Words of advice from magistrate
BARBADOS’ LAWS have evolved to deal with misuse of the Internet.
This revelation came from Magistrate Barbara Cooke-Alleyne during an address to students at Bayley’s Primary School graduation ceremony last Tuesday at Sunbury Plantation House, St Philip.
“You can be charged at 11 for bullying someone on the Internet, be it by hate text or sexting or sharing of nude or sexual pictures,” said Cooke-Alleyne.
She also warned the graduands that as they entered their new school environment, it would take them a couple of weeks to see who was nice or not.
“Your projects at secondary school will require that you surf the Net to collect information . . . it can also be used for entertainment and for pornography and other illegal activity,” she cautioned.
The magistrate said she had seen an upsurge in fights due to messages and comments.
“I’m sure each of you knows about Facebook. Be careful in putting your pictures and personal stuff on this site – anyone can go and get access to your pics. Be careful in adding friends.”
She also told the students not to talk to strangers in cyberspace because it was not as harmless an activity as they might imagine.
“It can be a danger to share your thoughts and activities with a stranger . . . . The innocent information you give may lead them to knowing your parents’ goings and comings.”
The magistrate also told the boys and girls to avoid having sex at an early age.
“If you become a parent while at secondary school, it will be impossible to follow your star. You need to respect yourself and choose to abstain from sex.”
She also encouraged parents to find creative ways of disciplining their children instead of flogging.
“It is time we as a country choose these alternative methods of discipline,” she said.