Amy Fiedler, freshman, was sent home on Thursday after being framed for creating the “Only in Hinsdale” (#HinsdaleCentralProbz) Twitter account. Although she did not create the account, Dean Steve Edsey was afraid that if she was still in school, other students upset by the account would threaten her.
“Only in Hinsdale” targeted students with messages linked to cyber-bullying. Deleted after only one day, the Twitter account still sparked interest among students. The tweeter framed Fiedler for the account, but the real tweeter remains unknown.
On Thursday, Fiedler’s neighbor told her about the Twitter account, but she did not look into the situation. On Friday at lunch, another friend brought it up to her, at which point, she said that she “knew something was wrong.” During fourth period, she reported the situation to Dean Steve Edsey and Officer Mark Keller.
Lacking enough information to thoroughly investigate, Fiedler returned to class. “My neighbor texted me that [the Twitter] was tracked to my computer. I started crying because I was really confused, and because I didn’t know what was going on,” Fiedler said.
Students aware of the “Only in Hinsdale” Twitter account yelled at Fiedler in the hallways between classes. It was then that Edsey sent her home.
School authorities take action to try to stop situations like that of Fiedler’s from happening. “All disciplinary matter must be kept confidential,” Edsey said. In a generic case, he disclosed that bullying on Twitter “has to pertain to the school for the school to take action.”
Edsey can get involved if the tweets refer to the school or trace back to a school computer with a timestamp during school hours. If the cyber-bullying has no pertinence to school, Officer Keller deals with the situation. Social workers, guidance counselors, and other local police may also get involved, if necessary.
Cyber-bullying situations like this have become more common. Since its debut in 2006, Twitter spiked in popularity at Central in the past year. A sample survey of 100 students shows that 45 percent have Twitter accounts, while 55 percent remain Twitter-less. Regardless of whether or not they had Twitters, half were aware of “Only in Hinsdale.”