We all know about high school bullying but have you heard of cyber-bullying? It's real and three Loranger High School students have been arrested for it. As WAFB's Marie Centanni reports, student bullying may have gone too far.
Investigators with the Attorney General's High-Tech Crimes Unit say the situation started when a 15-year-old female student created a website called "Loranger's biggest queer.com." The website featured pictures of a 14-year-old male student. He responded with his own web site, which investigators say included a list of students he called "The Preps," and poems so graphically violent, investigators say "they crossed the line."
Kris Wartelle with the Attorney General's Office said, "It sort of was like bullying on the Internet that got even worse, and we're lucky it didn't escalate to something even worse."
After seeing the boy's website, a concerned parent alerted the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office. The Attorney General's High Tech Crime Unit was contacted and began an immediate investigation. Authorities confiscated the student's computers.
Both students were arrested, as well as 18-year old Joseph Sanchez, who was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Authorities say Sanchez helped the younger male set up and maintain his website. The pair called themselves the "8-Ballas," and targeted students they called "The Preps."
"When you have students making threats to other students or groups of students on the Internet, talking about killing someone or blowing up the school or shooting a certain group of people, when there's a feud like that and certain words are used," explains Wartelle, "That's when you worry about something escalating or becoming the next Columbine and these days you have to take threats seriously."
The school system is taking it seriously as well, and will decide Friday whether to expel the three students for the remainder of the school year. All of the students involved are honor students.
Cyber-stalking is a relative felony, which means a judge can decide if it is a misdemeanor of the more serious felony crime. It's punishable with a $2,000 fine or one year imprisonment.
For more information on cyber-bullying, clink on the link below.