Cyber Bullying on Facebook

 

(Memphis) – For some students, school has become a dreaded horror.

Nothing to do with the lessons.

Everything to do with what is being whispered, rumored, and now posted on Facebook.

“It makes me angry and really just want to shut Facebook down all together,” says student Chayne Phillips.

What has Millington Central High 10th grader Chayne Phillips fed up is what’s being said about her on Facebook, supposedly by other Millington students.
  
There on the world-wide web, sexual comments about her.

“There is no limitation to what people can put out there,” says Chayne

She and other students found that out just days ago, when they say this graphic picture of a nude 17-year-old  Millington High student, surfaced on Facebook.

It’s so graphic, we had to blur the image.

“I don’t know what to say. This is disgusting. Who is doing this?” says mother Tina Pritchett.

There it was on the internet, along  with profane comments.  Chayne knows the 17-year-old.

“That’s really cruel. It hurts me. Makes me want to speak out for her,” says Chayne.

We also talked with the girl in the picture.

She doesn’t know who posted the photo, but she says it’s her face on somebody else’s body.

She says the fact many people think it’s real and have been commenting is hurtful.

Upset  Millington parents say they reported the photo to a teacher who contacted the principal.   But Shelby County School officials tell us, they never heard anything about the
nude postings until Channel 3 contacted them. 

Len Edwards who works for the Memphis Police Department says this  is Cyber Bullying and the nude picture of a minor makes it a felony.

“It’s child pornography basically what it is,” says Edwards.

Millington Police told us the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department is handling the case.   But a Sheriff’s Department spokesperson says they too had not seen the photo and were not investigating. It frustrates parents.

“I don’t know. I figure the school could do something about that. I would think,” says one mother.

“I would be quite belligerent right now if it was my daughter on there,” says Father Anthony Byer.

After our questions, Shelby County School Officials and the Sheriff’s Department say they are now trying to get to the bottom of the nude picture, who posted it, who knew about it and why nothing was done.

Cyber Bullying is something schools systems are aware of.

Shelby County Schools train teachers and counselors on how to identify bullying and get students to open up so teachers can take it the proper officials.

“Teachers are powerful. They can go over to that student say hey are you doing ok. Are you alright and really get to know them,” says Nancy Kelley, Counseling Specialist for Shelby County Schools.

Memphis School Board Member Stephanie Gatewood is working to beef up cyber bullying polices in city schools.

“At the end of the day, schools must be responsible How do you make sure the students are learning if they are afraid to go to school. If they are afraid to go in the bathroom,” says Gatewood.

 And if they are afraid of what people are saying and seeing.

“I am upset that these kids are being exposed this way,” says father Anthony Byer.

Shelby County school officials say  they are committed to getting to the bottom of this case. 

Chayne Phillips, whose mother by the way allowed her to talk to us on camera,  says she is so fed up, she has gotten rid of her Facebook page.

It brings up the question, Where is Facebook in all of this? Does it hold any responsibility? 

When we found out about the site, we  contacted Facebook to make them aware of the content, which at last check had finally been deleted.

 If you come across something like this, contact school officials, don’t stop until you get a response.

And if the content involves child nudity or  threats of violence, contact law enforcement immediately. News Channel 3 will fight to make sure something is done.

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