Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 29, 2014

Tri-Central students suspended over tweets

The investigation is ongoing into how many students were involved

By Lauren Fitch Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — SHARPSVILLE – Multiple Tri-Central High School students were suspended this week after harassing comments made on Twitter disrupted the school day Tuesday.

The investigation is ongoing into how many students were behind a Twitter account making negative comments about their peers. Acting assistant principal Sharon Fields could not give specifics on the name of the Twitter account or the content of the tweets, but she described them as “harassing, obscene, profane and intimidating.”

“The reason the school became involved was because it caused a major disruption in the school,” Fields said. “We had students threatening to fight and in verbal altercations with one another.”

Administrators sought local law enforcement’s advice on tracking down the creator of the Twitter account, which Fields believes has since been deactivated.

“It was a site someone had created under a bogus name and was using to post information they had gotten from other students,” said Principal Dave Driggs.

The tweets did not involve students from other schools, as far as they know, he added.

Fields said the tweets can be damaging to students and the school’s reputation. There is no statute of limitations on Indiana’s code prohibiting cyber-harassment, so other students connected to the incident through new evidence also will be disciplined.

“It’s so disruptive to our educational purposes that we have to deal with it swiftly and severely,” she said. “It is damaging to reputations, it’s damaging to schools, it’s damaging to individuals and to cliques. Kids hide behind the guise of the screen.”