Young people across Fenland are being warned to be careful who they accept as friends on the social media site Facebook following a scare involving students at the Neale-Wade Academy.
Principal Jason Wing issued an urgent message via Facebook and on the school’s website late yesterday (Wednesday) evening after being alerted to a man befriending pupils on the social networking site and then sending “vile and foul” messages.
Mr Wing wrote: “We became aware late this afternoon that a person using the name Ammy John has been contacting our female students and requesting that they become “friends” on Facebook. Under no circumstances should any students accept this request. If any student has been contacted via this media they must see Mrs Hitch (Designated Person for Child Protection) as soon as they arrive at the Academy tomorrow morning. We will be making the Police Aware of the situation.”
Speaking today (Thursday) Mr Wing said staff were speaking to pupils to see if any have accepted this person and if they have they will be asked to see Mrs Hilary Hitch. Police have also been notified of the issue.
“We regularly talk to pupils about the dangers of accepting friend requests from people they don’t know on Facebook and we will be re-enforcing that again today.
“We have tried to emphasise that if you accept someone as a friend on Facebook they have access to a lot of information about you and so it is important to only accept people you know,” said Mr Wing.
He added there was no truth to rumours the front of the school is now locked as a result of a paedophile accessing the school.
“We have been locking the front of the school for the past four or five weeks. Now the building work is complete students don’t need to go out of the front. Obviously the visitors’ entrance is open. But there are many good reasons why the front of the school should be kept secure. The doors have Maglocks, so they automatically unlock in case of a fire,” he said.
Anyone with concerns about on-line safety of children can make use of the CEOP website at http://www.ceop.police.uk/ and related resources.