Bemused teachers and pupils in a remote corner of East Yorkshire could have been forgiven for thinking their schools was literally “hell on earth.”
Because that’s how Hornsea School and Language College was labelled on Google Maps in what is thought to have been a student prank.
The secondary comprehensive’s name was changed to “Hornsea Prison & Hell on Earth” – it is believed a pupil submitted the name change to the search engine, which accepted the amendment.
As reported in Tes, a growing number of teachers are being targeted by digital-savvy pupils carrying out online pranks. They include a female teacher photographed after being stood up on a date set up by a pupil who had created a fake Tinder account.
Meanwhile, the school in Hornsea issued a statement saying the unauthorised listing had since been removed.
Place names can be suggested to Google by anyone but must be verified by business owners, who are the only people with permission to edit them.
The school said the identity of the person responsible for the prank was known.
Headteacher Steve Ostler said: “We recommend that all schools take ownership of their Google map icon to prevent any copy-cat behaviours.”
The BBC reported a Google spokesperson saying: “Allowing users to suggest information provides comprehensive and up-to-date info, but we recognise there may be occasional inaccuracies suggested by users.
“When this happens, we do our best to address the issue as quickly as possible.”