Middle school 'hate club' has parents concerned

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Whomever started the account OceanBayMiddleSchoolHateClub on Instagram wants to be hurtful. They're posting messages like, "He's fat and thinks he has friends and doesn't."

The messages are accompanied by pictures of several students at Ocean Bay Middle School and parents are concerned.

"I was up until 1:30 the other night thinking what could I do because it scares me and you don't know," says our parent who wishes to remain anonymous. "You have all these kids that have killed themselves over [bullying] so how do you stop them?"

That parent says her child's friend is being made fun of on the site. The child's father recently passed away, and the bullying is making things worse.

"It really lowers the self-esteem,  particularly of an adolescent," says Connie Huddle, Ocean Bay Middle School's principal.

Huddle is trying to deal with cyber bullying the best she can. Bullying is against school policy and can lead to suspension or worse, but Huddle says the posts are being done off campus so there's not much administrators can do.

She sat down with several students to get them to understand how harmful the posts can be and the other dangers of social media.

"You don't know who you are speaking to," she says. "It could be somebody in another town who is just baiting young people and I think that is a conversation we continuously have to have."

It's a conversation one parent says she had with her own child. "You have got to get on their phone, get on their computer and see who they are talking to," the mom said. "Tell them look, I know there are bad things out there but I just want to make sure you are safe."

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