Anonymous social media accounts stir controversy at Webb City High School

Several social media sites calling out Webb City High School students create controversy for the district. The Twitter accounts were called “Confessions” and pointed to students by name attached to accusations.

The school district is calling the sites acts of cyber bullying and says it is working with the school’s resource officer to find out who is responsible.

Student body president Abigail Naaykens was at a debate tournament when she first noticed the confessional Twitter accounts calling out her fellow students by name, the content of which will not be repeated.

“Definitely was information that shouldn’t be on a social networking site,” says Naaykens.

By the time she got home five new accounts had been made.

Instead of getting mad, Naaykens says she decided to makes some tweets of her own.

“Webb City High School presidents feels that you should not judge people based on anything, and bullying is never anything that you should accept in a high school,” says Naaykens.

Webb City School District Superintendent Dr. Anthony Rossetti says, whether or not the cyber bullying occurs on campus, if they find out about it and it is affecting students they are going to investigate.

“The person that’s involved in this is doing something wrong and we believe there ought to be a consequence for what they’re saying and what they’re doing,” says Dr. Rossetti.

Unfortunately it might not be so easy to track the culprits according to Webb City Police Chief Carl Francis. He says though IP addresses can be traced, intent of harm must be proven, and issues of slander are saved more for the civil courts.

“Individuals who are out there making these accounts and throwing this maliciousness around, they want attention – if you just ignore them a lot of times they will quit doing it,” says Chief Francis.

Something Naaykens says is slowly starting to happen.

“Less and less people are following those organizations or those Twitterers back, and they are instead making sure they reply to those tweet and stick up for those students,” says Naaykens.

Naaykens says students have even created a counter account of their own, called @ConfessDub, posting only positive comments about students.

The Webb City School District says it will continue to investigate the case and find out who is responsible. They also say next year they will continue to expand their anti-bullying awareness campaign on campus.