Nfld. & Labrador

'Ugliest girls' poll: Student's response to cyberbullying goes viral

A Torbay, N.L., high school student's response to online bullying is winning praise from friends and family.

Lynelle Cantwell says she feels sorry for those who participated in the online attack

Lynelle Cantwell is overwhelmed by support she's received since standing up to a hurtful online post on Tuesday. (Submitted by Lynelle Cantwell)

A Newfoundland and Labrador high school student's response to online bullying is winning praise from friends and family, who are proud of her bravery in the face of a mean-spirited post.

An anonymous poll on website asked people to rank the "ugliest girls at Holy Trinity High." (

Lynelle Cantwell was in math class Monday in Holy Trinity High in Torbay when she learned she and other students had been ranked in an anonymous online "straw poll" called "Ugliest girls at hth," which was posted on the social media site

The site allows people to make anonymous posts and comments.

"It outraged me ... all of these girls are hurt because of this one person who has no heart or sympathy for anything," she told CBC News on Wednesday.

"I wanted to be the bigger person, and instead of fighting fire with fire, I decided to fight it a different way and make something that was really negative into something really positive."

After thinking about the hurtful poll for the rest of the day, Cantwell decided to respond on Facebook Tuesday with her own message.

"To the person that made the "Ugliest girls in grade 12 at hth" straw poll. I'm sorry that your life is so miserable that you have to try to bring others down," she wrote.

"I know i don't have the perfect smile or the perfect face. But i'm sorry for you. Not myself."

Cantwell's response has since been shared almost 2,000 times by Wednesday afternoon, and nearly 200 people have commented to show their support.

She said she has been overwhelmed with the response, from people who are close to her and many others she doesn't even know.

Dozens of friends and family commented on Cantwell's Facebook post, supporting her for standing up to the hurtful post. (Facebook)

Cantwell said she's been bombarded with texts, calls and messages ever since the post, and one person even went so far as to send her flowers.

"I'm getting so many messages I can't answer all of them," she said.

"Everyone is coming up to me and saying, 'Oh my gosh, your Facebook status, it's so beautifully written and doing such a good job and I'm so proud of you,'" she said. 

"Everything is just so positive."


Geoff Bartlett


Geoff Bartlett is an educator and journalist in Corner Brook.