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School Fines Students for Facebook Accounts

The Beth Rivkah all-girls school in New York has decided to take a stand against students using the popular social site Facebook. Girls were given the choice to either delete their accounts and pay a $100 fine or be expelled.

The Jewish Orthodox school in Brooklyn has opted to practice the Jewish Orthodox code of modesty, or Tznius, which they argue was on the decline due to Facebook. Jewish paper the Algemeiner spoke to several students about the ultimatum; all of the students chose to remain anonymous.

"People on the board said it's not proper for us to have Facebook because girls might be talking to boys on Facebook or they might be putting up immodest pictures," one girl told Algemeiner.

"It's not a modest thing for a Jewish girl- or man or woman or student or father to be on," Rabbi Benzion Stock, head administrator at the school, told New York Daily News. "There is a lack of privacy and dignity."

"There is nothing new about Beth Rivkah's Facebook policy, which is over two years old," Shaindel Teichtel, the school principal told Algemeiner. "In keeping with the highest quality standards of educating our students, within the context of a pure and sacred Torah (Jewish law) environment."

All 33 students in violation of the agreement signed at the beginning of the school year have decided to pay the $100 fine and take down their pages; the fine will be returned to them at the end of the year, according to Daily News.

Students' reactions were mixed, as some argued that they are in charge of the page and can decide for themselves what to post.

"Some people object because of modesty, but I still don't agree with that," sophomore Sarah Freid told the Daily News.

"If I post a picture, I don't just send it to everybody. I don't do bad things online. I'm friends with my mom," she added.

Others, though, agree with the school's enforcement of the policy.

"The principal is right. It's about modesty. It's part of our religion," argued Tonia Rosenthal. "All my friends who had them took them down. We have everything we need. We already have our friends and our Gmail accounts," she explained.

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