Cyber bullying leads local schools to ban app

Cyber bullying leads local schools to ban app

NEW RICHMOND, OH (FOX19) - A local school district says a popular social media app has become a hotbed for cyber bullying and are banning students from using the app.

'Yik Yak' allows users to create anonymous posts on a message board that shows content within a 1.5 mile radius. Although the app carries a 17-and-up age rating, the New Richmond Exempted Village School District says it is a distraction for their high school students.

"Cyber bullying has already occurred. Many disparaging, ugly, vulgar comments are being made about students and staff using Yik Yak," said New Richmond High School Principal Mark Bailey.

The app has been banned from various college campuses and high schools nationwide for similar cyber-bullying concerns. A Mississippi student was even arrested earlier this month for making threats via Yik-Yak.

Student cell phone use at New Richmond High School, located in Clermont County, is permitted for academic purposes, but that four-year-old policy is being revised now that Yik Yak has become an issue, according to Bailey.

"Students seem to be on Yik-Yak when they should be attending to instruction and learning," said Bailey, who noted that the school owns enough tablets to eradicate the need to students using personal cell phones for school research.

"The use of Yik-Yak is now being monitored by New Richmond schools and students should know that nothing on the internet is completely anonymous. But we can only control what goes on in our buildings, we need parents to help monitor their students use of Yik-Yak," NREVSD Superintendent Bird said in a release on Tuesday.

The makers of Yik-Yak are reportedly aware of the criticism, saying they are looking into methods to geo-fence areas nationwide to make the app unusable on high school grounds.

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