Is it just kids being kids, or is it kids that need to be brought to justice?
RCMP are considering charges over a Grade-9 “Ugliest Girls” Facebook poll, which listed several names of girls from a Port aux Basques school in Newfoundland. RCMP told The Canadian Press they are still trying to determine who posted it. The list hit Facebook December 17 and was reported to police the following day.
This is the second case in a month of a cyberbullying harassment investigation in Newfoundland. The first involved a similar poll posted on ask.fm about Grade 12 girls from Holy Trinity High in Torbay, a town with a population of just over 7,000.
Lynelle Cantwell made national headlines a few weeks back after that list of the “ugliest girls” became public. The poll allowed students to make anonymous and hurtful comments about peers at Holy Trinity High. Not only did Lynelle make national headlines, but she also garnered international support when she took to social media – and the high road – to respond.
“To the person that made the “ugliest girls in grade 12 at hth” ask.FM straw poll. I’m sorry that your life is so miserable that you have to try to bring others down. To the 12 people that voted for me to bring me to 4th place. I’m sorry for you too. I’m sorry that you don’t get to know me as a person. I know that i’m not the prettiest thing to look at. I know i have a double chin and i fit in XL clothes. I know i don’t have the perfect smile or the perfect face. But i’m sorry for you. Not myself. I’m sorry that you get amusement out of making people feel like shit. I’m sorry that you’ll never get the chance to know the kind of person i am. I may not look okay on the outside.. But i’m funny, nice, kind, down to earth, not judgemental, accepting, helpful, and i’m super easy to talk to. Thats the same for every other girl on that list that you all put down. Just because we don’t look perfect on the outside does not mean we are ugly. If thats your idea of ugly then i feel sorry for you. Like seriously? Get a life.” [sic]
Later she wrote a follow-up post:
“I want everyone to know i appreciate all of the gifts and the attention i have received. However, what we are fighting for is to give everyone a voice when it comes to bullying and to take the power back from the bully. Hopefully the attention i have received worldwide will help us to achieve this goal. I don’t want anyone to feel left out or powerless. Together we are all fighting for this same goal. Lets put a stop to bullying here and now.” [sic]
So, is this just kids being kids? If it were 1985, and this information was found in a notebook instead of online, would it still provoke possible charges? Would you punish the people responsible for the poll, and if so, how? Taking your calls after 1pm: 204.780.6868 or 1.844.686.6868.