What started out an act of teenage cyber bullying has turned into a much more positive story for Whitko High School. According to parents and students, last week an anonymous Facebook account was created under the alias of “Real Wildcat.” It specifically targeted students with malicious comments through the online forum.
Sources claim the user of the “Real Wildcat” account left several hurtful posts about fellow student’s through the social network. The user of the account did not only insult students through their posting, but also tagged the students so that it would appear on the student’s account for the victim and their friends to see. The account was quickly taken down or deleted through either Facebook or the creator of the account following the posting of the comments.
Although the account was deleted, the negativity surrounding the comments placed by “Real Wildcat” lead to concerned Whitko students sending a more positive message through the same online social forum. Shortly after the “Real Wildcat” incident took place, a new anonymous Facebook account titled “Real Whitko Wildcat” was created. The new account left several positive comments about fellow students in an attempt to cast off the negativity surrounding the original anonymous account.
While the “Real Wildcat” postings were seemingly over, many parents and students still felt concerned with the negative effect the posts may have had and the opportunity for the posting to begin again. Whitko High School administration was notified of the activity and immediately set out to determine the source and nature of the posting.
According to Whitko Community Schools’ Superintendent Steven R. Clason, school officials questioned individuals who were identified with various postings. The school believes that most of the conversation occurred amongst students who were “goofing around by trying to get a rise out of each other” during a student lunch hour.
Due to the recent tragedies inside and outside of the Kosciusko County communities, many parents were concerned with the possibility that targeted students may attempt to retaliate in harmful or violent ways.
According to Clason, “We had outside authorities involved to make sure that our feeling that no threat was present was reasonable from their standpoint. Many students were, of course, concerned and over a couple of days things settled back to normal. Parents that were concerned talked to Mr. Parker, our principal, and were assured that things were being addressed.
“We did limit cell phone access for a while during and after the investigation since most of this was a lunch hour chat that got out of hand,” Clason added. “The administration has been talking to all the students as well as those specifically involved. We, like everyone else, are sensitive to the rash of negative things in our local and national schools.”
When asked about the positive postings placed by the “Real Whitko Wildcat” account Clason stated, “This negative turned into a positive because our students decided to post positive things. It’s just like Whitko students to do that. They care about each other – even those that may have let their negative postings get out of hand.“