Crime Branch Advisory
The Nigerian Scam
City principals seek police help
to check cyber crime
06 March 2007
Principals across the city seem to
be taking a cue from principal of Bombay Scottish School, Mahim.
After students began posting insults against him on Orkut, instead
of punishing them he decided to call in cyber cell cops to talk
to students. Now, other school principals have decided to bring
in the cyber cell police to speak at their schools. They feel students
and parents need to be educated against the legal and moral consequences
of cyber crime.
Admitting to the existence of some
mischievous students who misuse the internet and also stray into
restricted sites due to lack of supervision, principals feel the
cyber cell can play a huge role in educating students and warning
them. Principal Rekha Vijaykar, GHK School, Santacruz, said that
with more and more exposure to the internet, students had started
misusing the freedom and hence needed to be monitored. "Monitoring
and educating students against the pitfalls of visiting restricted
sites is the responsibility of parents. However, the school too
has to play an active role," she said.
Principal Alka Lokre of J M Bajaj
School, Nagothane concurred. "Students need to be oriented
with soul searching and conscience questioning which will help restrain
them from misusing modern amenities," she said. As a solution,
Principal Fr Dr Francis Swamy of Holy Family School, Andheri, said
that apart from educating students, parents and teachers also needed
to be roped in for the success of any initiative against internet
abuse. "Without the support of parents, no awareness programme
can succeed. Parents need to be sensitised to the problem on hand
and should be active in stopping their children from maligning anyone,"
Principal Paul Machado of Campion
School went a step further, highlighting the longterm effect of
such uncontrolled freedom to students. "Parents must understand
that today their children are misusing the internet to abuse others.
Tomorrow, they may become victims of it too. Hence, parents need
to be taken into confidence too to stem this rot." Apart from
the above, all principals lauded the move by Dr D P N Prasad, Bombay
Scottish principal, to invite the cyber cell to speak on cyber crime
and said that they would also be inviting the cell officials to
speak on the subject in their schools.
ADVICE TO PRINCIPALS
Pyschiatrist Dr Harish Shetty advises
principals faced with students writing foul things about them and
the school on internet sites Ignore it largely and it slowly dies
When provoked and make critical observations or issue threats directly
or indirectly the kids enjoy it. The aim is also to rattle teachers.
The net is a free world and makes all in authority or influence
and others vulnerable. Kids too share a love-hate relation with
teachers At one level the net is a safe space to vent frustrations.
Here feelings, not necessarily facts, are expressed. This is not
cyber crime as all kids are under 18 and empty threats do not work.
Amidst the junk, look for hidden messages. Such sites are popular
for a short time and the fad passes away soon Educating kids about
the negatives of the net and providing enough safe spaces within
school walls will bring down such postings.
Principals should educate teachers
not to be rattled by it. Do not humiliate children following such
an event and also lower the `humiliatory index' in your schools
Almost 60 Bombay Scottish students had contributed freely to a forum
on Orkut, alleging in their postings that the principal and his
deputy have ruined the image of the school