Does offensive student facebook page go too far?
The creator boasts it takes freedom of speech to the limits
The Millennium High School Meme Page is filled with offensive material -- targeting the student body and teachers, but has it gone too far? Video by kgun9.comvideo
Reporter: Valerie Cavazos
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- It boasts of taking freedom of speech to the limits -- and it has. The Millennium High School Meme Page is filled with offensive material -- targeting the student body and teachers, but has it gone too far? A case of cyber bullying perhaps?
Meme pages on Facebook are pretty popular these days. Memes usually involve pop culture icons and characters -- that include humorous captions. This meme page may have crossed the boundary into cyberbullying territory.
The captions are crude -- and the conversations are crass -- a reason we can't show much of the Millenium High School Meme Page.
It's creator hides behind a veil of secrecy -- using the school's name -- frustrating the Goodyear principal. "It's a new platform for bullying to take place on and its spreads the word a little bit more," said Millennium High School Principal John Speer.
International cyberbullying expert Dr. Sheri Bauman says this one is the most egregious social networking sites involving high school students she's ever seen. "I think it's inappropriate, it's offensive, it's rude."
We also asked some of her university students what they thought. "Kids - you expect them to be inappropriate, but this is ridiculous and how specifically they're attacking the individual students," said Dan Erickson, a UA gradutate student. Undergraduate student Macie Myers said, "There was nothing like this when I was in high school."
There's little question it's extreme, however, does it fall in the realm of cyberbullying? "Yes, if the target felt offended, threatened, humiliated," said Dr. Bauman.
But she says going down that legal path of defamation and harrassment would be a challenge.
"It's difficult for anyone to take action because we don't know who was behind it."
We also spoke with litigation attorney Peter Goldman. "Essentially, the line would be off of school property, off school time, off school computer system. Then there's a lot more leeway in what they can say about other people."
The creator of the meme page boasts of taking freedom of speech to the limits. Arizona lawmakers are reworking a bill that could have potentially shut down Facebook pages like this -- by expanding the law to include statements that annoy or offend -- but Dr. Bauman say that would violate the constitutional right. She said, "It was so broad that it would be very difficult to exclude anything."
The HS principal told KGUN9 that for the most part -- the student body and the teachers say they are moving on -- and they don't want to bring any more attention to the Facebook page.
And that's what the experts suggest as well. Since the creators often crave attention and there are few laws to combat cyberbullying, the best way to fight it -- at this point -- is to ignore the page entirely.