16/05/2012 08:01 BST | Updated 16/05/2012 08:03 BST

Quit Facebook Or Be Expelled, Queensland Primary School Tells Students

Students at a primary school have been told by teachers to quit social networking site Facebook or be expelled.

In Harlaxton State School's newsletter, the principal said no student is to have a Facebook account as it violates the school's policy, the Brisbane Times reported.

Principal Leonie Hultgren argued that as Facebook legally requires users to be at least 13 years old, pupils at the Queensland school were breaking the law if they registered with the site as they would be providing false information to do so.

The school introduced the policy after a spate of cyberbullying.

"A student who contravenes the law or rule in a digital scenario may need to meet the Principal to discuss this issue and their continued enrolment at Harlaxton," she added.

"It may seem insignificant to lie about your age to gain access to a social media site but where does it stop? Will they then think it is okay to lie about their age to gain a licence?"

The same rules apply to Facebook in the UK but research conducted in 2011 revealed 43% of nine to 12 year-olds are registered to use the site.

Responding to the research, a spokesperson for Facebook said:

"Recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to implement age restrictions on the Internet and that there is no single solution to ensuring younger children don't circumvent a system or lie about their age.

"Just as parents are always teaching and reminding kids how to cross the road safely, talking about internet safety should be just as important a lesson to learn."

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