The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

Cyberbullying: enough is enough


Plastered on the top of their home screen, provokes controversy with the statement, “Restoring Accountability to District 86.”  Below their header are countless number of stories that rant about Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South, which has caused much discussion about the ethics and policies of both schools.

The site is composed of articles written by anonymous writers and, at times, concerned parents who wish to comment about anything regarding the curriculum and issues within the two schools. The site’s administrators choose certain topics, especially ones they deem as “offensive” to the students’ education.

In short, we do not think that this website is justified.  It’s sad to think that some people simply view the internet as a medium for their rants, complaints and insults.

There are a number of reasons why people act this way on the internet. With the internet comes anonymity, quick uploads, less thought and accountability.  However, there are consequences that most do not realize.  The reputations of both the writer and the people mentioned in the article can be affected, and these comments, uploaded effortlessly with the touch of a finger, are hurtful. We learn constantly here from our teachers and administrators not to be bullies. These online posts, we believe, are a form of bullying.

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And so, a plea from our online Advocate staff:  think before you type and leave unnecessary, hurtful comments off the screen.

A recent post on  written by Laurie Higgins targets Hinsdale South High School teacher Kristin Wimsatt for planning a curriculum for her film class that includes movies such as American Beauty and Brokeback Mountain. Higgins comments on how these movies contain sexual content that may be “sexually arousing” to students.

The fact is Higgins has a right to say that she is concerned about the film class and the movies that students will be watching; however, she goes a step further and insults teachers by belittling them with her words. “In other words, with the breadth of reasons available, teachers can justify teaching anything their little hearts desire,” Higgins said.

And this idea of belittlement and outrage of teachers and students is not only apparent on this website.  Weeks ago, a Twitter account called “Only in Hinsdale” was created by a student who cyber-bullied our own peers.

Maddie McGarrah, senior, believes that taking such an intense opinion to the internet like the website and the Twitter account is something that society does not need.  “Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but bashing things on the internet takes it too far,” McGarrah said.  “It’s just not a productive way to let out anger.”

We understand that people need to get their opinion heard, and that’s okay.  However, when a website, a Twitter account or an article goes out of its way to disparage  something or someone, it should stop.

McGarrah, currently enrolled in AP Psychology, relates the class’ teachings to this dilemma.  “We just learned about aggression in AP Psych and there is this thing called the catharsis hypothesis,” McGarrah said.  “Some people think that you will feel better by ranting on the internet.  However, it actually makes people more hostile.  Ranting on the internet will only make you angrier.”

This editorial is the consensus opinion of the Devils’ Advocate Online staff and does not represent the opinion of District 86.

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