When Cyberbullies get Expelled…

Four Sherwood Park junior high school students have been expelled and more than 20 have been handed out-of-school suspensions after creating fake Nexopia accounts of teachers and posting negative comments on the sites.

Nexopia is an interactive online community that is popular with teens. Users make profiles and can comment and rate other users on their profiles.

Four female students created profiles pretending to be two of the school’s teachers. Then more than 20 students posted comments on the profiles that were “derogatory, defamatory and libelous in nature” according to a statement released by Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS.)

According to Tanya Orr, spokesperson for the division, the four that were responsible for creating the profiles were expelled. Their future is now up to the board of trustees, who could send the students to another school, outreach program or a special needs school.The students who visited and posted on the site received suspensions that ranged from one to five days in length.

“EIPS does not tolerate student conduct that’s detrimental to the physical or mental well-being of others in the school,” said Superintendent Egbert Stang in the division’s statement.

Const. Rick Green, a school resource officer with the Strathcona County RCMP, said no charges will be laid as the problem was being dealt with at the school level.  He said RCMP did investigate the incident and it was the first time he has had to deal with such a matter.

“It was a first for me but hopefully a last,” said Green. “It was really disappointing to see.”

Green urged people not to use any type of communication with the intent to leave negative comments that could ruin a person’s reputation.

Sherwood Park News, Sherwood Park, AB

HA! “It was really disappointing to see”– if that isn’t an understatement.

Dear Teens,

The Web isn’t a Fort for you and your friends and your secrets.  It’s not a game where you make up your own rules.  And things that you say aren’t as temporary a something spoken aloud. 

When you post an inside joke, it’s no longer an inside joke.  When you post information about yourself– maybe one or two friends reply, but at least a hundred strangers (lurkers) have read it.

When you post or email pictures to one friend… you can GARUNTEE that picture is going to be passed to at least one friend, who then will pass it to at least another friend, and so on… down the line, until your entire school has seen your picture. 

Every action, every word, every sentence is read. 

So think before you decide to do anything.  Want to do something stupid like cyberbully? Well, good luck.  You’ll be busted and put through the ringer soon enough. 

Slowly now the Eye of Mordor has been focused on cyberbullying, and this is only the beginning.  The more stupid kids that engage in such activities, the more negativity will be unleashed PUBLICLY.  One day when you’re looking for a job… and your employeer does a background check you– it’s going to be common place to “google” your name.  And what will pop up?  Your nefarious behavior as documented by teachers, principals, parents, other teens, etc.  People don’t let people get away with vicious public behavior.  Good luck trying to explain that you were just being a “kid.”

It’s like tattooing inappropriate things to your skin– you can try and cover ’em up with clothes or make-up, and you can even try to get it removed.  No matter how hard you try, that black mark of cyberbullying isn’t going to go away, and you’re going to have to deal with it until the day you die.

Sound harsh? Good. Get a clue. 

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