Kirkbie Kendal School has taken extra steps to alert pupils and parents to what it claims are the potential dangers of a global Internet site used by millions of school children around the world, reports Caroline Beamish.

Staff at the school received a number of complaints claiming a personal web page within the site - a social space in which user profiles can be listed school by school - had been used inappropriately.

Deputy head teacher Patrick Earnshaw said: "There has been an incident in which a small number of students have received short, fixed term exclusions for posting inappropriate information on bebo.

"In having the material removed from the site it has become apparent that a lot of young people in Kendal, like other areas across the country, are using it - most to maintain friendships legitimately and communicate with each other.

"But this is a public website and people can post messages and engage in chat online with others without there being any way to tell whether they are genuine."

Mr Earnshaw added: "The Internet and mobile phones do present an opportunity for bullying and this is something we have addressed again in school this week. Fortunately, we have a lot of support from parents and the community and this situation was brought to our attention quickly this week.", which has 22 million users worldwide, was unavailable for comment at the time the Westmorland Gazette went to press. See this week's issue for full story.