3 area schools banning controversial chat app

In effort to curb some cyber bullying, three local high schools have banned a relatively new social media app that allows people to post hurtful messages anonymously.

The app, called Yik Yak, is just a few months old but already has 100,000 users and 15,000 messages sent every day.

But the app has no safeguard to make sure the user is over 17 so it’s spreading like crazy in high schools.

The app is similar to twitter but connects users through proximity.  And it’s anonymous, boasting no profiles, no passwords.   So students can write whatever they want.

A spokesperson for Yik Yak tells WGN News “We are looking into and working towards technical ways to prevent under-age users from accessing our app. . We have temporarily disabled the app in the Chicago area and will take immediate action to specifically disable its usage at high schools and middle schools.”

Chicago’s Whitney Young High School has banned it from their network and sent a letter to parents and students asking them to not use the sight negatively.

New Trier High School has also been monitoring the app for a few weeks and sent out a letter to parents as well after several students were upset about things that were  said about them.  Administrators found the comments  lewd and offensive and especially hurtful when students were named.

The letter from the principals said in part:  “New Trier immediately took action to block Yik Yak from our wireless network.  We also have communicated with our advisors, who plan to discuss cyberbullying, respect for fellow students and the appropriate use of social media and apps…”

Lake Forest High School has also banned the app.

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