School Takes Proactive Approach To Prevent Bullying Outside School And Online

MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Thirteen-year-old Hanna Kutche and 11-year-old sister, Hailey, say they use the Ask.FM app for the fun of asking and answering questions anonymously.

“There are things like what are the cutest couples and your favorite people, and just basic things,” explains Hanna.

But, the app has a more sinister side. Hanna has already suffered from the mean and insulting words posted under the cover of anonymity.

“They’ll say stuff like ‘kill yourself’ or ‘you’re ugly’ or ‘you’re so fat,’ and it just makes people feel really bad about themselves,” said Hanna as she scrolled through some of the mean comments posted on her profile.

Mother, Miranda Miller, says she and her husband try to monitor the questions and answers on apps like Ask.FM. But admits, the abundance of social media platforms makes it difficult.

“Not just this app, but there’s so much more out there that they could be involved in that I don’t know about.   It’s difficult to always know what they’re doing every single day, especially when it comes to their phones,” said Miller. “I am constantly worrying about that.”

At Liberty Middle School in Madison, teachers and administrators are taking a new approach to addressing bullying.

Principal Nelson Miller says it starts with the students’ character and making social media a positive space.

“We’ve had a collection of parents, teachers and our students come together and come up with this idea for this Word of the Week Instagram challenge,” said Nelson.

Each week students capture character-building words like kindness, courage, respect, or courtesy in action, by posting photos on Instagram.

Brown says they can’t control what students do on social media once they leave campus.   But he hopes by encouraging social media positivity and responsibility, students will refrain from cyber-bullying.

“We want to make sure our students are not only prepared academically, but also that they can go out and have an impact on society and display good character,” said Brown.

4 comments

  • MIkerrr

    “there’s so much more out there that they could be involved in that I don’t know about, because it’s difficult to always know what they’re doing every single day, especially when it comes to their phones,” said Miller.”

    Perhaps if you didn’t let your 13 and 11 year old daughters have iPhones your life as a parent wouldn’t be so “difficult.”

  • Heather Skipper

    What he said. If you’re not old enough to pay your cell phone bill, you have no business owning one. Our reach has exceeded our grasp and now we are suffering for it. Technology has gotten the better of us, it just made bullying easier.

  • Speed racer

    That is what my parents told me when I was 14 ( now 30 ). If I wanted a cell phone tha I can go get a job buy yourself one. Or course that was in a time that there were pay phones around and Facebook, twiiter, myspace, instagram……. weren’t around.

    If you notice one thing about kids these days you will see that they don’t hesitate to say mean things when they don’t have to see the pain in that person face. Also makes them anti social. People would rather type on a phone now rather talk to someone.

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