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Parents Drown Out Cruelty on Burnbook App

COVINGTON TOWNSHIP — After students in our area were targeted on the social media app Burnbook, some parents started posting positive messages. Newswatch ...

COVINGTON TOWNSHIP -- After students in our area were targeted on the social media app Burnbook, some parents started posting positive messages.

Newswatch 16 first told you about the controversial smart phone app last week.

Things got so bad at North Pocono High School that the district appealed to parents over the weekend to talk to their children about the cruel things posted on Burnbook.

Since then, parents have taken the initiative to drown out the bullies and be cheerleaders for their kids.

These days, when students leave school much of the nastiness and harassment goes with them across social media. Especially now that Burnbook, an app for smartphones, lets kids anonymously post mean things about people in their immediate area.

North Pocono Superintendent Bryan McGraw said it seems like there's always some new way for students to go negative.

"These anonymous posts are even more difficult to address because it's hard to trace who's doing these things and it causes disruption to school day," said McGraw.

In the weeks since Burnbook started making things very difficult for students, teachers, and staff at North Pocono, moms have taken to the app putting out messages like, "Hope your day is filled with light and love! Love, an NP mom."

"If parents aren't afraid to act, we'll take it over," said Linda Reid of Madison Township. "Life is tough enough. Be kind to each other."

That's exactly what North Pocono High School's Burnbook looks like now; mainly parents posting encouraging things.

Some couldn't believe the negativity the social media app instigated in this school district in the Moscow area.

"Whoever invented that should be locked up," said Kathy Filer who drives a van for the school district. "It's bad enough you can get bullied in hallways, now all you got to do is sit at home and you get bullied, too."

"I believe it's a good thing to take a negative into a positive to get kids away from bullying and nonsense that they have to go through every day in school," said Greg Loposky of Moscow.

The parental takeover of Burnbook in North Pocono has also spread to other school districts including Dunmore and Valley View.

"The louder the community speaks and parents object to it, the more those companies will get the message and say we can't do this. We need to have a positive society, not a negative one," added McGraw.

As of now, the company behind the app claims it's not for bullying or harassing fellow students, but the name came from the movie "Mean Girls" where that was exactly what a "burn book" was used for.