Parents warn about app that may promote bullying

Could an app designed to prevent bullying be causing it instead? That’s the claim in one school district.

The app is called After School and it allows kids to post comments anonymously.

Some parents and school leaders call it horrible and want to warn families about it. The app isn't new. It's actually in thousands of schools across the country.

According to its website -- it's designed to give kids a safe space to talk about whatever without fear.

The problem is, many parents and teachers feel it simply opens the door to negative and malicious behavior.

On the app’s website, it claims to be an outlet for teens where they can share anything without being judged, or identified.

One mom says it's actually being used to bully and that her daughter was the target when someone started asking questions about her daughter's sexuality using the app.

"She didn't understand why all of a sudden they were asking her that," said Teresia Sloan.

At this point school officials stepped in and sent an email to all parents warning them about the After School app.

Educators said because people can post anonymously there is no accountability.

The school urged parents to encourage kids to delete the After School app.

"People are already very brave behind their screens so once you add the option of anonymity, words can become very fierce," said Carrie Sanchez, Principal at Port Clinton Middle School.

We reached out to the app creators. The communications manager tells us in part, “There is a zero tolerance policy for bullying. Students can and are encouraged to remove posts that violate that policy. Posts are also monitored by moderators. Any violators may be banned and blocked from the app."

The After School app spokesperson says that 99% of the posts are positive in nature.

Educators say it is a good idea to monitor all the apps your kids have and if you have concerns talk to them and even your local school district.

About the Author...
Rebecca Regnier
Rebecca Regnier is an award winning journalist. She hosts a television show called Rebecca Regnier’s Full Plate and writes a weekly newspaper humor column.
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