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High School Students Arrested for Bullying on Instagram

www.endcyberbullying.org

As technology continues to grow and new internet applications are created, the opportunities for cyberbullying cases continues to increase.

This week, two 16 year old Watertown High School students were arrested for their posts on Instagram, a popular image sharing website.

Police say that the students created an anonymous Instagram account and proceeded to post photos of classmates with the intent of embarrassing them online. These photos included harassing and hateful comments.

The two teenagers were charged with second-degree harassment and released into the custody of their parents. They were referred to Torrington Juvenile Court after several students and parents of the victims reported the page to school officials and the Watertown Police Department.

“We take all complaints of bullying, threatening and harassment seriously. Unfortunately, it seems that each year, students are being arrested for this type of crime,” said Deputy Chief R.J. Desena.

The Instagram account, which targeted certain kids at the school with embarrassing pictures and negative comments, has since been removed. The posts attacked the way fellow students dressed and their physical features.

Watertown Police used four search warrants to contact internet providers and obtained the identity of the teens who created the page from a mobile phone connected to the district’s WiFi network.

In a statement, Board of Education Chairman Guy Buzzannco said “We know that in a neighboring district in the past year, a student took her life after cyber bullying occured. We gave zero tolerance of it here in Watertown.”

Although many cases of cyberbullying go unnoticed, this was a case in which hopefully the two students learned their lesson about the harmful effects of cyberbullying.