WALLACE High is taking the initiative on safe use of the
internet by young people after the father of one of its Year 11
pupils who committed suicide at the start of the
summer said he believed influences she came under while
using a social networking website contributed to the tragedy.
Principal Mrs. Anne McBride told the school's
recent annual prize distribution an information evening on the
subject for par- ents was due to take place at Wallace later
She also said the school's website gave
details of an ICT policy containing internet guidance for
parents with recommendations for clear family internet rules.
Mrs. McBride re-iterated some of the points
made by Mr. Ian McAllister in the wake of his daughter
Georgina's death at her family home in Annahilt on June 9.
She said teachers and parents 'may be uneasy
at times' about the "wide and frequent use of networking sites
by young people.
"But if the truth be told, many of us are
ignorant of the full extent of their appeal, and perhaps also
their power," she continued. "It is vital teachers and parents
inform themselves fully about network sites in order to provide
young people with adequate protection from cyber-bullying,
stranger danger or access to unsuitable material."
The Principal also said Georgina's sudden
death 'highlighted the vital importance' of 'a strong pastoral
support system' for all the school's students.
She recalled how the teenager's tragic
passing had 'shocked and deeply saddened' everyone at Wallace,
highlighting the need for 'an environment where the sense of
community is strengthened by the sharing of problems'.
Mrs. McBride paid a warm tribute to Georgina,
referring to her "outgoing personality, sense of humour and love
of sport. "Our thoughts continue to be with her parents and
brother as they try to come to terms with their loss," she
"Georgina is very much missed by us all. Her
tragic death, as with that of a number of other young people in
recent months, has brought heartbreak to family, friends and
Following the death of his daughter Mr.
McAllister urged parents to monitor their teenager's internet
He explained he had taken a close look at her
pages on the popular BEBO networking site and found some of what
he read 'disturbing'.