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.”