Students Bullied Via Instagram Pictures and Comments

Published 02/19 2014 08:26AM

Updated 02/19 2014 10:39AM

BRYANT, AR -- Kassidy McCool says she and her friends were mortified when fake Instagram pages popped up calling them derogatory names. "All of a sudden someone was trying to follow me and it was 'Sl*ts underscore at Bryant and I was like that's immature," she says. After one odd follow request on Instagram, McCool and her friends were flooded with more."There were dozens of these pages not just about girls but boys," she says. Someone was snatching people's photos and uploading them to other pages with demeaning titles and mean-spirited messages.  When Kassidy saw her face, she says, "I was hurt, I was upset you don't know what to feel you were ashamed you don't know want everyone to see that especially comments that go with them."

She told Bryant High School administrators and found they were working on shutting down the pages with a school resource officer. But, in some ways, it seemed the damage was done. "Kids started to fight," says Kassidy. "It's like out of a movie you walk down the hall, everybody has seen these pages and they know what was said even if it's not true rumors spread fast," she says.

Kassidy, a senior with a 3.8 GPA, heading to play college softball, hopes people get to know the real her, and avoid allowing fake pages to ruin a student's image or dampen their spirits. "I think my friends are strong and know the truth and I hope everyone else does," she says.

The district respectfully declined our interview request but sent along a statement saying:"These social media sites hurt kids. We don't take bullying lightly. We will use every means necessary to get to the bottom of this and prevent it from happening again. Those responsible will be disciplined according to district handbook policy."-- Jay Pickering, Bryant High School Principal.

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