By Sylvia Gonzalez
ODESSA - The comments have flooded our NewsWest 9 Facebook Page after a story NewsWest 9 reported on Wednesday about another Facebook Page bashing teenagers around the Basin. The page called "432 On Blast" was taken down shortly after our story aired but plenty more have popped up since.
ECISD Police Chief, Mark Rowden, spoke about the popularity of such sites. He says although the page has finally been removed, it will only be a matter of time before more will pop up.
"As soon as one social networking site goes away or becomes less popular, five more have popped up," Rowden said.
Rowden says cyber bullying has increased significantly and that they deal with this kind of problem on a daily basis.
"We deal with it on a daily basis. It's something that's very hurtful and disruptive to the educational environment and we take it very seriously and we don't tolerate it," Rowden said.
Rowden says if students think that they will not face any consequences at school just because a posting was done from home, they'd better think twice before they post.
"Situations that may occur away from the school environment, but yet affect the educational environment. If the fall out environment comes into the school environment, then the administrators of the school can deal with it in a disciplinary fashion," Rowden said.
Those disciplinary actions can vary from administrative action to criminal charges. Rowden says he knows what kind of impact negative posts and websites can have on a young life.
"From personal experience in the many investigations that we have done in the past, what those kind of things can lead to in many cases, it leads to violence to harmful acts, even beyond words," Rowden said.
According to Rowden, young teens don't have the same coping skills as adults, which makes it more difficult to deal with these types of situations in a proper manner. Therefore, adults should be more protective because Rowden believes cyber bullying is only going to get worse.
"Keeping them away from those situations, protecting them from those situations, teaching them and giving them those skills to be able to deal with what may come their way. This is not gonna go away, it's a reality we are going to live with and it's only going to get worse," Rowden said.