After school app not so “anonymous”

Shealyn Mandle, Co-Editor

Voices stirred on Friday afternoon while all students listened to Principal Mark Suchowski come over the PA to make an important announcement. Many kids knew what he was going to talk about, others did not. After the announcements and consequences were made clear, everyone started talking about the “After School App.”

“The After School App is a way that kids can go post anonymously about other people from their school on a social media site,” junior Delaney Vanleuven said. “Some of it is actually very mean but other posts are just inappropriate or funny. When someone posts something mean on the sight it could potentially hurt them.”

It is quite hard to understand what the point of this website is. Whatever it was meant to be, was probably far from what it became. The app caused many damaging problems to individuals and to whole schools. Last Monday night, a shooting threat posted on the app was brought to Brandon high school’s attention. The school implemented higher security, sent out a letter, made announcements and worked with the owners of the app to find out who made the threat. Many other schools dealt with these problems and reacted the same way, including ours.

“In fourth hour Mr. Suchowski talked a little about the app and the problems it has caused,” senior Cody Stokes said. “He also advised us to delete the app if we had it and to not post anything on it because there could be long term consequences for the people the authorities trace the posts back to. Our parents got phone calls and we had to bring a letter back to them as well.”

The after school app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times. Hundreds of schools were having problems with the app and therefore it was taken off of the iTunes store but later reinstated with a 17+ age restriction. Even with the restriction, there will continue to be malicious posts that will leave many hurt. It is important to know some things when dealing with apps like this: Know how to block/report a person and call for help if needed, you are never completely anonymous and you are responsible for your behavior. It is important to spread these safety tips and keep others out of harms way.