” The teenager’s mother has asked for her not to be identified.
Eggbuckland Community College has 1327 pupils on roll; the specialist arts school’s motto is “Learning, Caring, Achieving.”
A spokesman for Plymouth City Council issued a statement on behalf of the school:
“We cannot comment on the incident itself. It is very important that young people understand the risks of posting images and messages about themselves online. All our partner agencies, including all schools, have a duty to promote on-line safety and equip all pupils and students with the ability to stay safe online. Most images placed online on social networking sites or through the use of smartphones can be found and copied, and then shared.
“Sadly, there are people of all ages who know that they can use photographic images to bully, exploit or coerce others, and do so. The advice given to children and parents is that it is very difficult to ensure any picture is completely private and it is important to positively manage their online identity and profile and think carefully before sharing personal content.”