On the eve of Pink Shirt Day, a bullying Instagram account — believed to have been created by HD Stafford Middle School students — was shut down after a parent complained to the principal that a post suggested her child should kill themself.
In the post, from an account called ‘hdstaffordroasts,’ and bearing the HD Stafford logo, a writer makes fun of the student and then suggests, “Skip the acne cream buddy, you should just go for the razor blades.”
The target’s mother saw the post and immediately called the principal. The Instagram account was shut down on Tuesday night.
“Once the principal was notified about the Instagram account, he found it, and sent a message to those students he could see were writing on the account and the account disappeared,” said Ken Hoff, Langley School District spokesperson.
“He is following up best he can with those students. But there is no way of knowing who set up that account.”
The comments made were ‘the worst possible’ that can be made, Hoff said.
“We don’t take this lightly,” he said.
But given the situation was still developing, Hoff wasn’t sure whether a letter was going home to parents or whether further discussion was going to happen about this type of online bullying.
The victim’s mother said the account had been since at least last summer, with posters naming, belittling and making fun of fellow students.
“There are multiple pages called “HD Stafford rates” (and) “rumours,” she said.
It affects my [child] so much, and what if this were a different child and they committed suicide,” she said.
Hoff said schools are always sending a consistent message that bullying, whether on social media or in school, is not acceptable.
But trying to control what goes on in social media is difficult, as the internet is fluid and mostly anonymous.
Hoff pointed out that students now have it much worse than they did in years past.
“In the days before social media, if you were bullied at school, you could go home and the bullying ended.
“Now, bullying can go on 24/7 online.”