Students stand up, rally against cyberbullying (Thinkstock)
Students stand up, rally against cyberbullying
Lexile

Students at a Vermont high school are winning praise. They are fighting back against online bullying. A counterattack was organized.

They asked the creators of the After School app to take their school's message board down. Then they launched a "Positive Post-it" campaign. Small notes offering praise and encouragement to fellow students were stuck to bulletin boards and windows around the school.

They also asked the tech giant Apple to remove After School from its App Store. An Apple spokesman said the company had agreed. The app was removed.

The app's intended use was to post anonymous messages about local goings-on. Instead, comments on Rutland High School's app were "negative, obscene," said Principal Bill Olsen.

Senior Eric Gokee was one of five students who spoke during morning announcements. He introduced himself by saying, "Some of you may know me as the biggest Jew at Rutland High School." He added in an interview a few days later he was voted as such in a survey on the app.

"I never downloaded the app. But I knew what was going on just from my friends. Everyone was talking about it," Gokee said.

Sophomore Molly Engels is president of a student group, Cyber You. It is devoted to responsible Internet use, "It was a big wakeup call to see so many people affected by it in a negative way," she said.

The Rutland students' anti-bullying efforts drew praise from Gov. Peter Shumlin.

John Halligan is an anti-bullying activist. He said he had spoken to Rutland students two years ago.

"I'm really proud of these kids," he said. He added that they had gotten the message to "stand up for one another and push back against the bullying behavior."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What reasoning did the app's co-founder use to avoid accepting responsibility for the abusive way his app was used?
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COMMENTS (22)
  • gabbyw-boo
    2/10/2015 - 11:21 a.m.

    Its nice to see the good in the world. In see that people are standing up in trying to prevent this bullying .

  • oliviaswmsteam1
    5/08/2015 - 08:35 a.m.

    I found this article sad that other kids will cyberbully their peers. Also stereotypes are awful in my opinion it's awful to place tags on people and treat them like garbage on line.

  • hannahswmsteam1
    5/08/2015 - 08:40 a.m.

    I really like how kids are finally standing up to cyber bullying. I wonder if there are still cyber bullies that go to that school. Will they get caught?

  • cadene-sam
    9/28/2015 - 10:38 a.m.

    This article told me that I should not cyberbully anyone. And I would also like to tell everybody to read this article.

  • brian-war
    10/20/2016 - 10:19 a.m.

    I think its good to stand up for your friends and classmates. Also I think they went all out against the app afterschool. I believe if every school could do this are schools would be better.

  • colton-war
    10/20/2016 - 12:27 p.m.

    I think that it is irresponsible to post mean things anonymously about people. I think that it is a good thing that the school decided to do something about the mean comments toward kids in the school. I also think that friends telling the principal about the site was the right thing to do.

  • jarrett1-war
    10/20/2016 - 12:30 p.m.

    I like your topic because it applies to something that is a current problem in our society. Also I like there campaign of positive post it to counter act the bullying. And I that the kids are going to help stop some of the bullying there community and help other to step up to.

  • naomi1-war
    10/20/2016 - 01:58 p.m.

    I read the article. It is cool how students like us could stand up to bulling. That is a great thing to have. Does any body have the percent rate of suicide because of this?!!!!!!!

  • Jared S.-mus
    10/22/2018 - 08:25 a.m.

    I like the story that people fight back cyber bullying

  • JennyH-dec
    11/07/2018 - 10:46 a.m.

    I am so glad people are standing up because cyber bullying is a giant problem in todays society. Hopefully, the more people who rebel against it, the better it will get.

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