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Monday, April 28, 2014

Staples Senior Details Cyber-Bullying for NY Magazine

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A short but hurtful spate of cyber-bullying at Westport’s Staples High School last week was detailed today by senior Will Haskell on New York Magazine’s website.

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Will Haskell: Staples is a “complexly hierarchical place.” Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

Headlined “A Gossip App Brought My High School to a Halt,” Haskell’s article tells what happened when a phone ap called Yik Yak swept through the school on Thursday, touching off a wave of anonymous texts that left many students in tears.

“In the course of a few periods, the most private, deplorable thoughts of the Staples student body had been put into writing,” he wrote. “And the worst part was that no one knew who was writing this stuff.”

Setting the scene for readers, Haskell, president of Staples Players, described Staples this way: “It’s a good, medium-sized public school in Westport, Connecticut. We don’t walk through metal detectors on our way to class, and the main job of our school ‘security force’ is to hand out tickets when students’ Jeeps and Audis park in staff parking spaces.

“John Dodig, our genial and openly gay principal, greeted my freshman class in 2010 by welcoming us to a school that was ‘different,’ a school that rose above petty high school malice. And as a senior, I’ve found Staples to be a happy, functional, though complexly hierarchical place.”

By Friday, the app had been disabled through efforts of school administrators, but the damage had been done.

“By the end of the week Yik Yak had been blocked on Staples property, but it also had raised $1.5 million in funding,” Haskell said.

“So I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a competitor to Yik Yak on everyone’s phones next week. Are we just supposed to ignore it? I see no solution in sight, and personally, I am thrilled to be graduating in a few weeks.”

Posted 04/28 at 09:39 PM 

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