Patrols stepped up over online messages

Fulwood Academy
Fulwood Academy
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Reassurance patrols have been stepped up at a Lancashire school after a man tried to ‘add’ pupils on a social networking site.

It is understood that a small number of pupils at Fulwood Academy in Blackbull Lane have been approached on 
Facebook by someone going by the name ‘James Pixel’ and that in some cases the person behind the profile has sent them messages.

It is not clear if it is actually a man making the friend requests and sending the messages but school bosses say they are “taking it seriously.”

Principal Richard Smyth said: “The academy is working with the police to ensure the safety of the students following information of Facebook activity to several of them.” Mr Smyth confirmed that the ‘activity’ surrounded a man trying to add pupils on Facebook.

He added: “The police are leading on this. We don’t know if it is a hoax but we have to take it seriously. We have to take safety very seriously.”

Angry parents claim they are not being updated by the school, but Mr Smyth said “there is nothing to update about.”

He said that staff and year seven pupils have been addressed. It is understood that it is year seven pupils who are being targeted. He also said that a letter about the matter has gone home to all parents.

Rumours suggesting a vehicle was outside the school girls have also been circulating. Mr Smyth said this is something he is “unable to confirm.”

One parent, who didn’t want to be named, said: “We don’t know if it is someone messing about or if it is actually a man.”

It is understood that a text message about the matter has been sent to all parents of children in year seven at the school. But parents of children in other years claim they have been left in the dark.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “Police are currently investigating allegations of threats being made to a small number of students from Fulwood Academy through social networking site Facebook. Officers are trying to ascertain the exact nature of these threats and gather all the relevant facts.

“There have been no reports of any incidents taking place at the school but reassurance patrols have been stepped up in the area.”