High school has first case of cyber bullying

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) – In the past school bullying happened on the playground but now it's happening online.  On the second day of school a Kennett student was suspended for cyber-bullying.

"The issue here is off campus bullying brought on campus," said Kennett High School Principal Ed Siebenhuener.

Last week's case of cyber bullying is tied to another incident that Siebenhuener said happened between the two students on the same day.  This example is proof that these cases will be taken very seriously.

"The age of technology is upon us.  Kids are using the Internet that is the way they converse to each other," said Siebenhuener.

Siebenhuener said a student might comment to another student on a social networking site like facebook and in a half hour thousands can read that comment..

"Those things that are being done at home can be brought here to school as well or affect kids here at school," said Siebenhuener.

Students and their parents need to realize these actions lead to consequences.

"If you were going to bully someone you would do it in person.  Now you can sit in a dark corner of your house as a faceless person and bully someone," said Siebenhuener.

At Kennett High School there are two computer labs and some computers in the library.  However, students do not have access to any social media sites because all of those sites are blocked on campus.

"We feel pretty confident it won't happen here on campus," said Siebenhuener.

Teachers and administrators attended a seminar before school started on cyber bullying.  Since this is so new they will take each case as it comes.

"To have a safe environment there has to be zero tolerance as far as bullying is concerned," said Siebenhuener.  They also know this case won't be their last.  Their goal now is to inform students and their parents about what will happen if they participate in cyber bullying.

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