Teenagers at some of Perth's most prestigious private schools are maliciously accusing each other of graphic sexual acts and drug use on Facebook, sparking a crackdown on cyber-bullying by schools.
The Facebook page Western Suburbs Confessions, which more than 3000 people had joined, and another site called Scotch Confessions, were shut down on Tuesday after complaints to Facebook administrators by schools and students.
The West Australian viewed the pages before they were closed. Most of the postings contained sexually explicit allegations and were abusive. The comments were too tasteless to publish.
A 16-year-old girl who was accused of taking drugs on a related site told The West Australian of her distress at reading the allegations online. "They wrote about me saying that I had deleted my Facebook because I had photos of myself snorting lines which is not true at all," the girl said.
She said cyber bullies set up a Facebook page to accuse one of her friends of performing sex acts at school.
Pages about students from Hale School, St Mary's Anglican Girls' School and Santa Maria College also were removed from Facebook yesterday. Students from other schools, including Presbyterian Ladies' College, Methodist Ladies' College, John XXIII College, St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls, Wesley College, Christ Church Grammar School and Corpus Christi College, have become "friends" with the Facebook pages.
Scotch College last night confirmed it had complained to Facebook because pages portrayed the school in an inappropriate manner.
"Scotch College is aware of the increased use of social networking sites to spread derogatory rumours and comments," the school said in a statement.
Anne Fry, principal of John XXIII College, said cyber bullying was treated the same as other forms of bullying.
"These websites seem to have a short life span," she said. "The names change frequently but I am aware in recent weeks there have been sites which are grouped around schools or suburbs.
"From time to time, the college has been made aware of breaches of the policies through our own monitoring of our network, parents and responsible students who show great maturity in coming forward to report offensive sites."
PLC principal Beth Blackwood said she was told of the Western Suburbs Confessions Facebook page on Tuesday but had "no reason to believe it was constructed by PLC students".
"We do investigate when students' social networking impinges on their day-to-day school life, we do intervene and discuss these issues with these students on a personal basis," Ms Blackwood said.
She said social media websites were blocked during school hours and what occurred outside school hours was the responsibility of parents.