“Gossip Girl” Tweets About Bismarck High School’s Dirty Laundry
Bismarck High School recently found itself dealing with the residual impact of a rogue Tweeter whose targets were inside the school's walls. As reported by the Bismarck Tribune, a Twitter account with the name of "Gossip Girl" and the handle @Bisdirtylaundry surfaced earlier this month and took aim at a number of students by airing some of their dirty laundry across the Internet. Tweets ranged from gossip about sexual encounters to heavy drinking.
The account has since been taken down, but school officials are left dealing with the aftermath. "Gossip Girl" had almost 500 followers and tweeted about nearly 30 BHS students before the account was deactivated. Principal Michael Cary referred to the tweets as "the highest level of emotional bullying".
The school pursued investigating the identity of "Gossip Girl", but considering the anonymity of the account, have since reached a dead end. While the investigation seems unlikely to continue, the school is using the incident to remind students the power of social media. School Resource Officer Brett Anderson explains:
It’s a lot easier to say those things when you type it in than face-to-face. Some people say mean and hurtful things just to be mean and hurtful, but there is some misunderstanding that they can be held accountable.
Principal Cary echoes those sentiments:
It's probably fair to say that cyber-bullying is far more prevalent than the classic pushing-and-shoving type of bullying.
Some students, however, don't agree with the serious allegations. Parker Oswald, a BHS student who was a target of "Gossip Girl", offers this explanation:
I didn't really see it as a big deal. It was just high school rumors. I think most people saw it as a joke. But judging by some of the girls' reactions, they were kind of offended.
Considering the massive push against bullying in recent years, where do you stand on this issue? Was this just "kids being kids" or the very representation of cyber-bullying? Please leave your response below.
[Source: Bismarck Tribune]