AMARILLO, TX - A new trend on Twitter has Panhandle parents, and many high school students, concerned about cyber bullying.
Right now a Twitter account, @txpanhandle2, has over a thousand followers and some parents and students are saying those followers are bullies. "It's like bullying on a massive scale. It's the whole panhandle area," mother of two Highland Park High School students, Jennifer Campbell said.
The page isn't the first Twitter account of its kind created by an anonymous high schooler. Several similar pages have been deleted by Twitter for vulgar, inappropriate tweets, all about Panhandle towns, high schools, and students.
The number of followers prove the page is popular, but Campbell does not find it funny. "Just the things they were saying were terrible, terrible things about other kids and about the schools. They weren't naming names specifically, but they were narrowing it down to the point that those kids they were talking about would know it was them," she said.
The page asks followers to submit messages of "secrets" or confessions" about thier school to be published for all to see. "Most of the time people thought it was funny," Highland Park Sophomore Terrin Campbell said. Campbell and fellow sophomore Cecelia Almanza say the tweets were the hot topic in the hallways last week. "I didn't really look into it until these girls were talking about it and they were like come here. I read some of the things and they were terrible," Almanza said.
Almanza says she has a friend who was targeted by one of the tweets. She said some of the tweets were mean enough "to the point where someone wants to take their own life." Almanza's friend's name, or any specific names for that matter, are never mentioned in the tweets. But with most Panhandle schools being small, they say everyone usually knows who the tweets are targeting and they believe it's not right.
"You're tearing people's live up and that's not something that I'd wish on anybody," Terrin Campbell said. "You've got to empower your kids to stand up and say I'm not going to feed into that. Because if you're laughing at it and you're retweeting it, you're just as bad as the one who's putting it out there," Campbell said.
NewsChannel 10 reached out to several high school principles Sunday to see if they've had issues brought to their attention because of the tweets, but have yet to hear back.