Nova Scotia

High school hit with cyberbullying lists

Some students at a Halifax-area high school say they're victims of a new type of cyberbullying involving lists of students circulated on smartphones.

Some students at a Halifax-area high school say they're victims of a new type of cyberbullying involving lists of students circulated on smartphones.

Students at Auburn Drive High School in Cole Harbour, N.S., have been receiving lists of students' names under such headings as the 'Good Sex List' and the 'Dirty Girl List.'

Each list encourages recipients to add new names and then to forward it to others.

"I was on the Dirty Girl List. It was really stupid. They didn't even spell my name right," said Brook-Lynne Cote, a Grade 11 student at nearby Cole Harbour District High School.

"I know I'm not dirty. So if they're going to put me on a list, it's like, how childish can you get?"

Students said at least 10 different lists have been circulating on smartphones since the weekend and that they had been forwarded to high school students in metro Halifax.

Doug Hadley, spokesman for the Halifax Regional School Board, said the content of at least one of the messages has been referred to the police.

An administrator at Auburn Drive High School sent out a telephone message to parents, asking for their help in dealing with the cyberbullying.

"Please discuss our concerns, that they may be a target in this inappropriate behaviour and/or unknowingly a participant in forwarding these messages to others," said the message.

"We ask that students refrain from being involved in any forms of bullying, including cyberbullying."

Machelle Thomas, a parent at Auburn Drive High School, said she was glad the school was taking action.

"Every school should be doing something, and parents — we just have to get together, we have to figure out something in this age of technology, what we can do to help our kids," she said.

Some students said the lists could potentially be damaging to students' self-esteem.

"It's just stupid, there's no need for it," said Kristina Matthews.

"All kinds of people are hurting themselves because of bullying and they're making these stupid lists about people."