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School, police looking for bully in Dixon

Insulting Facebook page ‘disgusting,’ Grady says

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 1:15 a.m. CST
Caption
Mike Grady

DIXON – Bullying via social media sites has reached a particularly bad level, Dixon High School’s principal said Tuesday.

Dixon Public Schools is in talks with Dixon Police Department about what can be done to track down the student behind a Facebook page that claims to divulge secrets but mostly just tosses out accusations and insults.

The school is taking the site seriously, Principal Mike Grady said, “because of its inflammatory nature and disruption to our school process.”

“There’s no good phrase,” Grady said. “They’re disgusting.”

School officials and the police department have been contacted about the bullying.

Reagan Middle School Resource Officer Tony Quadraro has been notified about four different Facebook pages this week, he said.

If the person behind the page is unidentified, the school is considering disciplinary measures, including suspension or a recommendation for expulsion. Expelling a student would require school board approval.

The police department is also “exploring its options,” which could include charging the individual with cyber stalking, a felony that carries 1 to 3 years in prison.

“[It’s] a very serious charge, but our administration is committed to the community and we would investigate any reports that come in,” Quadraro said.

The department then would consider, on a case-by-case basis, whether an arrest is appropriate, he said.

This is the department’s first foray into investigating harassment on a social media site, Quadraro said.

In the meantime, Facebook has been asked to take down the page. Grady and Quadraro encourage concerned residents to send their own messages to Facebook about this and any other pages they come across.

Quadraro also said residents can call police, 815-288-4411, to report any illegal or harassing activity. No official complaints have been filed about this page, he said.

Dixon High School and Reagan Middle schools have brought in speakers to educate students about bullying and Internet safety.

A speaker from Rachel’s Challenge, a nonprofit created in memory of the first victim in the Columbine High School shooting, was at both schools about 2 weeks ago.

 

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