Sexually Explicit Facebook Page Infuriates Portage, Ind. Parents
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UPDATED 11/10/11 10 p.m.
PORTAGE, Ind. (CBS) — Serious concern is mounting over a Facebook page with graphic sexual postings about 6th, 7th and 8th grade students and some high schoolers in Portage, Ind.
As CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, Portage police say there were three separate Facebook pages with sexually explicit remarks about middle- and high-school students in the Portage Township School District.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
One parent is more than disgusted. On Sunday, Leslie – the mother of 12-year-old sixth-grader Brittany, found a pre-teen and teen Facebook page called “Portage Bustdown.”
“There were hundreds of kids commenting, saying things about other people, and what they did,” says the parent, talked with Parker and asked that her last name not be disclosed.
Leslie described the Facebook posts as “very sexually explicit things of who did what to whom, when and where – a lot of trash talk.” She said the children were named personally in the Facebook posts.
Brittany was just as alarmed by the page.
“I was really shocked that people would say that about other people,” she said. “I mean, there were a lot of rumors going around, but I didn’t think it would be that bad.”
Brittany’s mother told Portage School Supt. Mike Berta, who was just as stunned. He says the site’s effect on students showed up right away.
“Students start to surmise, ‘You’re the one that put that up. They start to accuse one another, so we get some of the residue in some of the classrooms,” Berta said. “It can become a very undisciplined situation.”
Once Portage police began investigating, the site was taken down. But it is expected others will take its place.
Police actually said there were three sites in total, WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports.
“I think it’s probably very low that a few warnings will put an end to this whole thing,” Berta said.
Another problem is identifying those involved. But Leslie says that has to happen.
“It hurts whoever it was said about, and in my opinion, that’s slander,” she said. “I think whoever did it should be punished.”
Local authorities in Portage say the closest thing to an answer in this situation is a simple and obvious one – parents must monitor their children’s Web activity.
If your child is on Facebook, authorities advise that you insist you are also on the site as a friend. You will see and know more that way.