CLINTON — Clinton School District officials and parents identified a Facebook webpage they say is an example of cyber-bullying by local students and worked quickly Thursday to get it taken down.
Clinton Superintendent Deb Olson said she received several emails from parents Thursday morning about the page that was critical of some students at Washington Middle School. She said the staff began working immediately to get the page removed from Facebook and find out who was involved.
“Our goal (was) to get it down as soon as possible because the comments were ‘hurtful’ to many people,” she said.
School leaders put out the word for people to request that Facebook take down the webpage, which was done later Thursday.
The superintendent said the district will use the situation as a learning tool to teach students about the type of animosity that can grow out of cyberbullying. There will also be consequences for the students who started the page, called “WMS rejects,” based on the student conduct policy, Olson said.
She said while the school does not have control of what students do outside of school hours, she was pleased there were many people who contacted school leaders about the page. She said she appreciated the number of people who are looking out for the students.
Washington principal Brian Kenney said through a collaborative effort of parents, students, staff and Clinton Police Department, the school’s administrators and student resource officer identified the students responsible for the Facebook postings that made many inappropriate comments about other students.
Kenney said Officer Shane Haskell investigated the incident, interviewing those involved and gaining an admission of responsibility.
The principal said they were glad to bring the issue to a quick closure, and will use the experience to talk to students and staff about bullying and “to bring this type of activity to a stop.”
A review of the page indicates it was established Wednesday morning, but it was no longer accessible Thursday night.