Collierville Schools investigating Instagram account they say promotes cyber bullying

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — A troubling Instagram account has Collierville parents, teachers, and even students alarmed. Administrators are calling it “bullying elevated” and are pushing for the site to be taken down.

Collierville_tea is the name of the Instagram account. Tea is slang for rumors or gossip and thanks to a concerned member of the Collierville community the site is now being investigated by Collierville Schools administrators.

Tuesday a letter sent home to parents of CHS Students from Principal Roger Jones said in part,

“We have a student who has anonymously created an Instagram account under the name COLLIERVILLE_TEA. Tea is code word for gossip and rumors. The site was solely created to harass, insult, and bully students. The site currently has 963 followers and 49 posts. There is absolutely no reason for this site to exist, and it does not give any added value to our CHS family and culture. At a time like this, no child should be subjected to such comments. In fact, no time is ever appropriate. It does not matter if the comments are true or false; however, they are offensive and damaging to the individuals mentioned. I need your help to end this site today. Please talk to your teen about this account and forbid him/her to follow the site or make posts.”

“This is not acceptable. It’s not funny. It hurts people. It can cause serious damage that is lifelong,” said Collierville’s Safe Schools Director Dr. Nancy Kelley.

Dr. Kelley went on to say they have alerted Instagram asking them to take the account down. She also warned parents not to assume students don’t know about the account just because they aren’t following it.

FOX13′s Amy Speropoulous’s kids weren’t following it either but she was accepted to be among their 963 followers. Before she was blocked, Amy saw what was said.

Most of the 43 posts were so explicit FOX13 couldn’t show them on television or reveal them in print. Most had names of students and most had vulgar language and references. All were unacceptable for any form of social media.

Emily Rice is a mom of 4 and she said while her kids weren’t among the followers of the Instagram account, she never misses an opportunity to talk to her kids about taking the high road in all situations especially when it comes to social media.

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, and teach our kids that we can’t control other people’s actions you can control your reactions,” Rice said.

"My kids also know ‘see something say something,’ said Rachelle Maier. "If somebody is being bullied, if someone is being bothered, if there is a problem tell an adult, tell a teacher, tell a parent because again we all need to look out for each other.

The Stop It Program allows for anyone to make anonymous tips on anything they see going on in or around the schools. It can be drugs, alcohol, weapons, hazing, discrimination, violence or threats.

All you have to do is download the APP, STOP IT in the App Store or Google Play.