Parent reaches out about bullying concerns on “After School” app

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – A parent of a Kingsport City high school student reached out to News Channel 11 with concerns about a popular app, saying her child is being bullied.

The app, called “After School”, is anonymous, making it easy for children to say whatever they want about another student.

Parent Roni Kilgore says she wants that to change.

“I thought Facebook was bad enough but this takes it over the top,” Kilgore said.

She said her child is being bullied through the new app.

“I didn’t know about it, she didn’t know about it. Here all of a sudden there’s a text that says someone said something about you on ‘After School’. We didn’t know what it was.”

The app works by finding your location. You then choose which school you go to, then you have to allow it to search Facebook to prove you’re a student.

“It scrolls through all of your friends,” Kilgore explained, “and you pick so many of your friends that go to that school, and then it knows that you are a student there.”

Once you prove you’re a student, you can see the anonymous posts.

“Just a lot of bullying. It’s a lot of sexual content. It’s a lot of mean and viscous things,” she said.

Kingsport City Schools Assistant Superintendent, Andy True, says Dobyns-Bennett High School has reached out to parents, to make them aware of the app.

“We felt it was necessary to inform our community and also communicate with the developer about ways this was potentially having a negative impact on the Dobyns-Bennett school culture,” True said.

Dobyns-Bennett Principal, Dr. Chris Hampton, sent a letter to parents saying in part “simply put, this app is a vehicle for students to anonymously harass one another.”

“Technology right now is always evolving and it’s important, critical for students to know how education themselves and how to behave appropriately in this environment,” True continued.

Kilgore says she hopes parents will monitor their children’s use of social media so other children won’t be bullied.

“Talk to your kids,” she said, “and try to find out what they’re seeing and what they’re doing because this is just destroying America. It’s destroying our children.”

Kilgore says she contacted “After School” about some of the posts and they took down the ones she complained about.

But she says there are still a lot of inappropriate things on the app that are being looked over.

News Channel 11 reached out to the makers of the app as well, but have yet to hear back.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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