Phone app banned at Katy Seven Lakes High School

By Jennifer Bauer, Reporter, jbauer@kprc.com
Published On: May 01 2014 10:15:00 PM CDT
Updated On: May 02 2014 10:26:32 AM CDT

May 1, 2014: The principal at Seven Lakes High School in Katy is trying to get students to stop using the app Gaggle. He has blocked the app from the buildings' Wi-Fi and is putting a call out to parents to have the app deleted from their children's phones. Jennifer Bauer reports.

KATY, Texas -

The principal at Seven Lakes High School in Katy is trying to get students to stop using the app Gaggle. He has blocked the app from the buildings' Wi-Fi and is putting a call out to parents to have the app deleted from their children's phones.

In an email sent home to parents, Principal Ted Vierling wrote, "Unfortunately, the students are using the app to post EXTREMELY hateful speech, photos and drawings of students and staff members. The items I have seen have sickened and saddened me, and we need your help."

One post in particular talks about a teacher's disgusting body and horrible personality. Others mention nude photos and sex acts being performed for money.

"I think it's horrible that they have to deal with this kind of stuff nowadays," said Debbie Libby, who has two kids at Seven Lakes High School.

Libby told Local 2 she received the principal's email, and she is going to talk about it with her kids.

"They show each other Instagram and Facebook a little bit, but I've never heard of this," she said. "I'm hoping that means they've never been on it and don't post things on it."

Another parent said she downloaded the app herself so she could take a look at the content. It "wasn't good," she said. "I've seen some of the posts, they're directed at some of the teachers, the students, random stuff."

According to Katy Independent School District, Gaggle is a message board that doesn't require a username or login, so anyone can post content to the site anonymously.

"Therefore, we are not able to trace the posts to any specific students," Vierling wrote. "I would ask that you have conversations with your students this evening and delete this app from their phones. We have found no positive usage of the app. At this point, it has only done harm. My fear is that students will use this tool to intimidate, bully and harm staff members and their fellow students."

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