One 17-year-old befriended other teens from his school on Facebook. Contrary to the kind of camaraderie or friendship you’d think the new bond might inspire, he turned around and threatened his new “friends” just days after adding them.
The irony of the whole thing? The evening before the bully’s arrest, parents at that high school attended a school-sponsored meeting about how to protect their children from cyberbulling. Sadly, it seems they had to put their learnings into practice too soon.
The bizarre story took place in Long Beach, California. The Milkman High School student was arrested on Thursday morning, charged with criminal threats and obstruction to justice, and then released to his parents. His computer has been taken away, according to the Associated Press. We sure hope his parents have suspended, deactivated, or taken over his Facebook account as well.
Los Alamitos-SealBeach Patch adds that the first to tell the police about the threats was a teenage girl, who also explained her friends were receiving strange messages on Facebook from a classmate. The police concluded all those messages were coming from the same boy.
Despite heightened awareness from school officials and parents, teenagers using Facebook to do harm continues to be a common occurrence. One of the unsettling examples took place in Nebraska earlier this year, when a group of girls organized a Facebook event with the self-explanatory title, “Attack A Teacher Day.” A couple of months ago, I also wrote about a teenager who allegedly murdered his Facebook friend over a love interest.
Do you talk to your children about how to protect themselves or stay alert on Facebook?