A top private boys’ school in the UK has admitted to snooping on pupils’ social media accounts to ensure that they are not criticising the school online.
The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Hertfordshire are currently in a dispute with senior staff and pupils over its ‘Big Brother’ methods.
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Students have been secretly erecting posters in protest at the school for they say is a draconian clamping down on freedom of speech.
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The Mail Online reports:
The feud allegedly begun after a student was reportedly suspended for criticising a recent ‘Pride assembly’, after he claimed it was ‘for show’.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, a former pupil said that there had been growing ill-feeling at Haberdashers’ in recent months over disciplinary procedures.
He said: ‘The heart of the dispute is that the school monitors what students are doing and punishes anyone who criticises anything they do.’
Headmaster Peter Hamilton said the monitoring is not ‘draconian’.
He added: ‘We have Twitter and Facebook and you keep an eye on what is being said. If people are saying silly things you have to follow through. But I don’t have a bank of screens in front of me that measures every twist and turn. There’s nothing draconian.
‘We did have an LGBT week, and it went off really well. You get some posters being put up, but it’s got nothing to do with gay pride at all.
‘We’ve been pretty upfront and open on all of those things. What you’ve got is a few people having a bit of a gripe and a grumble.’
The school sparked controversy four years ago for taking the fingerprints of pupils without their parents’ consent.
Parents complained after thumbprints of the pupils were taken for the school dining room’s new payment system.