Administrators at Arundel High School in Gambrills, Maryland are reportedly working to address a widespread cyber bullying problem at the school after a student posted a note to Reddit threatening suicide if no action was taken to stop a popular student from bullying his classmates online, the Annapolis Capital Gazette reports.
A student calling herself "Sarah" posted a 500-word note to Reddit on Wednesday under the heading "The cyber bullying has gotten to the point where the school will not take any action unless I kill myself. Reddit- how do I get my story out and make this stop?"
In the note, Sarah alleges that high school administrators continually failed to address her and other students' complaints that a male student was verbally attacking students in person and on Twitter, particularly targeting those involved in the school's Gay Straight Alliance.
"I am not asking for therapy, but help in gaining momentum," Sarah wrote in the Reddit post. "Since the beginning of the school year, I have been harassed both in person and online by the school’s ‘bully.’ It is hard to use the word because almost everyone knows and loves him."
"The bullying isn't worthy of school attention unless I die," she said later in the post.
Sarah posted excerpts from messages she says she received from the bully, which she and other students captured by screenshot and submitted to administrators:
"Life has its ups, and you have the Downs. Please do us a favor, and fucking drown" -- A poem dedicated to Sarah.
"I have AP Lit in the morning. Sarah, if you say a single word, you are getting choked" (I am the only person in the class who will participate in discussions without being forced).
"I was to roofie Sarah"
"Sarah has a boyfriend and I'm still single? Time to die"
"Sarah for biggest slut. Go die"
Less than 12 hours after the note was posted to Reddit, it had already received over 4,000 comments urging Sarah to get help, according to the Capital Gazette. In the meantime, administrators at Anundel High School started receiving a flood of emails and letters from people all over the country expressing concern for the school's students.
Principal Sharon Stratton told the Capitol Gazette that she was unwilling to address particulars of the case but confirmed to the paper that the Reddit post was indeed genuine and that she addressed the issue.
Sarah updated her Reddit post saying that school administrators were now working with her and other students to find a solution to the current problem and work out a larger plan to prevent cyberbullying and respond to complaints.
"[School administrators] might be able to do something about it, which is amazing, because I wasn't expecting it at all," Sarah wrote in an update to her post. "I'm still shocked that many of the school officials were just now learning about this kid, but I know now that they know: every body knows. Nothing can happen immediately, but the process is starting and consequences will happen."
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.