School tells students to delete Facebook profiles

Many people use Facebook at present and they come from a variety of different backgrounds. While the service may have originally been designed for college students, it has deviated from these origins and become the everyman social network. Many people now possess Facebook accounts and use them as a method of keeping in contact with friends or playing games online.

The service is no stranger to controversy with employers asking for employee passwords before hiring new staff. This sparked an outrage and the policy has been given large amounts of media attention. Now CBS New York reports schools have worked out a new alternative: just force pupils to close their Facebook accounts. The Beis Rivkah school in Brooklyn, New York, is the first school to attempt to use school policy against Facebook; the school is for Jewish girls only and is part of a wider network in the United States.

President of the high school in Brooklyn, Benzion Stock, argued that students signed a contract acknowledging they would not use the social network. Now, some pupils have reportedly broken that contract, which has allegedly been in effect for the past two years. Stock argues that having a Facebook account violates a religious code of modesty. Speaking to 1010 Wins, she said the following:

“In religious communities they don’t want anybody to have the Internet, especially not Facebook. They all knew about it before, they were warned about it, they were told about it, they were taught about it and some girls ignored it.”

Students found in possession of a Facebook account were reportedly taken out of class and ordered to close their accounts, as well as paying a $100 fine. The alternative is to keep your account, but face expulsion from the school. Yes, expulsion. Your school career could be gone just like that, purely because you have an account on a service like Facebook. It may also be worth pointing out the "Israel Loves Iran" initiative was headed by a Jewish couple with Facebook accounts.

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This aside....

...The service is no stranger to controversy with employers asking for employee passwords before hiring new staff...

Please. What kind of bull**** is that?

"It may also be worth pointing out the "Israel Loves Iran" initiative was headed by a Jewish couple with Facebook accounts."

Why is it worth pointing that out?

... Your school career could be gone just like that, purely because you have an account on a service like Facebook. It may also be worth pointing out the "Israel Loves Iran" initiative was headed by a Jewish couple with Facebook accounts.

Sorry, but those 2 sentences/comments are utter BS.

If Neowin agreed to pay you, Paul, for writing that article, they have a contractual obligation to pay you -- plain -- simple. If the students at that school signed a contract, they're obligated as well. If you don't honor your contract you don't get paid -- if they don't honor theirs, they may not get to go to that school. End of a career? I think not.

Now anyone may or may not agree with *any* school's policies -- that's any school, any where. If you want to write an editorial on why you disagree with the Beis Rivkah school, or post your opinions in comments, cool. Those policies are obviously what the parents wanted or their kids wouldn't be enrolled there, so please remember that criticism or attacks on that school's policies are also aimed at those parents for their choice. That's pretty shaky ground to be standing on, especially when those choices were made based on their religion.

AS you're based in Northern Ireland, Paul, I can't believe you didn't already know that people can tend to be pretty sensitive about things like religion. Then again there are quite a few religious schools you could have written about, maybe mocked, but some of those might have been closer to home, maybe even sparked a dangerous reaction, like some innocent seeming cartoons we should all remember.

You must remember that this is a private school. The parents PAY for their children to go to this school to learn and backup the morals the parents teach their children at home to be brought up with. If the parents do not agree with these morals the school is enforcing, then they would not be paying to have their children attend the school.
Simple. Private school. Private matter.

Sorry, I also must state that if you are not a parent, you MUST refrain from posting comments on something you have no clue about.

Religion isn't bad, its the stupid crackpots who try to use it as a way to control people, which is why I wouldn't go to another church for as long as I live. they are ALL egotistic, self-righteous, hypocritical, lying, self-serving politicians in white robes that should be red with the blood of all the mass deaths they have caused.

TechieXP said,
Religion isn't bad, its the stupid crackpots who try to use it as a way to control people, which is why I wouldn't go to another church for as long as I live. they are ALL egotistic, self-righteous, hypocritical, lying, self-serving politicians in white robes that should be red with the blood of all the mass deaths they have caused.

And yet so many atheists for all appearances try to form their own anti-church churches, their own anti-faith faiths.

Human nature is... human nature. We choose to be good or bad, whatever groups we join or stay away from. I'm not so much defending any faith as I am saying that the only way to avoid all the negative traits you mention is to live life as a hermit -- I've known a few semi-hermits, they were Very nice guys, so I don't mean that as an insult either. While I certainly respect their choices, I also felt a bit sad -- the more negatives you add to your life, as in I won't go there, I wont talk to this sort of person etc., the more opportunities you'll miss for adding positives.

Well, if you signed up to attend the school, you had to agree to their rules. If you didn't like/agree with them, should have went elsewhere. Seems straightforward to me.

That being said, though, I think they're missing a giant point there. Everybody uses Facebook, you'd think they'd view it as another way to 'reach out' to people...

Also, super awesome how anytime something "bad" happens and it's blamed on religion, it makes the news and everybody bashes religion mercilessly. Yet every day, churches and religious organisations are donating their time, money, services, etc to charities and such, but nobody pays any attention to that, or if they do hear about it, they don't make grand sweeping generalisations about how great they all are because of that one story. Double standards suck.

we here in the Philippines also has a similar situation, apparently a Catholic school did not allow some students to attend their graduation ceremony because they have some pictures in Facebook wearing a two-piece bikini

JakeSWE said,
Only in America.....

Only in America what? Only in America there are private schools that parents/kids sign contracts with giving them the right to dictate moral codes? Hows the bubble you call reality? All private schools are like this and have this ability.

JakeSWE said,
Only in America.....

No... there are several other countries where people have the right to pursue their choice of religion. Sadly there are still too many others where that's becoming impossible.

JakeSWE said,
Only in America.....
You should probably get rid of your avatar if you have a problem with a Private school creating rules that the parents agree to of their own free will. This is not Government. This is two private parties agreeing to a moral code of their choosing.

And while it's not just America. I'm much more for a country that allows this rather than one who a) only allows education from Government or b) Only allows religious teachings or c) a mixture of a & b.

CMG_90 said,
sounds like a cult..... oh wait all religions are cults

Depends on your definition of cult...

If you mean everyone supposed to think the same way, then I guess political parties, groups on both sides of green issues, PC vs. Mac, ATI vs. Nvidia, Intel vs. AMD, they're all cults I'd guess. Then I've heard of fashion cults & so on.

If you mean OTOH leave & you're shot, that narrows things down quite a bit -- read the news for the last week & you'll find your concrete examples.

mikiem said,
Depends on your definition of cult...

"a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies." dictionary.com

My religion isn't like that, therefore what CMG_90 said is clearly wrong.

Using Facebook hardly constitutes a violation of old testament law, but....

The school has every right to tell students they cannot use Facebook. Your employer has every right to demand that you give up your Facebook password. You, on the other hand, have every right to refuse to give them access, or delete your Facebook account.

If they want to fire or expulse you because you aren't following their rules, then they can do that. Schools expel you for drinking and using drugs both on and off campus, so why is this any different. If you don't like the rule, then you can protest by leaving.

crazyguy510 said,
Using Facebook hardly constitutes a violation of old testament law, but....

The school has every right to tell students they cannot use Facebook. Your employer has every right to demand that you give up your Facebook password. You, on the other hand, have every right to refuse to give them access, or delete your Facebook account.

If they want to fire or expulse you because you aren't following their rules, then they can do that. Schools expel you for drinking and using drugs both on and off campus, so why is this any different. If you don't like the rule, then you can protest by leaving.

GET OFF MY LAWN

crazyguy510 said,
Using Facebook hardly constitutes a violation of old testament law, but....

The school has every right to tell students they cannot use Facebook. Your employer has every right to demand that you give up your Facebook password. You, on the other hand, have every right to refuse to give them access, or delete your Facebook account.

If they want to fire or expulse you because you aren't following their rules, then they can do that. Schools expel you for drinking and using drugs both on and off campus, so why is this any different. If you don't like the rule, then you can protest by leaving.

GET OFF MY LAWN

@ Northgrove Facebook could well fall into the argument you just made or would you rather FB someone who only lives a block away rather than go see them

Facebook = Antisocial behavior

whatever happened to penpals or getting out of the house and going to friends houses to actually physically see them

Athlonite said,
@ Northgrove Facebook could well fall into the argument you just made or would you rather FB someone who only lives a block away rather than go see them

Facebook = Antisocial behavior

whatever happened to penpals or getting out of the house and going to friends houses to actually physically see them

ASOCIAL:
Rejecting or lacking the capacity for social interaction.

ANTISOCIAL:
Hostile or harmful to organized society; especially; being or marked by behavior deviating sharply from the social norm.

I think everyone should close their facebook account.... the site is a festering hole and is not meant to be SOCIAL. If you wish to be social then go out and meet and talk to people instead of standing behind a computer. I go out with friends who are so addicted to the damn thing they are on their phones with it while we eat...kinda makes me sick.

Horrible. So detached from reality that it's scary. This is today like asking students to delete their private e-mail accounts. An organization disrupting social lives shouldn't even be legal. Forced isolation from your social life and/or Internet is what you do in jail, not in a school ran in a so called free country.

Northgrove said,
Horrible. So detached from reality that it's scary. This is today like asking students to delete their private e-mail accounts. An organization disrupting social lives shouldn't even be legal. Forced isolation from your social life and/or Internet is what you do in jail, not in a school ran in a so called free country.

Ummm... your definition of freedom seems a bit skewed... a bit 1984ish -- drones all think the same way, people don't. Students have the freedom to attend that school, or not.

You have the freedom to post your thoughts or not. By doing so you have to realize not everyone will agree, that other people can & do have conflicting opinions. If you're all right with that, then you should be all right with people sending their kids to a school you don't agree with. As far as anyone's opinions being illegal, you really don't want to go there -- check the history books if you don't know why.

Although I agree that a school shouldn't dictate what you do on the internet (when you are not at school), they signed the contract full knowing it's clauses (or so I assume)...

Farchord said,
Although I agree that a school shouldn't dictate what you do on the internet (when you are not at school), they signed the contract full knowing it's clauses (or so I assume)...

If they didn't their parents should have. That's not to say every kid agrees with their parents -- most don't, but it's like a hazing ritual where later on you get to inflict the same torture on your kids. And if whatever was hidden in legalese, my guess is most parents would rather be rid of the school in that case anyway.

I could be wrong (and I am sure someone will correct me if I am), but over here in the UK, you can't be held to a signed contract till your 18 (maybe 16, not sure). Is there an age limit in the US?

gillmacca said,
I could be wrong (and I am sure someone will correct me if I am), but over here in the UK, you can't be held to a signed contract till your 18 (maybe 16, not sure). Is there an age limit in the US?

That is half true in the US. You can't sign a contract without your parents cosigning.

gillmacca said,
I could be wrong (and I am sure someone will correct me if I am), but over here in the UK, you can't be held to a signed contract till your 18 (maybe 16, not sure). Is there an age limit in the US?

The enforceable parts of any contract would have been with their parents, so even if the kids were the only ones signing whatever behavior contract, the school I'm sure had some clause in whatever the parents signed (assuming the parents signed anything) that said we can kick your kid out if you do this or that. I think the point of the kids' contract though would have been more moral than legal, as a way to teach them about obligations & responsibilities in the context of their faith.

I hate it when people call it a "school career". Its not a career, its an education, a career is "an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one's lifework". Only dumb ass religious people don't want people to have the internet, because that would mean that they wouldn't have sole control over an individuals life.

Also, **** paying a school a $100 fine. They aren't the government, and the students aren't breaking any legal laws. If I'm paying for a private school as a parent, I'd tell the school to shove it up their ass, or I'll be switching my kid to a different school because my money could be put elsewhere.

SpeedyTheSnail said,
... Only dumb ass religious people don't want people to have the internet, because that would mean that they wouldn't have sole control over an individuals life.

Ummm, no offense to anyone intended, but while you might say that about some countries in the mid-east, I don't think you could say that about China, Cuba, etc...

As for sending your kids to any religious school, the same freedoms that let you send them there also let you send them somewhere else, so there's really nothing to complain about. It's no different that returning a DOA PC component or an undercooked meal at a restaurant. AS long as you didn't pay a non-returnable fee for the entire year you're OK.

It doesn't really matter why the school has the policy. The students signed a contract, and they then breached that contract. That is all anyone needs to be concerned with.

They didn't mention whether the parents of these students also signed this contract, so I am not sure how legal this contract would be since you must be a certain age before you can legally enter into contracts and be bound by them. (That age is determined at the state level).

I'm willing to bet that Google is behind this.
They are out to destroy FB
First they forced companies to ask new employees to give up FB username and password.
Now they are targeting the schools.

All to get more people to use Google+

Stoffel said,
I'm willing to bet that Google is behind this.
They are out to destroy FB
First they forced companies to ask new employees to give up FB username and password.
Now they are targeting the schools.

All to get more people to use Google+


Google doesn't care if people use Google+ They just want people to log in once and give their info so they have more complete records on you.

Eh? This is rubbish .... anyone over 13 has the right to have an account if they want, and being FORCED to go to a School (Most kids don't choose their school placement), means they shouldn't be pushed into rules outside of their school hours. Sure, they should abide by the rules set inside school, which can mean not using their account while on School premises... but no. The law would kick this school's ass for that rule. It's a direct abuse of free speech being taken away.

Spirit Dave said,
The law would kick this school's ass for that rule. It's a direct abuse of free speech being taken away.
Well then I guess it's a good thing it isn't a public school, or else that might matter.

Memnochxx said,
Well then I guess it's a good thing it isn't a public school, or else that might matter.

It's a school run by morons. Doesn't matter what kind of school it is. But as I say, either way, the kids themselves are put there by adults. No choices involved for almost any child at school, and their free time should be free to enjoy as they wish.

Spirit Dave said,

It's a school run by morons. Doesn't matter what kind of school it is. But as I say, either way, the kids themselves are put there by adults. No choices involved for almost any child at school, and their free time should be free to enjoy as they wish.


Actually their free time should be spent in a way that their parents agree with. You know, the same parents that put them in the school. Their parents agreed to the no Facebook policy when they took them there. They can do that because, you know, they are the parents.

It is absurd to use the argument that it is wrong that they can't use Facebook because they don't have a choice. What's next? You are arguing that parents shouldn't be allowed to parent. Stop taking parents responsibilities away. Bad parents are better than relying on schools to do the parenting.

Spirit Dave said,
Eh? This is rubbish .... anyone over 13 has the right to have an account if they want... The law would kick this school's ass for that rule. It's a direct abuse of free speech being taken away.

TO most parents kids have rights once they move out & start earning their own living. It's their responsibility to provide as best they can food, clothing, shelter etc., but few if any parents feel their kids have the natural right to $200 shoes, a couple grand for a laptop, & total freedom to do what they want, on-line or off. Those parents that do feel their kids have those rights, well they're the parents whose kids we don't want our kids associating with.

Yes, the gov in some places can & does intervene -- I've read horror stories where a kid got one or more parents kicked out of the house -- but parents attitudes are not going to change because we want what's best for our kids, & unless you're taking a kid out of a really abusive home, e.g. child porn etc., this sort of government intervention doesn't turn out better for the kids.

As far as free speech itself, that ties into something called freedom of religion. What you're proposing is that the gov take away the parents rights & give them to the kids. Taking rights away from anyone is bad news all by itself, but when you start calling winners & losers watch out -- there's no guarantee whatsoever you'll wind up on the winning side.

yowanvista said,
As always, the cause is Religion.. Always here to disturb peace and freedom..

Thats right, throw the baby out with the bathwater, all religion is bad cause of a tiny incident, more like you're pushing your own agenda. It should not really bother you unless you were planning on attending the school, even then there are probably plenty other options. LOL.

tmaxxtigger said,

Thats right, throw the baby out with the bathwater, all religion is bad cause of a tiny incident, more like you're pushing your own agenda. It should not really bother you unless you were planning on attending the school, even then there are probably plenty other options. LOL.

No, all religion isn't bad just because of this tiny incident. All religion is bad because of everything that religion has caused over the time. Killing, brainwashing, forcing people to do stupid things, etc. FFS, we live in 2012 and people still believe in those retarded fairy tales. Wake up!

tmaxxtigger said,

Thats right, throw the baby out with the bathwater, all religion is bad cause of a tiny incident, more like you're pushing your own agenda. It should not really bother you unless you were planning on attending the school, even then there are probably plenty other options. LOL.

I'm but a lot of serious issues in the world are due to religion and their extremist believers. I don't have anything against any religion, my gf is catholic and I sometimes go to church even if I don't believe, and yes the things they say sometimes are just


I'm but a lot of serious issues in the world are due to religion and their extremist believers. I don't have anything against any religion, my gf is catholic and I sometimes go to church even if I don't believe, and yes the things they say sometimes are just plain wrong.

The Stark said,

No, all religion isn't bad just because of this tiny incident. All religion is bad because of everything that religion has caused over the time. Killing, brainwashing, forcing people to do stupid things, etc. FFS, we live in 2012 and people still believe in those retarded fairy tales. Wake up!

This.

I personally don't have any problem with anyone being religious, if it makes them happy, fine but when they force things on people or force you to be the way they want you to be, that's what goes too far. It's where the brainwashing starts and we all know that usually ends up in 'creating' extremists which then force these kind of things onto their followers. A never ending circle it seems...

The Stark said,

No, all religion isn't bad just because of this tiny incident. All religion is bad because of everything that religion has caused over the time. Killing, brainwashing, forcing people to do stupid things, etc. FFS, we live in 2012 and people still believe in those retarded fairy tales. Wake up!

This.

I personally don't have any problem with anyone being religious, if it makes them happy, fine but when they force things on people or force you to be the way they want you to be, that's what goes too far. It's where the brainwashing starts and we all know that usually ends up in 'creating' extremists which then force these kind of things onto their followers. A never ending circle it seems...

The Stark said,
No, all religion isn't bad just because of this tiny incident. All religion is bad because of everything that religion has caused over the time. Killing, brainwashing, forcing people to do stupid things, etc. FFS, we live in 2012 and people still believe in those retarded fairy tales. Wake up!

See: The Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, Cuba and North Korea. All government entities that were/are dedicated to eradicating religion and promoting atheism.

Religion is not a requirement to be terrible to others, and coerce others to be terrible to others. It's when it's used as a tool by bad people that it becomes bad.

The Stark said,

No, all religion isn't bad just because of this tiny incident. All religion is bad because of everything that religion has caused over the time. Killing, brainwashing, forcing people to do stupid things, etc. FFS, we live in 2012 and people still believe in those retarded fairy tales. Wake up!


You're right, all that stuff happens because of religion! Look at Stalin!!! Oh wait, he was an atheist...

You ever think maybe religion isn't the cause of any of that? Maybe it's just people using religion as an excuse?

You like to point out all the bad stuff "caused" by religion, but ignore all the good. How many charitable organizations have a religious background? How many seriously troubled people (talking to the point of suicidal, etc) have found help in religion?

The Stark said,

No, all religion isn't bad just because of this tiny incident. All religion is bad because of everything that religion has caused over the time. Killing, brainwashing, forcing people to do stupid things, etc. FFS, we live in 2012 and people still believe in those retarded fairy tales. Wake up!

Just gonna quote this one one more time. Thanks!

The Stark said,

... All religion is bad because of everything that religion has caused over the time.

Religion hasn't caused that. People cause that.
They any be doing it "in the name" of a religion but that doesn't mean they actually are.

Your attempt at being open and free minded shows your incompetence to distinguish what is the root cause of a problem, war or other human-provoked anguish.

A few points from me:

1) The school cites religion as being the reason for this. Let's face it, religion has been "used" for crazier things.

2) The students apparently signed a contract saying that they would not sign up to any social network, as it goes against the Torah.

3) Students should not be using Facebook during school time. This is somewhat beside the point, since there is no indication that the students were doing this.

4) Schools should get their students to practice their (the school's) ideas and moral code only during school time.

5) Outside of school time, the school should have no power over a student's decisions. By this, I mean that if a Student chooses not to abide by the school's moral code outside of school time, there should be no conflict.

I don't agree with the school's decision to try and enforce their moral code on students outside of school time. The fact that the students get fined and face the possibility of expulsion if they don't close their accounts is definitely wrong.

Intrinsica said,
A few points from me:

1) The school cites religion as being the reason for this. Let's face it, religion has been "used" for crazier things.

2) The students apparently signed a contract saying that they would not sign up to any social network, as it goes against the Torah.

3) Students should not be using Facebook during school time. This is somewhat beside the point, since there is no indication that the students were doing this.

4) Schools should get their students to practice their (the school's) ideas and moral code only during school time.

5) Outside of school time, the school should have no power over a student's decisions. By this, I mean that if a Student chooses not to abide by the school's moral code outside of school time, there should be no conflict.

I don't agree with the school's decision to try and enforce their moral code on students outside of school time. The fact that the students get fined and face the possibility of expulsion if they don't close their accounts is definitely wrong.

I'm not really religious and all but this is a Jewish school and students signed a contract to abide by the school's policy in order to attend (possibly because it's an elite school or something..). Besides, I don't remember when a religious person decides to have time off from their beliefs.. =/

Intrinsica said,
A few points from me:

1) The school cites religion as being the reason for this. Let's face it, religion has been "used" for crazier things.

2) The students apparently signed a contract saying that they would not sign up to any social network, as it goes against the Torah.

3) Students should not be using Facebook during school time. This is somewhat beside the point, since there is no indication that the students were doing this.

4) Schools should get their students to practice their (the school's) ideas and moral code only during school time.

5) Outside of school time, the school should have no power over a student's decisions. By this, I mean that if a Student chooses not to abide by the school's moral code outside of school time, there should be no conflict.

I don't agree with the school's decision to try and enforce their moral code on students outside of school time. The fact that the students get fined and face the possibility of expulsion if they don't close their accounts is definitely wrong.

There is no idicstion they were using FB during schooltime...they are told they cant have FB even in their own time...period to be a student at their school.

My child wouldn't be their anyways. If I am 'payimng" for their school, whatever my child does on his own time is his business. School dont have the authority. Just because they signed a paper and agreed, doesn't mean it is legal.

You do know that...right?