NJ Principal Asks Parents To Ban Social Networking
Benjamin Franklin Middle School Chief Says Students Should Be Cut Off From Facebook, Text Messaging
Reportin Lou Young
RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBS) ― Anthony Orsini, the principal at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, sent out an e-mail Wednesday morning asking parents to help him get all of his students off social networks and keep careful track of their text messages.A controversial proposal has students horrified at a Bergen County middle school on Wednesday. The principal is asking parents to join a voluntary ban on social networking.
Eighth grader Ali Feinberg told CBS 2 she uses her iPhone to check her Facebook account "a lot" and some of her friends said the same. Now all have to talk to their parents about getting off the popular social network. It won't be easy.
"I am very addicted to Facebook," Feinberg's classmate Elizabeth Dolan told CBS 2.
Anthony Orsini, the principal at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, sent out an e-mail Wednesday morning asking parents to help him get all of his students off social networks and keep careful track of their text messages.
"Please do the following: sit down with your child (and they are just children still) and tell them that they are not allowed to be a member of any social networking site. Today!
"Let them know that you will at some point every week be checking their text messages online! You have the ability to do this through your cell phone provider.
"Let them know that you will be installing Parental Control Software so you can tell every place they have visited online, and everything they have instant messaged or written to a friend. Don't install it behind their back, but install it!"
Although Orsini's e-mail is just a request, not an order, it's language is blunt:
"It is time for every single member of the BF Community to take a stand! There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!
"Let me repeat that - there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! None."
He said the sites have become a tool for children to do psychological harm to each other, often anonymously Ė a trend known as "cyber-bullying."
"Rumors used to be some mean girl says something in the hall, but now it's out there for the whole world to look at," he told CBS 2.
Middle schools have always had drama and emotion, but the social networks amplify them to such an extent that guidance counselors there said it's become a menace to their students.