Butler students use Instagram to cyber bully classmates

Butler students use Instagram to cyber bully classmates

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by RICHARD DEVAYNE / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @richardwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:33 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tina Burney has a daughter who attends Butler High School, and she said the lesson they both learned yesterday was shocking.

"It’s disturbing because she's my child,” said Burney from her home. "When they fall you can pick them off the ground, but when they're dealing with something like this, what can you do?"
 
Burney said one of her daughter's classmates saw a post on Instagram, that showed a picture of Burney's daughter with a sexually derogatory comment beneath her picture.

It was one of several about students at Butler High School. The posts were made by a student. Other students commented on the posts, some of which led NBC Charlotte to other Instagram pages also showing negative comments about students.
 
"I think that the student should be punished. If I have the right, I will press criminal charges as well," Burney said. "Somebody has to be a voice to this because it has to stop."
 
There is a Charlotte-Mecklenburg code of conduct for student behavior off-campus that covers activities like posts on Facebook and Instagram, and other forms of social media as it pertains to bullying.

But unfortunately, with the immediacy of the internet, it is virtually impossible to stop students who don't think before they post. That’s why the school district is working on creating an environment that makes it harder for this type of behavior to exist.

"These pictures have floated around. These comments have been going around for a while. I think a lot of kids become part of the problem by forwarding these text messages, commenting on these type of posts, and it just keeps it going, and going and going," said Kenny Lynch, CMS Police Department. "Many times -- as we have seen when a parent brings it to our attention, many times the majority of the school has already been aware."
 
That's why the district said it's important for parents to monitor their children's activity as they use the Internet and continue to teach responsible actions each time they venture onto the Web.

"I know you can't run around and stalk every child's page but something has to be done," Burney said.

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