Dunkerton Schools address spat of online bullying - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dunkerton Schools address spat of online bullying

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DUNKERTON (KWWL) -

Dunkerton Schools administrators are battling an online scourge. It's a Twitter page called Dunkerton Confessions, but it's not the confessional you would expect.

It's full of tweets that range from sexually explicit to racial slurs, and often names current students.

Principal Justin Urbanek said they've seen several similar pages appear online. The district has had them shut down, but still new ones keeps popping up.

"Twitter, Facebook, those things -- they're a problem in schools," he said. "Dunkerton is not the only school that has had this happen to them."

Urbanek said they're not able to determine who is posting. It's possible it's not even a student. However, as part of their investigation, they have reached out to the Black Hawk County Sheriff's office.

Urbanek said with the anonymity comes a lot of pain. He's had several affected students come into his office in tears.

"It's one of the things you worry about, who it's hurting" Urbanek said. "Just some of the things and what we can do to stop it."

But Dunkerton is striking back -- middle school students posted paper smiles in the hallway Thursday as a show of solidarity. They're led by the 'Pledge to be Positive' campaign, and senior Emilee Miller.

"We just wanted to change the way people saw the community, and by doing that we wanted to address the students," she said.

She said she's sick of the posts. The same goes for Bryce Rigdon.

"I'd tell them to knock if off," he said. "Delete it. The account is giving us a bad name."

"Right now, it's easy to hide behind a phone or a computer screen and say whatever you want," Urbanek said. "There's no accountability to what you're saying. It's frustrating. It's very frustrating."

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