12 On Your Side: North Augusta students speak out against 'burn book'

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Jan. 13, 2012

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Students at North Augusta High School are speaking out against the "North Augusta Burn Book" Facebook page.

Corey Carter, a graduate of the school, found the page earlier this week.

"I was thinking if she was on there, who was talking to about her like that?" he said.

Carter was concerned about his little sister who is a student at the school.

"It's tech definition of cyber bullying," he said. "Oh, I was very disgusted at the language put on there."

His sister Amber was not listed in the "burn book" but some of her classmates' names and pictures were posted on the site.

"It made me embarrassed to go there, really," she said.

The page listed names and pictures of students, along with hateful comments about weight, sexual orientation and other hurtful rumors.

Ashleigh Johnson found her own name and picture in the "burn book."

"I was upset because stuff like that shouldn't be said; it can hurt people's feelings really really badly," the 16-year-old student said.

The creator of the site posted a picture of Johnson and her cousin and left this comment: "Know they are gay as f*ck ... nobody hangs with their best friend that much."

"Words can tear someone down, too, now at this time there's people killing themselves over the Internet and being bullied," Johnson said.

The mean comments on the page caused so much tension at school on Thursday that the school principal called in for backup law enforcement to patrol school ground.

School officials say Facebook yanked the page down Wednesday night.

Johnson said she is taking the high road even though a bully targeted her and others. She is in support of a new Facebook page called "North Augusta High School Not Burn Book."

"He puts photos on there -- just like the book -- but he puts compliments. Like, 'Oh you should get to know this girl, she has a nice smile,'" she said.

Carter has seen firsthand what bullying can do.

"It can ruin friendships that was made for a lifetime. It can ruin people's self-esteem and all around, just hurts others," Cater said.

School officials are working with Facebook and investigators to find the bully behind the "burn book."

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