I won't dwell on the horror of what these kids wrote, it's pretty appalling and I would hope the Police do prosecute them. However, the principal of the school made an incredible statement utterly missing the point of what is happening. Here it is:
Sidney Stringer Academy’s principal, Wendy Thomas, said Facebook was an increasing concern for schools. She said the children have been told to remove the comments from the site.
She said: ‘Darius is the victim of bullying. All the students involved have told me they did not mean what they said but they will learn a hard lesson from this.
‘Facebook is a big concern for schools and we urge all parents to monitor what their children say on the site. As soon as the school was notified about the comments on Monday we interviewed the pupils.Facebook was an increasing concern for schools? Qué? What about 6 illiterate, hate-filled children threatening another child with knives? That would be my primary concern.
Facebook did not threaten this child. I remember at school a massive older kid organising a fight with the smallest kid in my year. We didn't have mobiles, but the small kid was bricking it by the time the fight came around that afternoon, he'd got the message about what was going to happen to him loud and clear (he actually acquitted himself pretty well in the end but that's by the by).
Facebook does make it a little easier to send the message, as do mobiles, but bullying was just as pernicious and nasty 20 years ago as it is now. The difference is that no-one takes responsibility for it, neither parents nor teachers. Wendy Thomas has found an out, a way to escape facing the appalling behaviour going on at her school, and she's jumped on it. You could not send a worse message.