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Center Grove High School students find new way to tackle cyber bullying

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It’s a unique approach to a common problem in our schools. Students have found a new way to take on cyber bullying. Instead of attacking each other online, a group of students are building up their classmates.

There are Secret Santas and secret admirers, but there’s a secret someone at Center Grove High School who is making Makayla Wildey and Bree Martlage smile. The juniors found their pictures on an Instagram account called ‘Center Grove Anti Burn Book’ and ‘CG Support’.

“One conversation with her and you’ll become immediate best friends.”

That’s how one poster described Martlage.

“Get to know Makayla and you won’t regret it.”

Wildey was surprised when she read her post.

“When I first saw it, I was really confused because normally, people aren’t that nice,” she said.

Both accounts were created shortly after a Franklin High School burn book on the social media site made headlines and sparked a police investigation. Teens were tagged with hurtful comments — some were even threats telling students to kill themselves.

It’s a form of bullying Center Grove High School junior Jesse Harbert says is nothing new.

“It’s more like a deceiving type of bullying. People can get away with it,” he said. “People can get away with it. You can’t really confront them. If you do, you get shunned for it.”

But for the first time, someone behind the smartphone is turning around that putting-down pattern. Basically, anyone can tag the anti-burn book account and send a nice message to a friend or a classmate. The post is then shared among hundreds of followers.

“We’re basically just one big family,” said Wildey. “Everybody is friends with each other. We don’t try to put people down, we try to pick people up.”

“I just think it’s a really good thing,” said Martlage. “Whoever did it, keep going.”

2 comments

  • sharon

    in the 70's, bullying was not considered a problem… it was explained as 'kids being kids'. many of us who endured the bullying did so on the adage of 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me'. that's how we were raised. we conditioned ourselves to ignore 'words'. today , in a world where what other people say and think about us is way too public, ignoring words is difficult. we need to teach our children that what other people say or think about them is not significant. they need to understand that it is what family and true friends that matters. way too many young people and consuming themselves through what people say or think about them. they are not looking at the 'importance' of the persons making the comments… Bullying has been going on for many decades. it is only recently that it has become an issue. i endured years of bullying. grade school, jr high, high school….. the people who did the bullying are now friends of mine….. many have apologized for the way they treated me….. when i was a kid, there wasn't a 'name' for it… now there is…. connect with your children…. if they tell you "don't tell anyone it will only get worse" that's a clue… tell anyone and everyone who can stop it.

  • Mark

    Monitoring everything kids do on the web is the key. That is the only way to know if your child is a bully or a victim himself. I watch who my son is talking to on Facebook using an app called Qustodio that allows me to view the profile pictures of accounts that he engages with. Such monitoring is for their own good. Qustodio is a nice app. Just Google for it.

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