Dozens of students suspended for Facebook cyberbullying

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 11:39 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 15 at 12:29 PM

SEATTLE - More than 20 students at Seattle's McClure Middle School got suspended for joining a club on Facebook. A spokesperson for Seattle Public Schools says the Facebook page targeted one student in what she calls "cyberbullying."

"There is so many ways that kids get bullied in everyday life," said McClure parent Brook George, "and to have a particular student singled out on Facebook, the school needs to get involved."

McClure Middle School quickly responded to this latest case of cyberbullying, suspending 20 to 30 kids for "friending" or becoming "fans" of a Facebook page, maligning one particular student at the school.

"I'd feel crushed and disappointed that friends that go to my school would think of me that way," said 11-year-old Brodie George after hearing about the suspensions.

The school district says the principal discovered the page Tuesday night, spending Wednesday meeting with the students and their parents. She handed down suspensions ranging 2 to 8 days depending on each student's involvement with the page.

At least one parent said she agrees with the discipline.

"I would definitely want something done," said Brooke George, who has two students at McClure. "Even if my child joined something like that, I'd want something done to them to teach them this is not what you do to people."

The district told KING 5 the school will also have student assemblies - sort of a refresher course of why cyberbullying is bad.

The PTSA will also work with parents to teach them how to monitor what their kids are doing online.

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