App brings cyber bullying to a whole new level - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

App brings cyber bullying to a whole new level

Posted: Updated:
Oxford School District Supt. Brian Harvey says the Yik Yak app allows students within a five-mile radius to send and post messages to the app anonymously. Oxford School District Supt. Brian Harvey says the Yik Yak app allows students within a five-mile radius to send and post messages to the app anonymously.
Last week, the superintendent of Oxford School District sent a letter to the editor of the Oxford Eagle warning parents about Yik Yak. Last week, the superintendent of Oxford School District sent a letter to the editor of the Oxford Eagle warning parents about Yik Yak.
  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Heartland Cooks 8/1/14 - Derrick's Grilled Pizza

    Heartland Cooks 8/1/14 - Derrick's Grilled Pizza

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:18 PM EDT2014-08-01 16:18:51 GMT
    This week’s Heartland Cook has his hands full. Derrick Geringer has three hungry kids and a lot of leftovers. Unfortunately, those three kids generally don’t like leftovers – so Derrick has had to get creative. He’s transformed lack-luster leftovers into pizzazz on a plate. To make this dish even more unique, Derrick cooks his Chili-cheese dog Bacon Cheeseburger pizzas on the grill.Ingredients:Chili Cheese Dog Pizza:Pizza Crust1 cup canned chili1 cup shredded cheddar cheese4 hotdogs (sliced)...
    This week’s Heartland Cook has his hands full. Derrick Geringer has three hungry kids and a lot of leftovers. Unfortunately, those three kids generally don’t like leftovers – so Derrick has had to get creative. He’s transformed lack-luster leftovers into pizzazz on a plate. To make this dish even more unique, Derrick cooks his Chili-cheese dog Bacon Cheeseburger pizzas on the grill.Ingredients:Chili Cheese Dog Pizza:Pizza Crust1 cup canned chili1 cup shredded cheddar cheese4 hotdogs (sliced)...
  • Mosquito collection test positive for West Nile in southern Illinois

    Mosquito collection test positive for West Nile in southern Illinois

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:15 PM EDT2014-08-01 16:15:57 GMT
    Health officials in Franklin County say mosquitoes collected in the county have tested positive for the West Nile virus.
    Health officials in Franklin County say mosquitoes collected in the county have tested positive for the West Nile virus.
  • Brookport Bridge opens on Friday ahead of schedule

    Brookport Bridge opens on Friday ahead of schedule

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-08-01 16:05:13 GMT
    The US 45 Ohio River Brookport Bridge between Kentucky and Illinois is expected to reopen to traffic by 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1.
    The US 45 Ohio River Brookport Bridge between Kentucky and Illinois is expected to reopen to traffic by 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1.
OXFORD, MS -

(WMC-TV) – At least one Mid-South school district is having problems with a new app that brings cyber bullying to a whole new level.

Last week, the superintendent of Oxford School District sent a letter to the editor of the Oxford Eagle warning parents about Yik Yak.

Oxford School District Supt. Brian Harvey says the Yik Yak app allows students within a five-mile radius to send and post messages to the app anonymously. In doing so, he says kids are getting their feelings hurt.

"The app's promise of being anonymous has opened up a Pandora's box of trouble for our high school: malicious comments, hurtful statements, and untruths posted anonymously by our students and others in the community. These posts are vicious and hurtful, and there is no way to trace their source," the letter to the editor said. Read the full letter here.

Action News 5 was told some of the messages were so hurtful in Oxford that many students were in tears at school. 

"They all have iPhones, and they seem to all have the latest apps," said Harvey. "Technology has advanced to the point where we're always playing catch up. We'll never get ahead of it."

With new apps, spreading rumors and hurtful messages has never been easier. But Harvey is warning parents like Sherri Spragins about the new app.

"My teenagers were all at the house and they were talking about it," she said. "They might put something out there that could really hurt someone's feelings, or just say something that's untrue, spread rumors, and not really have to be accountable for what they say."

Harvey wrote a letter to the paper, and posted a parent warning to the district's website and Facebook pages.

"We need to use peer pressure for something good, and if we have one, or two, or 50 students who stand up to this, that's our best chance to get rid of it," he said.

Parents are getting the message, and passing it on to their kids the old fashioned way, through conversation.

Harvey said the school district is working with the developer to get what's known as a 'geo-fence' around the school that would block the app. Shelby County said the following regarding the app:

We have no reports involving this app. Also, cell phone use is not allowed during school. We don't have any knowledge of what students are doing in their free time.

Get the latest from Action News 5 anytime: iPhone | iPad | Android | SMS Alerts | Email Alerts | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. 
Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.