A shocked mum has slammed teachers for highlighting the dangers of social networking by showing a photo of her underage daughter in a BIKINI – in a school ASSEMBLY.
Staff at Eggbuckland Community College in Plymouth, Devon, swiped photos off the web to illustrate the pitfalls of posting private images online.
They then gathered more than 100 kids together and showed them blown-up versions of the images – including a 15-year-old girl in swimwear.
The shock tactic backfired when the tearful girl complained to her mother that she felt humiliated and embarrassed about the stunt.
The girl’s mum has now made an official complaint to education watchdog Ofsted about the 1327-pupil specialist arts school.
She said: “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. She was really upset.
“I got a phone call from my daughter in the afternoon. When she told me about it I went from nought to sixty. 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.”
The mum, who does not want her daughter to be identified, has now written to education watchdogs Ofsted, the board of governors and the head teacher to demand answers about the incident.
She says if the school were concerned about the image, they should have pulled her daughter aside or contacted her to voice concerns – rather than using it to embarrass her.
The mum added: “I’ve now written to the school, Ofsted and the governors about it.
“The headteacher has since phoned me and couldn’t me more apologetic. I don’t think she was aware it was going to happen.”
A Plymouth City Council spokesperson said on behalf of the school, whose motto is “Learning, caring, achieving”: “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.”